[QUOTE=Carol H;531940]If you turn the setting for the fridge to off it should make no difference wether it is plug in or not plugged in.
Not necessarily true. If the insulation in the cord feeding the refrigerator
or in the wires on the line side of the control have deteriorated due to age you may be getting an intermittent short or arcing between bare spots in the wiring.
1) Turn off all of the branch circuit breakers
2) Unplug the refrigerator
from the outlet
3)Turn the breaker to the refrigerator
back on and see if the breaker holds with no load
4) Turn the breaker for the refrigerator back off
5) Plug a load such as a small electric heater into the refrigerator outlet (heater in off position)
6)Turn the breaker for the refrigerator outlet on.
7) Turn the heater to the on position
Does the heater run?
8) Let the heater run for 30 minutes
Does the breaker trip ? If the breaker trips the problem is probably in the branch circuit wiring ( Bad wires or breaker or receptacle)
9) If the heater runs for the full 30 minutes ( under load) then the branch circuit wiring ,breaker and receptacle are in working order.
10) Unplug the heater from the refrigerator outlet and plug in the refrigerator.
11) Turn on the refrigerator and see if the breaker trips.
12) If the breaker holds then the problem is probably not in the refrigerator
If the breaker trips immediately or after a period of time then the problem is probably in the refrigerator.
** The above is assuming that there is no other loads connected to the circuit . Only the refrigerator is supplied by that circuit**