Can a Refrigerator be Plugged into an Extension Cord— Quick Guide!

Refrigerators have become an impact aspect of our daily lifestyle. You can hardly imagine living without a fridge.

These modern days, you must need a Refrigerator to survive the harsh temperatures outside. While almost any type of electrical extension cord will suffice for powering a small device such as a light or a portable fan, using the incorrect extension cord to power a large appliance such as a refrigerator can cause substantial damage and even constitute a safety issue.

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Plugging a refrigerator straight into a wall socket is the best and safest choice for powering it. However, this option isn’t always available.  However, you can use an extension cord while keeping your refrigerator safe from any harm.

In this article, I will explain how you can use an extension cord for your refrigerator.

Can a Refrigerator be Plugged into an Extension Cord?

While most small appliances may be easily connected to an extension cord, this is not the case with a refrigerator.

Refrigerators are large and require a lot of energy to run, so a standard extension cord may not be able to handle the task and may even pose a fire hazard.

For safety reasons, I do not advocate wiring your refrigerator into an extension cord. However, you can use it if the extension cord is the proper gauge and includes a triple pin socket. 

For high-wattage appliances like air conditioners, microwaves, and refrigerators, it’s generally acknowledged that you shouldn’t use an extension cord. The following are the reasons for this:

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1. Heating issues and performance reduction

When it comes to wiring, the thinner the wire is, the more electrical resistance it provides. It’s perplexing, but that’s the way it is. Additionally, the extra length of copper wire has a higher electrical resistance. 

As a result of the voltage drop, the refrigerator’s compressor will lose efficiency and eventually fail. According to Ohm’s law, voltage and amperage are inversely related: the lower the voltage, the higher the amperage.

The amount of heat generated is proportional to the number of amps flowing. This heat may cause elements of your refrigerator to burn out, reducing its lifespan.

2. Damage to the wires

Because the wires are exposed, they are more easily damaged than the permanent house wiring covered behind walls.

3. Fire hazards

When compared to ordinary house sockets, extension cords feature thinner wiring. This puts them at risk of failing and starting a fire, especially if the appliances hooked into it are rated for a higher wattage than the extension cord.

If you’re planning to get an extension cord, make sure you take care of the above situations. 

Can you Plug a Mini Fridge into an Extension Cord?

Because a mini fridge does not consume much energy, it is safe to assume that it can be hooked into an extension cord. Therefore, a 15-amp circuit is suitable for most mini-fridges.

The fact that a tiny fridge draws more than 13 amps is rarely noted. Standard extension cables may power a tiny fridge, but if you want to be extra safe, a heavy-duty extension cord will come in handy.

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Is There any Specific Extension Cord for a Refrigerator to Generator

If you have to use an extension cord to power your refrigerator, be sure it’s a heavy-duty cord that can handle its energy demands without jeopardizing safety.

Extension cords aren’t all made equal. Consider items like plug style, ampere rating, wire gauge, and cord length when selecting an extension cord for your refrigerator.

The type of plug is necessary because three-prong plugs are grounded, which means they’re made to reduce the risk of electric shock or fire. The amperage rating of an extension cable relates to how many amps of current it can take.

An extension cord’s wire gauge relates to the width of the copper cables that carry power. Finally, the length of the cord determines how far the power must go.

What Gauge Extension Cord do I Need for a Refrigerator?

A 14 gauge AWG extension cord is the optimal size for a refrigerator. This can safely carry up to 15 amps of current over 30 feet. A smaller size is not advised since it may induce a voltage drop in the cord, causing it to heat up and destroy the refrigerator.

When purchasing an extension cord, keep in mind that the ground is not included in the cord’s specification. So make sure you count the ground to get the correct cord. To put it another way, request a 14/3 extension cord. If you’re using a longer cable, go with a larger gauge, such as 12 gauge on the chart.

Cord lengthCord sizeAmps capacity
30 feet12/3 AWG20
30 feet14/3 AWG15
30 feet16/3 AWG10

Is There any Heavy-Duty Extension Cord for the Refrigerator

A grounded extension cord with a three-prong socket is always the best option for major appliances, such as refrigerators. When it comes to amperage, consult your refrigerator’s owner’s manual to establish the amperage rating and select an extension cable with a similar value.

Extension cords with a lower gauge number, such as ten or twelve gauges. They are referred to as heavy-duty extension cords because these cords can transmit more power. The 10-gauge chord is the best choice for big power loads like a refrigerator because it is an additional heavy-duty extension.

There are many heavy-duty extension cords available online. Below are the best extension cords you could get for your refrigerator.

Image Extension cord Length Input current
Amazon Basics Extension Cord 125V – Black 20 foot 13 Amps
GoGreen Power GG-13825BK Extension Cord 25/50/100 feet 14 Amps
GoGreen Power GG-13700BK Extension Cord, Black 8/25/50/100 feet 10 Amps
ReelWorks Retractable Extension Cord 40 feet  

Conclusion:

To conclude, the most significant risk of using an extension cord is using an incorrect cord. Using a faulty cord can result in excessive cord heating, circuit damage of the appliance, and a higher fire risk or electrical shock.

Never insert a 3 pronged electrical appliance into an extension cable that isn’t grounded. If you’re going to utilize a single cord to supply power to two different appliances, make sure to tally up the electrical demands of both gadgets to ensure that the cable can manage the combined load.