RV GFI | RV GFCI | Norcold Safe | Dometic Safe | Heater

An RV safety approach should be holistic, the Fridge Defend for the refrigerator, fire extinguishers, and a GFI for the fridge heaters.

Dometic GFI or GFCI

Does your RV have an Electric Heater GFI?

We at Fridge Defend take RV safety very seriously, click here for more RV Safety. Fridge Defend takes the holistic approach, starting with our product, every RV'er needs a fire extinguisher and the electrical safety offered by the installation of a GFI or GFCI outlet on your shore power plug for your fridge.

This image shows an electric heater GFI on the power supply to an RV fridge. A GFI or GFCI plug are generally the same device. One of our customers reported that the Fridge Defend Control turned off their fridge. They turned off the Fridge Defend (do not do this yourself, allow the Fridge Defend to do its job) to restart their fridge. Luckily this event happened at night, thus when the fridge restarted on 120VAC the owner of the RV went out to look and witnessed the bottom of one heater glowing red hot.

It is our opinion that the heater could have shored internally. If this is the case, a GFI or GFCI type receptacle may prevent this type of failure mode. A GFI receptacle on your fridge will shut down the fridge if any short to ground occurs. It just makes good sense to take this safety measure on your Dometic or Norcold fridge. Again, the Fridge Defend detected a problem and took action, a GFI is a backup and detects heater issues the moment they occur.

Dometic GFI or GFCI

This picture is from an RV refrigerator that caught on fire due to an electrical heater internal short. The owner of this RV claimed that the fuse was the factory fuse. If this is the case, enough energy was allowed to blow a hole in the heater which also resulted in the cooling unit being ruptured.

A GFI type receptacle will react much faster to this kind of failure than a fuse or circuit breaker. When we have experienced issues with the 120VAC heater fuse blowing, we have recommended to the customers to install a GFI receptacle. Our customers have reported back that the GFI will trip before the fuse blows. Replacement of the heaters generally solves the GFI tripping or fuse issues.


We encourage you to check your fridge to see if the manufacture has installed a GFI on your fridge outlet. Some manufactures power the fridge from a GFI plug that is located in another part of the RV, such as the bathroom GFI. A GFI receptacle is one part of a package of safety equipment which includes the Fridge Defend by ARP, fire extinguishers, and GFI receptacles in your RV.