What are the running and surge watts on my refrigeration appliance?

The required wattage required to run your refrigeration appliance can be determined using the details provided on the rating label located on the back or side of your appliance.  The amount of current flowing is listed in amps (e.g 1.1A). The equivalent electricity from a power source is measured in volts (e.g 115V). The power produced is subsequently measured in watts (e.g. 120W).  One of the most important calculations to understand is that wattage is determined by multiplying amperage (rated current) by voltage.

Watts = Amps x Voltage. 

NOTE: This is especially important when considering the use of a generator or inverter as a power supply in order to ensure adequate performance and to eliminate the potential for damage to your appliance or power supply.  


Rated or Running Current / Power

Rated current is the maximum current at which the unit can operate in a continuous mode. Continuous amperage draw beyond the rated current can result in component failure. 

Startup or Surge Current / Power

Startup current is the amperage / power draw peak that occurs when an appliance is operating in its most strenuous condition or cycle.  For a compressor based refrigeration unit this would be at unit/compressor startup.  After the internal compressor components have reached running state (usually less than a few seconds) the amperage draw will return to normal operation.  Various levels of surge current conditions can exist as well depending on operating conditions and other environmental factors (i.e. ambient high temp or high humidity).  


Ex: Model CRF150SS-1

Model CRF150SS-1
Voltage/Frequency 115V/60Hz
Refrigerant / Qty R600a / 0.92oz
Rated Current 1.1A


Rated or Running Current / Power for CRF150SS-1

The calculation for the above example would be: 1.1A x 115V = 126.5 Watts

Model CRF150SS-1 has a rated current of 1.1A running on 115 Volts.  This will require 126.5 running watts for typical use.  As noted above, there are periods of startup or surge power that typically can be 2-3 times the amount of running watts.  As a rule of thumb and for precautionary reasons, you should consider that up to 6 times the amount of rated current may be required for initial startup of the appliance. 

Startup or Surge Current / Power for CRF150SS-1

The startup amperage draw rating will be noted on the compressor itself by referring to the  Locked Rotor Amp aka "LRA" value.  In the example below, the LRA is 5A (5 Amps) which would be equivalent to 575 watts for startup for a unit plugged into a 115V outlet. 

Please refer to a photo of the compressor labeling for model CRF150SS-1 below

The calculation for the above example would be: LRA = 5A x 115V = 575 Watts

Using the values determined when calculating running watts and startup watts will help determine the power and power source requirements needed for proper operation of your appliance. 


 *Warranty service should be performed by an authorized service representative only. 

*To prevent electric shock, always unplug an appliance from the power supply before attempting any service.

*The manufacturer or seller is not responsible for the interpretation or misuse of the information provided, nor does it assume any liability in connection with its use.