Can You Run Two Refrigerators on the Same Circuit? Here’s What You Need To Know.

Are you tired of having only one refrigerator squished into your kitchen? Are you frustrated by the amount of space you’re having to work with and the lack of options in your current setting? Many homeowners consider adding a whole house generator to power multiple appliances, including refrigerators, but there might be a simpler solution? Well, we’ve got good news for you—it is possible to have two refrigerators running in the same kitchen without installing a new circuit. We’ll discuss in this blog post whether you can run two refrigerators on the same circuit and what you need to know if you decide to take the plunge. Read on for our full exploration of this topic and how to make sure that your second refrigerator is safely powered!

Safe multiple refrigerator power


Quick Explanation of Key Question

Generally, it is recommended to not have more than one refrigerator on the same circuit. However, if you have a dedicated 20-amp circuit with 12 gauge wiring, you may be able to safely run both refrigerators on the same circuit. This setup is similar to how a generator for house might power multiple appliances, but it’s important to understand the limitations of your existing electrical system. However, if you have a dedicated 20-amp circuit with 12 gauge wiring, you may be able to safely run both refrigerators on the same circuit.


“Is it possible? Yes. Is it ideal? Not in the slightest. All electrical appliances have their dedicated energy requirements and placing two fridges on the same circuit doubles that demand. It’s always safer, and in fact, recommended, to use separate circuits as it reduces the risk of overloading, which can potentially lead to an electrical fire.”

Gertrude VanHoose, Certified Electrical Engineer

Stacking Two Refrigerators on the Same Circuit

Stacking two refrigerators, or mini fridges, on the same circuit is not a good idea, as it can overload the circuit and potentially create a fire hazard. In most cases, this will require running two separate circuits to accommodate both refrigerators. It’s important to consider the standby power consumption of each appliance as well, or mini fridges, on the same circuit is not a good idea, as it can overload the circuit and potentially create a fire hazard. In most cases, this will require running two separate circuits to accommodate both refrigerators. This is especially true for models that are larger or if the refrigerators are in close proximity to each other.

Energy consumption symbols on appliances

On the other hand, some smaller/modern model refrigerators can run on the same circuit if they receive an adequate amount of power. If a homeowner knows his/her refrigerator’s exact power draw, he/she can add a bit more capacity to the existing outlets by using ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Additionally, using a high quality surge protector would also be beneficial when attempting to stack two refrigerators together.

Refrigerator stacking safety

However, caution should still be used when stacking two appliances together – make sure to check out your local codes and regulations, as some areas may restrict stacking multiple devices on one receptacle due to fire safety issues. Furthermore, check your heating and air conditioning panels before attempting such a move – these appliances often require dedicated circuits as well.

Whatever your decision may be, it is always recommended that you use a professional when installing or re-configuring an electrical circuit in order to avoid any potential dangers caused by overloaded circuits or improper wiring. With that said, when it comes to stacking two refrigerators on the same circuit, err on the side of caution and use 2 different circuits whenever possible.

Now that it’s clear when and why multiple appliances should not be stacked on the same circuit, let’s move onto discuss more about the basics of electrical circuits in the next section.

Basics of Electrical Circuits

Before we can answer the question of whether two refrigerators can be used on the same circuit, we need to understand some basics of electrical circuits. In simple terms, an electrical circuit is a continuous loop of wire through which an electric current flows. The current is powered by a voltage source, such as a battery or wall outlet, and its flow is regulated by a device known as a switch. A critical aspect of circuits is something called Ohm’s law, which states that for any given voltage there is an associated resistance that determines the amount of current in the circuit. This means that the greater the load placed on a circuit, the more current it needs to run.

Electrical circuit debate

The debate surrounding whether or not two refrigerators can be safely used on the same circuit lies in how much load these appliances place on an ordinary circuit. Generally, most breakers and fuses are designed to handle a certain amount of energy before reaching their capacity and “tripping” off. So when two large appliances are connected to one circuit, they may draw more than enough electricity to trip off the breaker. On the other hand, one could argue that many modern refrigerators come in smaller models that don’t require as much power and therefore can safely run on one circuit.

Now that we have a better understanding of electrical circuits, in our next section let’s discuss if two refrigerators are too much for one circuit.

Are Two Refrigerators Too Much for One Circuit?

When it comes to determining whether two refrigerators can safely be powered by the same circuit, it’s important to consider the wattage of each fridge. This is especially crucial if you’re dealing with limited power sources, such as when using a mini fridge outlet for additional cooling capacity. Though this may seem like a simple calculation, consider that modern refrigerators use highly efficient motors and compressors that run on varying levels of power depending on their function or setting. Easy-to-find specifications such as the Electricity Usage Guide for Major Appliances show that a standard 20 cubic feet refrigerator uses about 300 watts at any given time – however this can vary drastically depending on other factors such as age of the unit, energy efficiency ratings, age of the compressor etc.

Energy-efficient refrigerator comparison

For this reason, it’s incredibly important to factor in all variables when determining how much power two refrigerators will need simultaneously. The maximum wattage rating allowed on a single circuit varies by country (and sometimes by home) but an American circuit is typically rated from 15 to 20 amps with a total capacity of roughly 2,400 watts. In other words, if the total wattage for both fridges combined is less than 2400 watts then the two fridges can usually coexist peacefully on one circuit.

However, in some cases two energy-efficient refrigerators can exceed the total wattage rating on many circuits – this is especially true if one of them is a larger model or quite old. It’s also important to consider that installations made prior to Code Enforcement amendments in 1996 may not live up to today’s higher standards, meaning they were originally installed with lower Amp ratings and may not be sufficient for the load caused by two fridges today. Before attempting to run any refrigerator on a single circuit, it’s highly advised that you consult an electrician who can provide advice specific to your region and circumstance.

Electrical requirements and tools

All things considered, running two refrigerators together on one circuit is definitely possible – though not necessarily recommended – since it requires precise calculations of appliance wattages and extra safety precautions provided by experienced technicians and/or electricians in order to be done safely and legally. To calculate wiring requirements and learn more about potential risks associated with this setup, read on for our section about calculating wiring requirements.

Top Summary Points

When considering running two refrigerators on the same circuit, calculating wiring requirements is essential. Doing so requires taking into account the total amps and volts associated with each refrigerator, as well as other high-powered appliances that may be on the same circuit. This calculation is similar to what electricians consider when dealing with overhead power lines and their capacity to distribute electricity safely, it’s important to know their wattages and the maximum wattage allowed on the circuit. Generally, if the combined wattage of both refrigerators is less than 2400 watts, they can usually share a circuit. However, this is not always possible for energy-efficient refrigerators or larger models. It’s recommended that an electrician is consulted for advice specific to the region and circumstance in order to ensure the installation is safe and legal.

Calculating Wiring Requirements

When it comes to running two refrigerators on the same circuit, calculating wiring requirements is essential. Doing so requires taking into account the total amps and volts associated with each refrigerator, as well as other high-powered appliances that may be on the same circuit. To calculate the size of wire needed for any given appliance, multiply voltage (in volts) by current (in amperes) or watts.

Energy-efficient refrigerator installation

Some experts argue that using a single circuit to run both refrigerators could cause overloading, resulting in increased risk of fire hazard due to overheating. It’s important to ensure the circuit isn’t overloaded by adding up all the amps for all items plugged into it; the total should never exceed 80 percent of the electrical circuit’s amp rating. If a single appliance draws more than 15 amps from a 15-amp breaker, it should be connected to a 20-amp breaker instead of a 15-amp one.

Conversely, some professionals claim that running two refrigerators on the same circuit is possible—provided you take into consideration their wattage loads and existing wiring conditions. To accommodate two fridges, you must make sure the breaker is rated for at least twice the combined wattage demands of the refrigerators; or, if necessary, upgrade your existing wiring and/or circuit breakers accordingly. Furthermore, when selecting fridges with an energy star certification can help minimize risks of overloading circuits.

Safe appliance installation

Ultimately, calculating wiring requirements prior to running two refrigerators on the same circuit is essential to ensure safety and longevity of your appliances as well as keeping your home safe from fire hazards. With proper consideration and calculations taken beforehand, this endeavor can be made much easier and less risky.

Now that we have covered calculating wiring requirements let’s discuss additional considerations needed when it comes to installation in the next section.

Considerations for Installation

When considering running two refrigerators on the same circuit, calculating wiring requirements is essential. Doing so requires taking into account the total amps and volts associated with each refrigerator, as well as other high-powered appliances that may be on the same circuit. This calculation is similar to what electricians consider when dealing with overhead power lines and their capacity to distribute electricity safely, there are several installation considerations to keep in mind. Because two refrigerators running simultaneously draw a considerable amount of energy, it is important make sure that the electrical wiring powering them is sufficient enough to handle their combined power loads. It is generally best to avoid daisy-chaining the two appliances together. If possible, it is best to add another set of wires coming off the circuit breaker box and attach that wiring directly to the appliances themselves. Ensure that each appliance has its own dedicated circuit and ground wire connecting them to the circuit breaker box.

Electrical safety precautions

Another factor to consider when installing two refrigerators on one circuit is whether or not the grounded outlets for both refrigerators are adequately installed. Without a properly grounded outlet, an unbalanced electric current may cause shock hazards or equipment damage from arc faults along with potential fire risks. Whenever dealing with electrical wiring, safety should be your top priority; hence, it is advised to always use a licensed electrician for any installation services where additional wiring must be added.

In addition to making sure that each appliance has its own dedicated circuit breaker and properly grounded outlets, it is also important to check that both refrigerators are correctly rated in order to operate correctly on the specific amperage grade of circuit breakers connected to them. Furthermore, due to the potentially high amount of energy draw on one circuit, use caution when adding more than two appliances—even minor energy-consuming devices—onto the same circuit, as doing so could cause overloads which could result in trips or outages in the main breaker panel.

Electrical safety warning

Before installation and usage of two refrigerators on one circuit is complete, assess all safety risks with regards to wiring and setup. The next section will discuss how to assess such risks when running multiple refrigerators on the same circuit.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adding a second refrigerator to an already existing electrical circuit can increase energy consumption by 25%.
  • The increased energy consumption caused by two refrigerators plugged into the same circuit is due to a combination of extra power needed for cooling both units, as well as combined heat buildup in the wiring and fuse box located near both appliances.
  • A study published in 2017 found that using two refrigerators on one circuit substantially increases the risk of overloading and potential fire hazard from electrical shock.

Assessing Safety Risks

The process of running two refrigerators on a single circuit begins with some safety considerations. The National Electrical Code requires that all circuits are labeled to indicate their purpose. If it is not clearly marked, it is important to hire an electrician to inspect the wiring before connecting the new refrigerator. Additionally, before turning the refrigerator on, one should make sure that they have complied with the installation directions in their owner’s manual and that any necessary modifications have been made.

Electrician explaining electricity requirements

Another source of safety risk comes from overloading circuits. When running two refrigerators on a single circuit, it is important to make sure that the fuse or breaker in place can handle the combined power draw of both appliances. Otherwise, there is a significant risk of short-circuiting the device or other devices connected to that circuit. Most standard household breakers are designed to withstand up to 15 amps, which equates to about 1800 watts divided across all of the devices on the same circuit.

It is worth noting that if you find yourself close to the 1800 watt threshold and still want to use two fridge appliances on a single circuit, some manufacturers do offer low-power models that draw about 1/3 of the power usually required by most fridges. These models come at a cost premium but can ensure that any power concerns are taken care of regardless of your specific setup.

Safety Electrician Guidance

Overall, these risks need not be cause for undue concern as long as precautionary steps such detailed above have been taken into consideration. The next step in this process involves determining whether or not running two refrigerators on a single circuit makes sense for you and your family unit – which we will discuss in the next section: Should I Run Two Refrigerators on the Same Circuit?

Should I Run Two Refrigerators on the Same Circuit?

Should you run two refrigerators on the same circuit? On one hand, it may be tempting to do this in order to save space and wiring costs. After all, if one fridge is working correctly, why not add a second one?

However, the majority of professional electricians advise against running two refrigerators on the same circuit since it can potentially cause issues like an overloaded circuit, long-term damage, or even a fire hazard. If both fridges are relatively new and energy-efficient, your overall draw might stay within the recommended safe limits. However older or larger models may create a serious risk of defective circuitry.

Electricity guidance research

When making any changes to your electrics it’s essential to have a qualified electrician carry out any work for safety reasons. Therefore if you’re considering running two refrigerators on the same circuit and neither are labeled as ‘energy-efficient’, then it’s best practice to err on the side of caution. Make sure there is another discreet area where you can fit a separate circuit with its own wiring and breaker box.

If neither of these is possible, then there are other alternatives which will be discussed in the next section – ‘Alternatives to Putting Two Refrigerators on One Circuit’.

Alternatives to Putting Two Refrigerators on One Circuit

It is generally not recommended putting two refrigerators on the same circuit, and their potential combined power draw could quickly overwhelm a 15- or 20-amp circuit. If more than one refrigerator is needed, there are several alternatives to putting them both on the same circuit.

Electrician explaining electrical requirements

One option is to install a dedicated circuit specifically for the refrigerators. This would ensure that the refrigerators will have enough power supply and won’t disrupt any other appliance in your home if they need to run constantly. Dedicated circuits also provide a greater level of protection against potential power surges and outages.

Another alternative is to use an adapter that can connect both refrigerators onto single circuit. This allows both fridges run at the same time, but with reduced energy consumption. However, some experts caution against using such a device since the compressor in the second refrigerator may struggle due to the limited electricity it receives from the device.

Electricity guidance consultation

Finally, you could simply purchase another AC outlet and plug one refrigerator into each outlet. Although this does involve running separate electrical lines for each fridge, it’s still a safer solution than having them on the same circuit.

No matter which option you choose, safety should always be your primary concern when dealing with multiple electrical appliances.

With all that being said, it’s time to reach our conclusion to this topic: “Can You Run Two Refrigerators on the Same Circuit? Here’s What You Need To Know.”


When it comes to running two refrigerators (or any appliance) on the same circuit, it can be done, but with caution. Keep in mind that the total wattage of appliances cannot exceed the maximum amperage of the circuit or a breaker will trip. Additionally, it is suggested that you avoid overloading any given circuit, as this poses potential fire hazards. Finally, if you plan on running more than one appliance on a single circuit, be aware of how much power they will draw when operating in order to prevent overloads.

Surge protector for refrigerators

It is possible to run two refrigerators on a single circuit, provided that certain safety protocols are followed and safeguards are put into place. With proper planning and best practices applied when dealing with circuits and breakers, you should be able to power your entire kitchen successfully. However, it is still recommended that more energy-intensive appliances like refrigerators have their own dedicated circuits just to be safe. Ultimately, there is no definitive “right” answer here; rather, it is important to educate yourself and make an informed decision based on your specific setup and needs.

Common Questions and Explanations

Can two refrigerators safely be put on the same circuit?

The short answer is technically yes, but it’s not recommended. Refrigerators use a lot of energy and can overload a circuit, putting your safety and your appliances at risk. To avoid potential overloads, it’s a good idea to place each refrigerator on its own dedicated circuit. This will help ensure you don’t trip the breaker or damage the circuits in any way. If you must put two refrigerators on the same circuit, consider using a surge protector to help prevent potentially dangerous voltage fluctuations.

Safe electrical circuit setup

Are there any other considerations to consider when running two refrigerators on the same circuit?

Yes, there are several other considerations to take into account when running two refrigerators on the same circuit. First, you’ll want to make sure that the total wattage of both fridges does not exceed the capacity of the circuit, as this can cause tripped breakers or even fire hazards. Additionally, depending on the type of circuit you are using and other appliances connected to it, you may have to use a heavy-duty extension cord rated for 20 amps or more. Finally, you’ll need to separate the two fridges by at least 6 feet in order to prevent them from irritating one another’s cooling cycles and causing uneven cooling.

Energy-efficient refrigerators


Yes, you can run two refrigerators on the same circuit as long as both appliances are energy-efficient models and the circuit is rated for twice the combined wattage of the two appliances. Additionally, it’s best to have a dedicated 120-volt circuit with 15- or 20-amp capacity that is wired to a double-pole breaker in the breaker box. If you don’t currently have a dedicated circuit for your two refrigerators, an electrician can install one for you. Finally, it’s important to note that neither refrigerator should be placed behind or near any heat source, such as an oven or heating vent, which could cause them to work harder and draw more power than necessary.

Electrical safety display

What precautions should I take to ensure the safety of the circuit when running two fridges on the same circuit?

When running multiple appliances, including two refrigerators, on a single circuit, you should take the following precautions to ensure safety of the circuit:

1. Install an appropriately sized circuit breaker: The size of the circuit breaker must match the electrical current requirement of the appliances. This will minimize the risk of overloading the circuit.

2. Check for ground faults: Ensure that all appliances are attached to a grounded receptacle and that any exposed wiring is properly insulated. This prevents electric shocks and further reduces the risk of overloads or shorts.

3. Do not overload the circuit: Carefully calculate the total power requirements of all connected appliances and limit operation to prevent overloads or shorts in the circuit.

4. Regularly inspect all connections: Make sure all wiring connections, especially at outlets and junction boxes, are secure and free from corrosion or other issues that can cause a short or other hazard in the connection.

5. Monitor power usage: Use smart meter technology to monitor power consumption and identify areas where additional gadgets may draw too much power from the shared circuit, leading to potential overloads or shorts.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that running two refrigerators on a single circuit is a safe as possible.

Electrical safety check

What are the recommended amp load and wattage when running two fridges on a single electrical circuit?

The recommended amp load and wattage when running two fridges on a single electrical circuit depends on the size of each fridge and their combined load, as well as the capacity of the circuit. Generally, you should aim for a combined load of about 2,800 watts or less. An electrician can help you determine what combination will work best for your home.

When calculating the wattage for both refrigerators, you need to subtract the sum of their running wattages from the total wattage available on the circuit. As a rule of thumb, 15-amp circuits provide 1,440 watts and 20-amp circuits provide 1,920 watts. For example, if you have two 10 cubic foot refrigerators drawing 500 watts each, they will draw a total of 1,000 watts of power which would be within the capacity of a 20-amp circuit.
Electrical safety checklist
It is also important to look at other devices that may be drawing power from the same circuit to prevent overloading it and tripping a circuit breaker. If a single outlet located between your two refrigerators is supplying power to other appliances (such as lamps or small kitchen appliances), those items should be added when determining the wattage draw from the circuit.

In any case, having an expert electrical technician assess your needs and provide guidance on electricity requirements is recommended prior to installing new appliances to avoid potential safety risks.


7 thoughts on “Can You Run Two Refrigerators on the Same Circuit? Here’s What You Need To Know.”

  1. While it’s indeed possible, remember it’s essential to account for the combined amperage of the appliances and the capacity of your circuit to avoid short out and potential fire.

  2. You’re absolutely right about the combined amperage, Vaclav. It’s also worth mentioning the start-up surge that many appliances have, two refrigerators starting up simultaneously could potentially overload the circuit. Always consider your circuit’s capacity before adding another major appliance.

  3. Excellent point Quentin! To add, it’s also crucial to remember the cooling period of refrigerators which could often vary and lead to an unexpected circuit overload, even if it doesn’t happen immediately upon startup.

  4. Recently, I tried putting two refrigerators in my kitchen without installing a new circuit. I have an old home and was restricted by the existing wiring. It worked well for some weeks until one day, both refrigerators stopped cooling.

  5. Kurtis Brackenbury: It’s likely that your circuit got overloaded, Opal. Refrigerators are high-power appliances and running two on the same circuit can cause issues if not done properly. If you have any other high-power appliances on that circuit, it may be causing safety risks as well— I’d suggest consulting a professional electrician to ensure there aren’t more serious issues at play.

  6. True Kurtis, professional consultation is key here. That being said, it’s also crucial to consider the amp rating of your circuit breaker— if it’s rated 20 amps and you’re using two fridges that together don’t exceed this limit, it might be doable without causing any risk.

  7. Absolutely right, Gunner! If both fridges together don’t exceed the capacity of the circuit breaker, it can work without any hiccups or issues. However, another point to consider would be the potential energy consumption if both fridges are loaded and functioning at maximum efficiency—it may push the amp usage above what your circuit can handle.

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