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Do Refrigerators Need Surge Protectors? (Answered)

We use many appliances around our house to make our lives easier and to allow us to live at our convenience. A refrigerator is one such vital appliance that is responsible for keeping our food fresh and plays a huge role in keeping our good health. 

Thus, it is necessary for us to ensure that these refrigerators are properly maintained to ensure their longevity. In the abstract below, you will learn the relevant info to maintain your refrigerator.

Do refrigerators need surge protectors? 

Refrigerators need surge protectors to protect them from electrical surges that could do irreparable damage to their compressor and many other sensitive parts that are vital to keep the refrigerator properly functioning. A surge protector prevents surges from passing directly into the refrigerator.

A power surge is an occurrence when the electric current supply gets cut off for a short period of time and then powers up with a surge span of between five to ten volts but could be as high as a few thousand volts during thunderstorms if a lightning strike hits a transformer. 

These power surges are harmful for sensitive electronic devices as they cause power spikes that may damage some sensitive component of the electronic devices.

There are commonly two types of power surges: Internal Power Surge and External Power Surge. The internal power surge commonly occurs internally at homes and most of them go unnoticed when you turn a device on or off. 

These occur since power is suddenly fed into a device that had no prior power. External power surges occur from outside the houses due to faulty power lines or thunderstorms.

Both of these power surges are harmful for sensitive electronic appliances of your home such as the refrigerator because they can cause irreparable damage to delicate components of appliances as the microprocessors are vulnerable to power spikes and may end up frying them.

To prevent such occurrences, surge protectors are used. Surge protectors are devices that prevent surges from directly reaching the appliances. They operate by taking the irregular additional voltage and send them to the ground wire – diverted away from the appliance. 

Surge protectors,however, have a limited capacity of around 2,000 available joules that decrease as the surge protector absorbs surges. A surge protector with a capacity of 2,000 joules can absorb 20 surges of 100 joules.

A surge protector is essential for your refrigerator since power surges could cause your fridge’s compressor to fail due to stalling and overheating. 

A surge protector ensures that your refrigerator has a longer usable life and prevents your refrigerator from being internally damaged.

Do LG, Whirlpool and Samsung refrigerators need surge protectors?

There are many refrigerator models and brands available in the market – each with a different variation and configuration from their manufacturer. Since refrigerators are expensive, it is recommended to use surge protectors to ensure a longer usable life of the refrigerators

However, there are many brands of refrigerators that can tolerate power surges while others need a surge protector.

LG Refrigerators, for example, do not need any additional surge protector and can work fine without them if they have a dedicated circuit breaker attached to it.

Another brand of refrigerator, similarly, such as Whirlpool does not need to be protected with surge protectors since their electric motors and compressors can handle power surges and thus they do not need any additional surge protector.

On the other hand, Samsung refrigerators are sensitive to power surges and could have their internal circuitry fried due to power surges – therefore, it is essential that you use a surge protector with Samsung fridges.

Do refrigerators have built in surge protectors?

There are many refrigerator manufacturers who claim that their refrigerators have a built-in surge protector installed in them and do not require additional protection. 

However, those internal built-in surge protectors may not be sufficient to provide protection to all the delicate components of the refrigerator.

This is because the compressor of a refrigerator has a cyclic mode of operation – which means they repeatedly start and stop constantly. 

On each starting cycle, a supply of high current is required and that’s when a power surge could happen. Even if the refrigerator has a built-in surge protector, they may not be able to handle the power surges as effectively as an externally installed surge protector would.

Why should you buy a power surge protector for your refrigerator?

Power surge is a useful device that protects your refrigerator from power surges, but besides that – there are also several reasons why you should buy a surge protector:

Extends the longevity of your refrigerator:

If the voltage input into the refrigerator is within its tolerance range – your refrigerator will have a longer lifespan. 

But if your refrigerator is subject to small fluctuations of voltage that is just outside its tolerance range, then it won’t damage it immediately but will slowly damage it over time and thus reducing its lifespan.

Low voltage fluctuations are prevented:

Another factor to keep in mind is the low voltage fluctuations that take place in the power supply. 

Low voltage during power surge creates a voltage deficit that causes your fridge’s compressor to stall and end up overheating. Surge protectors in that case detects this voltage deficit and shuts down the refrigerator to prevent any damage done.

Easy to use and less cost:

While providing such excellent protection to power surges, surge protectors are easy to use and are not expensive either. Surge protectors are plug-and-play devices similar to adapters that you can readily use without any further need for installation.

What size surge protector do I need for my refrigerator?

The size of surge protectors are measured in joules – which determines the number of surges a surge protector can handle. Whether a surge protector can still protect your refrigerator from power surges are indicated by an LED on the protector. 

A surge protector that is used for home appliances have joule ratings within 1,000 to 2,000 joules which provide sufficient protection from power surges, however protectors with rating above 2,000 joules are also available.

A protector with a higher joule rating means that the surge protector can absorb more energy before it fails, therefore if you have an expensive refrigerator – it is suggested that you get a surge protector with a higher joule rating.

A surge protector of rating 2,000 joules means that it can absorb 20 surges of 100 joules. So if you want to protect your refrigerator against frequent surges for a much longer time, you can get a surge protector with a much higher joule rating.

What types of refrigerators need a Power Surge Protector?

There are several types of refrigerators present in the market – ranging from less expensive and heavy to expensive and sensitive. 

Not all types of refrigerators would need power surge protectors since their mechanisms vary and have many other complications that differentiate themselves from each other. 

Below listed are the types of refrigerators and explained whether they would need a power surge protector or not:

Non-Inverter Refrigerators:

Non-inverter refrigerators have compressors that rely on a fixed on and off mechanism that turns completely off when the refrigerator has reached the set temperature and then turns back on after a moment. 

This cycle repeats to maintain a consistent temperature within the refrigerator. 

This is done by the refrigerator’s thermostat which detects the temperature inside and signals the compressor when to stop or start depending on the temperature read. 

Refrigerators such as this require surge protectors since there is a high possibility of power surge in between the cycles and could potentially damage the compressor both in long term or short term.

Basic Power on Delay Models with built-in surge protectors are appropriate to protect your non-inverter refrigerators from both power surges and low voltage fluctuations.

Inverter Refrigerators:

On the other hand, inverter refrigerators do not completely turn off its compressor when the target temperature has been reached – instead, it operates at a lower speed to maintain constant temperature. 

This is done by the use of an inverter – which is a device that monitors and controls the incoming current’s frequency and operates the compressor at variable rates.

For inverter refrigerators, you don’t need a surge protector – however, you could get an Automatic Voltage Regulator for additional protection. They would serve a similar purpose of toning-down any voltage fluctuations incoming from the power supply line.

Final Thoughts

Surge protectors are required for refrigerators to protect them from electric surges that could cause irreparable damage to their compressor and many other delicate parts that keeps the refrigerator running properly. A surge protector prevents power surges from entering the refrigerator.