Why Your A/C Is Tripping the Circuit Breaker in Your Home
When your air conditioner suddenly quits working, head to your home’s main electrical panel and check for a tripped breaker. Circuit breakers are put in place to stop the flow of electrical current and prevent a fire if a circuit overload occurs, and they can trip for a number of reasons. Unless the breaker feels hot to the touch or you suspect there’s a problem within the home’s electrical system, an increase in its amp draw is likely why the A/C is tripping the circuit breaker.
There are a couple of easily-corrected issues that can overwork the A/C and make it pull extra amps:
- Dirty air filter: If you’ve forgotten to check and replace the air filter lately, it may be clogged up with dust and dirt, restricting essential airflow through the system.
- Dirty condenser coil: If you haven’t hosed off the outdoor condenser coil regularly, a dirt buildup may be interfering with heat transfer. After troubleshooting the two issues above, try resetting the breaker. If it quickly trips again, leave it alone and call an HVAC contractor for an expert diagnosis.
When investigating the problem, an experienced technician may discover the spike in the A/C’s amp draw is caused by one of the following problems:
- Refrigerant leak: A low refrigerant level due to a leak makes the air conditioner work harder.
- Malfunctioning condenser fan: When the fan isn’t working properly, it can’t help cool the condenser coil and aid heat transfer.
- Blown capacitor: If the air conditioner takes a while to cycle on and then trips the breaker, a bad compressor capacitor may be to blame.
- Leaky compressor valves: When the A/C compressor has to strain to pressurize refrigerant due to leaky valves, an electrical short out can occur.
If the A/C is tripping the circuit breaker and you need expert help, contact Sobieski Services, Inc.
Our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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