The AC circuit breaker acts like a safety switch to protect your equipment. It prevents damage by turning off the power whenever the system detects an overload. Overloaded circuits can cause fires. Hence, this actually protects your safety as well. Do not keep flipping the switch on or ignore the problem if your AC circuit breaker trips repeatedly.
These are a few probable causes for an air conditioner to trip the circuit breaker:
1. Dirty Condenser Coil
This may not make sense, but a dirty condenser coil can cause your system to trip the circuit breaker. Condenser coils can become dirty if you have not been taking care of the air conditioner. In this situation, you would have observed the system to not cool as it used to. Condenser coil does the job of releasing accumulated heat inside the air conditioner out of the building.
It can easily get coated with debris and grime because of the elements. Heat transfer is impaired when this happens. The system is made to work harder to cool an area. The condensing unit will start to draw too much power and cause a trip. A simple coil cleaning should take care of this problem.
2. Loose Wire or Electrical Component Failure
Simple electrical issue within the air conditioner may cause a power surge which trips the circuit breaker. This can be because of a short in the wiring, failed capacitor, or a loose connection. These issues can only be fixed by a professional.
3. Malfunctioning Fan Motor
Clogged filters are just one of the reasons for a fan motor to draw too much power. This can cause the circuit breaker to trip. There may be a strain on your motor because the fan blades get coated with grime as well. It may slow down the fan. Typically, a good cleaning should resolve the issue. The issue could also be because of a malfunctioning motor. Your AC technician will need to replace the fan motor in this case.
4. Evaporator Coil Is Frozen
There are several downsides to neglecting HVAC maintenance. Air flow will dimmish within the system eventually if you neglect maintenance for too long, causing the evaporator coils to freeze. This will result in the air conditioner drawing too much power and tripping the circuit breaker. If you notice icing on the inside of the air conditioner unit, you should call the professionals immediately. Your compressor may get damaged if you attempt to keep the system running.
5. Leaking Refrigerant
Older systems that have not been maintained properly can develop corrosion. This can result in the coils developing holes, cracks, and refrigerant leaks. The system will need to work harder as the refrigerant levels drop in the system. This may cause the unit to draw excessive power causing a trip in the AC circuit breaker. Slow decline in the system’s performance could be because of this.
6. Compressor Failure
The compressor is an integral component of your air conditioning system. Failed compressor may require you to get an entirely new system. You should never keep switching on an air conditioner after the circuit breaker trips. Strain on the system may ultimately lead to an expensive failure of the compressor in your NorCal home or business.