How to & Guides

AC Breaker Continuously Tripping: Causes and Fixes

On a scorching summer day, it can be quite frustrating when you switch on your AC and it promptly shuts off. If this keeps happening, the problem likely lies with your AC breaker. But how can you prevent this recurring issue?

We all know that air-conditioners consume a considerable amount of electricity, often exceeding the capacity of the AC breaker. This is where the circuit breaker steps in, preventing electrical surges and fire hazards. Dealing with a constantly tripping AC breaker can be bothersome, but fear not! In this guide, we will explore the most common causes and potential solutions.

Understanding AC Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are crucial safety components that protect air-conditioners from damage caused by short circuits and overloads. When excessive electricity flows through the electrical wiring, the circuit breaker immediately cuts off the power until the problem is resolved or reset. Essentially, an AC circuit breaker shields your equipment, preventing dangerous electrical currents and potential fires.

Common Causes of AC Breaker Tripping

Several factors can lead to AC breaker tripping, ranging from simple issues like dirty air filters to more complex wiring and compressor problems. Let’s delve into the most frequent causes:

1. Clogged Air Filters

Often cited as the primary culprit, dirty air filters can cause various problems throughout your air-conditioning system. As your AC eliminates heat from your home and transfers it outside, the air filters inevitably accumulate dirt. When the evaporator coil, responsible for heat transfer, becomes clogged, it can’t effectively remove heat, potentially triggering the circuit breaker.

How to Fix it? Regularly check and replace the air filters. Changing filters every 2 to 3 months, or monthly for frequent AC use, can solve multiple issues within your air-conditioning system.

2. Hard Starting Compressor

The compressor is a crucial component of your air-conditioner, responsible for generating cold refrigerant and ensuring your home remains comfortable. However, when the compressor struggles to start, it requires a significant amount of electricity, leading to frequent AC breaker trips.

See also  Does Walmart Have Wi-Fi? Discover the Easy Way to Connect!

How to Fix it? Install a hard start kit, a capacitor that stores additional electricity to provide the compressor with the necessary boost during startup.

3. Dirty Condenser Unit

Neglecting proper maintenance can result in dirty condenser coils, leading to internal issues. When grime, debris, and leaves accumulate on the coils, the air-conditioner’s efficiency decreases. As a consequence, it requires extra power to function, leading to overheating and tripping the AC breaker.

How to Fix it? Regularly clean the external unit, ensuring the condenser coil remains free from mud, debris, dust, and plants. If there are any damages, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a local technician.

4. Faulty Fan Motor

A malfunctioning fan motor is a common cause of AC breaker tripping. Dirt and grime accumulation can strain the motor, causing insulation breakdown and potential short circuits. This allows more electrical current to flow through the wires than they can handle, triggering the breaker.

How to Fix it? Regularly inspect the spinning fans and ensure the blades remain intact. If the issue persists, it may require a replacement and professional assistance.

5. Electrical Short Circuit

Electrical short circuits can cause surges in your electrical system, leading to frequent AC breaker trips. Circuit breakers serve the purpose of protecting circuits and preventing short circuits. Given that air-conditioners contain numerous electrical and mechanical components, loose connections or faulty wiring can easily trip the breaker.

How to Fix it? Contact an expert electrician or a local HVAC contractor to identify and resolve the root cause of the short circuit.

6. Low Refrigerant Level

Refrigerant plays a vital role in cooling your home through the refrigeration cycle. However, low refrigerant levels, resulting from improper maintenance or aging units, can disrupt the cycle and cause breaker tripping. Low refrigerant levels may also cause the indoor coils to freeze.

How to Fix it? Contact a local HVAC contractor to inspect the refrigerant lines and AC unit for leaks. If a leak is detected, it requires refilling the refrigerant and proper repair.

See also  How to Install a 3-Way Switch: A Comprehensive Guide

7. Frozen Evaporator Unit

Weak HVAC airflow may indicate a frozen evaporator coil. When moisture on the evaporator coils freezes, it impedes heat absorption from your home, forcing the unit to work harder and draw excess power. This results in AC breaker tripping.

How to Fix it? Regular AC maintenance and professional cleaning of the coils can help resolve this issue. If it persists, certified professionals should be consulted.

8. Defective Circuit Breaker

At times, the circuit breaker itself may be the problem. If all other AC components are functioning correctly, but the breaker continues to trip, it is advisable to inspect the breaker. Regular use can cause wires to loosen and interfere with functionality, while faulty capacitors within the breaker can also lead to failure.

How to Fix it? Replacing the AC circuit breaker requires technical expertise. Contact a technician to handle this potentially dangerous task.

9. Grounded Compressor

When the windings inside the AC compressor deteriorate and come into contact with the surrounding elements, it can cause a direct short to the ground. This can ignite compression oil and potentially burn out the compressor. Electrical surges resulting from grounded compressors often lead to AC breaker tripping.

How to Fix it? If you suspect a grounded compressor, shut down the AC immediately and seek expert assistance. In most cases, irreversible damage may require unit or compressor replacement.

10. Dirty Outside Unit

Air-conditioning systems consist of both indoor and outdoor units. The external unit may struggle to disperse heat when excessively dirty, as dirt acts as an insulator. Consequently, the AC works harder to dissipate heat, consuming more power and tripping the breaker.

How to Fix it? Consult your AC technician to properly clean the external unit, as it requires specific cleaning chemicals and equipment. Attempting to clean the condenser coil yourself may lead to damage.

See also  How Many Watts is a 20 Amp Circuit?

11. Loose Wiring

As your air-conditioner ages, internal wires can become loose. Loose wiring can lead to electrical problems within the appliance, frequently resulting in AC breaker tripping. Additionally, weather changes can contribute to loose wiring issues.

How to Fix it? Working with wires can be hazardous if you lack expertise. Contact a technician to address this issue safely.

12. Capacitor Malfunction

Difficulty turning on your air-conditioner may indicate a malfunctioning capacitor. Capable of providing the initial push to the motor during startup, capacitors can become overloaded due to motor malfunctions or power fluctuations. Overheated capacitors draw excess current, leading to AC breaker tripping.

How to Fix it? Replace the capacitor by consulting a technician experienced in the proper installation and replacement.

Resolving AC Breaker Tripping

After identifying the problem, you can follow the steps below to resolve the issue, unless there are technical complications or power surges caused by lightning.

  1. Switch off the AC system using the thermostats.
  2. Flip the AC circuit breaker switch on the electric panel to the “on” position.
  3. Allow at least 30 minutes for the AC breaker to reset and the thermostat to cool down.
  4. After half an hour, switch on the AC system.

These steps should rectify the issue unless there are underlying technical problems. If the breaker continues to trip immediately, it requires professional diagnosis.

In Conclusion

These are the most prevalent causes of AC breaker tripping. While some solutions, such as regularly cleaning air filters and external units, can be easily implemented, others require professional analysis and internal component work. To prevent AC breaker tripping, it is advisable to consult professionals who can accurately diagnose and address the specific problems with your air-conditioning system.

For more information about OnSpec Electronic, Inc., a reputable provider of high-quality electronic appliances, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc. Remember, regular maintenance is key to ensuring your AC functions optimally without causing constant breaker trips.

Related Posts

13 Possible Causes for Your AC Blowing Warm Air

The unbearable summer heat has arrived, and instead of cool relief, your air conditioning unit is blowing hot air. Despite your best efforts, you can’t seem to find…

How to Install a 3-Way Switch: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Install a 3-Way Switch: A Comprehensive Guide

If you need to control an electrical device from multiple locations, such as a staircase light, a 3-way switch wiring is essential. With this wiring setup, you can…

Common Signs of a Faulty Spark Plug

Spark plugs play a critical role in ensuring optimal combustion performance and safeguarding the electrodes from damage. However, spark plugs also require periodic replacement, as worn-out ones can…

Are Beats Studio Buds Waterproof?

The advancements in technology have paved the way for the invention and development of various gadgets and accessories. One such popular and widely used gadget is wireless headphones,…

Quick Guide: Understanding AC Capacitor Wiring Colors

Capacitors are passive electronic components that store electrical energy in an electric field. They consist of two electrically conductive plates insulated with dielectric material. When voltage is applied,…

How to Add New Members to a Group Chat in iMessage?

Messaging applications like WhatsApp and Telegram have gained immense popularity in recent times. The reason for their widespread use is that, in addition to regular text messaging, they…