Woman plugging the wire to the outlet

The Electrical Requirements for a Mini-Fridge

Having a mini-fridge in your college dormitory or in your apartment sounds like a great idea, and it probably is. However, you must remember that there are specific electrical requirements for a mini-fridge. You can’t just plug it into a power strip, for example. The outlet that you plan to use must be able to handle the electrical needs of your mini-fridge. Here are some electrical requirements you’ll need before you purchase a mini-fridge.

The Wattage

The wattage required by your mini-fridge will be determined by the manufacturer. However, most mini-fridges require a wattage of between 50-100 watts. The in-rush wattage is about 200 watts and lasts for about two seconds. When you purchase your mini-fridge, there should be a label that tells you the wattage the mini-fridge will need.


In a household where the voltage is 120, a regular fridge will use anywhere between 3-5 amps. A mini-fridge, on the other hand, will use about 0.5 amps or 1 amp. However, your circuit needs to allow 15-20 amps due to the in-rush amperage. In-rush amperage is the maximum amount of current used by an appliance when it is turned on. You can choose an energy-efficient mini-fridge that doesn’t require a high-amp outlet, though.

When you combine the watts and the hours the mini-fridge is “ON,” you can calculate how much electricity your mini-fridge is using. A mini-fridge uses a lot less electricity compared to a regular-size fridge. Remember that a mini-fridge is not on 24/7. For every 24 hours, a mini-fridge is on for about eight of those hours.


When you plug in your mini-fridge, always use a three-prong outlet. Most mini-fridges come with three prongs, but an older one may have two prongs. The third slot is a grounding slot that protects you from getting an electrical shock. Three prongs allow electricity to be safely delivered to your appliance or device.

Try to Have a Dedicated Circuit

While it may not be completely necessary to have a dedicated circuit just for your mini-fridge, it’s probably a good idea. Doing so will prevent you from overloading that circuit. If you overload your circuit, you may damage your appliance or even cause an electrical fire. The electrical fire is, of course, the worst-case scenario, but you could do irreparable harm to your mini-fridge. You don’t want to fry your mini-fridge so soon after you purchased it.

Whether you’re a student in Eugene at the University of Oregon or Bushnell University, you may be considering a mini-fridge for your dorm room or your shared apartment. If you are, contact our team at Excel Electric so we can ensure that your outlets are up to date.