Why does my Air Conditioner Keep
Tripping The Circuit Breaker?
Have you noticed that something is tripping your breaker recently? You may have already narrowed it down to your air conditioner, but you may not know why that’s happening. Usually, your air conditioner will trip the breaker when it’s pulling in more amps that your breaker is capable of handling.
For instance, let’s pretend you have a 20-amp breaker. That means it’s only capable of handling 20 amps. So if you’re air conditioner pulls in 30 amps, then it’s going to cause your breaker to trip.
You breaker trips to ensure that overcurrents don’t occur and cause a fire or other damage to your electronics. Since your breaker trips to PROTECT you, you should not just keep resetting it and ignore the problem that your breaker is trying to tell you about!
To find the cause of the problem, you should check the following:
- Is my air conditioner’s air filter dirty?
- Are there any issues with the circuit breaker?
- Is my air conditioner’s outdoor unit dirty?
- Has the compressor had trouble starting?
- Has the motor shorted?
- Is my compressor grounded?
If you can say yes to any of these questions, those are all culprits for tripping a breaker.
If you have a dirty air filter, it causes the blower to work harder and require more electricity to work effectively. Change your air filter and you should no longer have a problem with your breaker tripping.
If your outdoor air conditioning unit is dirty, it may not be able to properly disperse heat which also causes your air conditioning system to work harder until the breaker trips. It’s important to hire a certified technician to clean your outdoor unit. Our technicians at QRC are certified and will use the proper equipment and chemicals to clean your unit. Attempting a DIY cleaning could unknowingly damage equipment in your air conditioning unit. It’s best to leave it to the pros!
If you’re having issues with the circuit breaker, your problem may not be with your air conditioning system. Sometimes the breaker itself can be the problem. In that case, replace your breaker!
If you think your air conditioner’s motor has shorted, call QRC today so we can come fix that for you! In case you don’t know, a short is when electricity ignores its normal path and takes a shortcut. The shortcut, of course, allows more electrical current through the wires – more than they can handle – which can cause a fire. But your breaker has your back and trips before a fire can start.
If you compressor is grounded, essentially means that the electrical wiring in your compressor is broken and hit the side of your compressor, causing a direct short to the ground. The direct short can ignite oil and cause a burnout. If this is the case, you should let QRC replace your compressor and clean your refrigerant lines immediately.