Possible Reasons For A Tripped AC Circuit Breaker

Discover potential reasons for a tripped AC circuit breaker. Also know about issues related to an ac dirty air filter and AC breaker with Sandium.

Updated on Oct 22, 2023
5 min read
Possible Reasons For A Tripped AC Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker in an air conditioner is a type of safety switch that shuts off when an overload is detected. It’s responsible for protecting the AC from fire and damage. While you don’t want to spend a hot summer day without your AC, it’s crucial that you don’t reset the breaker without first identifying the cause. Instead, you should hire a profound and successful air conditioner contractor instead of ignoring the situation.

Dirty Condenser Coil

The outdoor unit in an air conditioner is responsible for dispersing heat through the condenser coil. If the coil is dirty, it won't do a good job of dispersing heat, which will make your AC work harder. The air conditioner may draw too much power resulting in a tripped circuit breaker. You should contact a trained professional if routine maintenance has not been performed on your equipment.

Shorted Motor

Wire insulation in an air conditioner’s motor can break down resulting in an electrical short. This usually happens when an AC is left running for extended periods of time. Electrical short occurs when electricity doesn’t take its usual route. Instead, the wires allow more electricity to flow than they can handle, causing a fire. Fortunately, the circuit breaker trips before this can happen. You should get in touch with a professional to determine the short.

Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filter can get clogged with debris and dust restricting the air flow. This may again cause the air conditioner to work harder at circulating conditioned air through the vents. The equipment may also need to run longer to meet the set thermostat temperature. If the AC draws too much power, it will cause the breaker to trip. This may cause the unit to overheat and put unnecessary strain on different components.

Low Refrigerant

Low refrigerant levels will make the air conditioner work longer at cooling your home. Older systems can develop holes in the pipe resulting in refrigerant leaks. The system will run longer and work harder if refrigerant levels are low. You should get in touch with a professional for repairing refrigerant leaks and properly charging it if you notice any dip in the air conditioner’s performance.

Compressor has a Hard Time Starting Up

The compressor has a difficult time starting up as it gets older. It may pull more electricity than normal causing a tripped circuit breaker. You should have a professional install a hard start kit. This will provide the extra jolt required by the compressor to get running. You need to understand that a damaged or old compressor may need replacing instead.

Grounded Compressor

This refers to a situation in which one of the electrical windings has broken away and hits the side of the compressor. This may cause a short to the ground. If the oil ignites and causes a burnout, it may leak to the tripping breaker. You may need to replace the compressor if this happens. You should replace the entire compressor if it is out of warranty.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil can get frozen when routine maintenance has been neglected for too long. This causes the air conditioner to draw excess power leading to a tripped breaker. You should turn off the unit and get a professional right away if you notice ice on the coils.

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