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DRT1801BW Amana Refrigerator tripping GFCI


Premium Member
Sep 11, 2007
Model Number
More than 10 years
I’m having problems with this Amana refrigerator, which is basically a basement storage fridge. It was working OK until a couple nights ago. The outlet it plugs into is on a GFCI on a circuit with a few other things plugged in (very low load). Saturday night I went into the basement and noticed the refrigerator was off (but still cold and freezer also cold, so happened very recently). Ran upstairs and turned the GFCI back on. Went downstairs and saw it was on.

Next day I noticed it was off again, so I did the same thing, but this time the GFCI would not reset. I unplugged the refrigerator and was able to reset the GFCI. But when I plugged the fridge back in, it tripped the GFCI again. Just to check to see if the GFCI might have been bad, I happen to have another GFCI outlet right next to this outlet that the chest freezer plugs into.

This GFCI is by itself with nothing else on the circuit. I unplugged the freezer and plugged in the fridge and that GFCI tripped as well. I reset that GFCI and plugged the freezer back in and it stayed on with no problem.

So the problem is with the fridge, something inside going to ground. With a refrigerator, what kicks on first? Compressor? Defrost mechanism? Thermostat? How do I test to see what is failing? I have access to a multimeter. I would like to keep this refrigerator going unless the cost is very high. I have a third fridge in the garage that was going to be dedicated as a kegerator for my home brewing when I start back up (but now it’s for overflow).


Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Aug 24, 2004
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Yes, it sounds like the compressor has grounded.

You can verify that by ohm testing the compressor casing with your cabinet and see if it ohms out.