Electrical – plug an air conditioner and a chest freezer into the same outlet


I have a Gibson/Frigidaire through the wall AC unit plugged into a dedicated 3-prong outlet in my a room of my apartment. I'd like to put a chest freezer in my office for homebrewed beer. Is it safe to put a splitter on this outlet and plug both the AC and freezer into it? Or do I need to use separate outlets or have another outlet installed?

The AC unit is a GAH085Q1T, 8000 BTU 115v 8.0 amp.

The freezer I'm looking at getting is a GE 5 cu. ft. model., which would be running through a digital thermostat controller. Because of the thermostat, it won't be running all the time, as the thermostat will turn it on/off to maintain the desired temp of about 45°F, which is higher than the highest temp you can set the freezer at.

Here's a picture of the outlet

Best Answer

This is a 20amp outlet, but before you go drawing 16amps/80% of that, you should verify that there is a 20amp breaker/fuse on the other end as well as 12 gauge wiring (thicker than the standard 14 gauge you find on most 15amp circuits). If there is only a 15amp breaker, then the max you can draw from that outlet is 12amp (80% of 15amps).

You mentioned your one device pulls 8amps - that leaves at minimum, 4 amps available for your freezer - what is the current draw of that device? If its 4 or under and the breaker is 15amps then you are OK. If it is over 4 then you have to ensure you have a 20amp breaker in which case the max you'd want to pull is about 16amps combined.

If it is a 20amp breaker, then you will need to find a power bar that is rated for 20amp - I think most of the time they are rated for 15 but if you look hard enough you will probably find one for 20. You could also replace that one outlet with a 2 recepticle outlet which would eliminate the need for a power bar.