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Old 10-13-2019, 04:50 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,564
Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
Fridges are cheap. With that said, what you are talking about is the fridge causing a voltage dip since the generator needs time to respond to the sudden load increase. I think some model of fridges may have easy start capacitors to reduce this dip.

Anyways the voltage sags until the generator can respond. Call that a second or 2. And the windings in the fridge motor get hotter.

I don't think under normal circumstances this extra heating over a normal start causes any measurable wear at all. What kills a fridge eventually, I think, is either one of the bearing surfaces in the compressor wearing out, a seal wearing out, or piping leaks draining the refrigerant and leaving the compressor trying to compress air.

I would agree that if the fridge motor were already about to seize from bearing failure, it would overheat more on a generator start and might burn the enamel on the wiring. But this wasn't really the cause of death.
I don't know about fridges being cheap. You can get a cheap one, but most tend to run enough that you don't want to just be throwing them out. My brother had a bit of a tiff with the local power utilities, and lived on generator power for a while. Killed a fridge every couple months.

Looking into it, a fridge generally needs about 3 to 4 times the starting power as it needs for running. If it cannot pull this, then it will not only possibly damage the compressor, but the generator as well.

Most household outlets provide about 1500 watts max, but they can go up to higher loads briefly. With a fridge plugged in that uses 700 watts to run, it will need somewhere in the 2000's watts to start. If your generator only puts out 1500 watts per line, then it will not be able to put out the power needed to get the compressor properly running, even thought the nominally 1500 watts house outlet can.