If your air conditioning keeps flipping the breaker, you may have a serious problem on your hands. The first thing you absolutely need to know is if your air conditioning has flipped the breaker several times, there IS a reason for it and you should NOT turn the breaker back on. Circuit breakers shut off to protect your house from damage or a possible electrical fire. Generally, an overloaded circuit is the primary cause, but you need to figure out why the circuit was overloaded in the first place. If you suspect your air conditioning, or if you’re certain that your AC is the culprit, here’s how to proceed.
A likely cause of the air conditioning flipping the breaker is overheating of your AC unit. Overheating can happen for a variety of reasons, including fan malfunction, low refrigerant, dirty condenser coils, or a dirty filter. The only issues you can safely deal with as a homeowner are the condenser coils and the filter. First, pull out the air filter and clean it off or replace it entirely. Next, check out the condenser coils, located on your air conditioner’s outside unit. If the flow of air around them is impeded, or if they’re covered in dirt, leaves, or other debris, clean them off to the best of your ability. If neither of those solutions fixes the overheating and breaker-flipping problem, you need to go ahead and call an AC repair company. Comfort Experts, Inc. has been serving the North Texas area for over 50 years, and we are troubleshooting experts who can diagnose and correct AC problems with ease.
Loose Electrical Connections
If your air conditioner is not overheating, there are a few other possibilities as to why your AC keeps tripping the breaker. Loose electrical connections are a possibility, especially in North Texas. As the weather changes, sometimes drastically, and storms ravish the area, wires can contract and expand, leaving loose connections and faulty breakers. While this seems like a simple fix, these wires transfer very high voltage and they should be handled and approached with extreme caution.
If there is an electrical short in your AC wiring, you absolutely need to contact a professional to deal with the issue. An electrical short sends electricity down a path of wires where a connection is not intended. Shorts can result in sparks, smoke, and fires and are extremely dangerous. If the breaker flips immediately after the air conditioning starts to kick on, and if you hear a distinctive popping sound when flipping the breaker back on, you likely have an electrical short. You should absolutely not turn the breaker back on, and you should contact a professional immediately.
If your outdoor compressor is old and has trouble starting up sometimes, it can be the cause of the tripped breaker as well. A simple maintenance call to Comfort Experts Inc. or a capacitor replacement will likely do the trick to avoid this problem in the future.