Why My AC Keeps Tripping The Circuit Breaker?

Find out why your AC trips breaker after 5 minutes. Sandium offers expert aid when your AC conditioner trips. Visit us for help in time when your air conditioner trips.

Updated on Oct 22, 2023
5 min read
Why My AC Keeps Tripping The Circuit Breaker?

The last thing you require on a hot Bay Area summer day is to have your AC keep shutting off because of a tripped breaker. There are several things that can cause an air conditioner to trip the circuit breaker repeatedly. The AC circuit breaker is responsible for shutting off the unit when an overload is detected. This in-built feature is meant to protect the equipment from fire and damage. The primary reason for an air conditioner to draw more amps is because it is running inefficiently or being overworked.

These are a few reasons why your air conditioner keeps tripping the circuit breaker.

Air Filter is Clogged

Airflow is restricted when a dirty air filter gets clogged because of dust and debris. The equipment needs to work harder for circulating conditioned air through the vents. Your AC will need to run longer for meeting the set thermostat temperature.

This will result in it drawing more electricity and causing the circuit breaker to trip. Dirty air filters also put an air conditioner through unnecessary additional strain making it overheat. The best way to correct this is by replacing or cleaning the air filter. Additionally, don’t ignore routine maintenance.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Refrigerant is needed to condition air. Air conditioners with low refrigerant levels will need to work longer for cooling a space. Older systems that have not been routinely maintained or neglected usually experience this problem. The refrigerant line develops holes that causes leaks.

The system will need to work longer for meeting the desired temperature as the refrigerant levels reduce in the system. You should not attempt to fix this problem on your own. Instead, you should get in touch with a professional AC contractor for repairing the leaks and charging the system properly.

Dirty Condenser Coil

There are two components in an air conditioning unit – indoor and outdoor. The outdoor unit disperses heat. It cannot perform its job when the condenser coils are dirty. This will again tax your system and make it overwork.

The air conditioner may draw too much power causing a tripped breaker. You should have your air conditioner maintained regularly to keep the condenser coil clean. It may be time you get in touch with an experienced professional if you haven’t had maintenance performed in a few months.

Motor Troubles

The motor in an AC has the potential to run for hours. However, when left running for extended periods, the wire insulation breaks down. This can result in an electrical short. A short can be described as a situation in which electricity bypasses the normal route. More electricity flows through the wires than they are meant to handle causing a fire. However, this occurs before the circuit breaker trips.

Compressor Doesn’t Start Properly

Compressors in older systems have a hard time starting. They pull more electricity which can cause a tripped breaker. You should ask a trained HVAC professional to install a hard start kit that provides an extra electrical jolt. This is a band-aid fix. If your compressor is too old, you may need to replace it.

Compressor is Grounded

This occurs when one of the compressor’s electrical windings break and hit the side of the unit. It results in a short to the ground. The short ignites the oil within the unit causing a burnout. The burnout can easily spread, tripping the breaker. 

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