9 possible reasons why ac breaker keeps tripping

Air conditioning offering us the comfortable temperatures we want but sometimes this HVAC device also gives us some problems. For example, the ac tripping breaker issue. Why air conditioner trips breaker immediately? Why ac trips breaker after 5 minutes? Why ac fuse keeps blowing? Below we listed down 9 possible reasons and how to solve it.

What is ac tripping?

It usually means breakage of the electrical windings inside that compressor. These windings inside the compressor hit the surface of the compressor, causing the compressor to shorten directly. It means that it will burn burning oil, which will trip your ac breaker as a process.

As a result, your air conditioner will shut down.

Why ac keeps tripping breaker?

Many people face this problem as various people complain that their ac trips breaker after 5 minutes.  There are many reasons for this. I will discuss them with you now. So read the steps below.

1. Dirty air filter

When your air conditioner runs on a dirty filter, it needs to work harder to propagate through your unit’s vents. To achieve the temperature, you claim with a dirty filter, and the air conditioner must run long enough to run cool enough air. When your ac is coerced to run for a long time, you have to bring more electricity by tripping the breaker. It will throw your unit down by overheating.

So, the solution to this problem is to clean the air filter.

2. Not sufficient refrigerated

When your air conditioner runs low on refrigerant, the AC is urged to work longer hours to refrigerate your home, just like a dirty air filter problem. Excessive heat causes it and damages your AC. You can find out if your refrigerant has a problem when you see that the air is not very cold.

The solution is you need a technician to refill your refrigerant and to seal up the leaks.

3. Dusty condenser coils

These coils are for the airy unit of your air conditioner. Inside, the company absorbs heat from the air and uses refrigerants. And which flows to the outer company to remove heat.

If your condenser gets dirty in the coil, it will prevent heat from circulating in your outdoor unit. It needs air conditioners to run harder and longer to reduce the temperature of your home. More power is needed to get the heat out of the ac, which causes the breaker to trip.

The solution is to wash these coils yourself, but it is better to do it with a professional.

4. The Broken coil fan

As discussed earlier, the coils try to dissipate heat from the internal unit, but this is done using a fan that flows over the waves. This fan is in the outdoor unit, and there is no way to cool the condenser coils if it stops working.

You can call a professional to solve it.

5. Motor shortened

Electric motors on AC can run for several hours. When these run for long hours, the wire insulation may break in the electrical short. The wires trip the place breakers including more extra energy than they can manage.

Professional assistance is required to identify its temporary location.

6. Bad compressor

The heart of the AC is the compressor. The older the conditioning system, the weaker the compressor. The compressor consumes a large amount of energy when starting for the first time, but it becomes difficult to start the compressor with age. More power is needed when it is hard to create. It is how ac trips the breaker after some time.

You can install a hard start kit to back up your old, weak compressor.

7. The bad capacitor 

The capacitor starts up the compressor. If your capacitor is swelled, a replacement is required. The main reason for this may be if the circuit breaker has trouble starting the air conditioning before the trip.

It will need an expert to fix that.

8. The grounded compressor

This is the worst case!  Each grounded compressor happens if the electricity in the compressor hits the compressor surface. It directly causes grounding, which ignites the compressor oil and creates a glint.

It causes your circuit breaker to shut off the electrical current before it catches fire, which is the main reason for your breaker to trip. Though you own a grounded compressor, you will need to repair a valuable portion of the compressor or a whole outdoor unit. However, it would be wiser to replace the external unit instead of a whole compressor.

9. The Electrical short

The breaker may trip due to an electrical short. The breaker will trip instantly if a short is existing ( air conditioner trips breaker immediately ).  If this occurs, then it is more helpful to call for service without resetting the breaker.

we will show you the possible reasons why your air conditioner trips breaker immediately

The above eight are the most common reasons why aircond trip. If still can’t solve the ac tripping issue, we recommend you call HVAC expert immediately.

What to do when AC trips breaker

When your AC circuit breaker trips, it is likely to be as a result of an overload. Although that is not always the case, it accounts for most reasons. Anytime your AC breaker trips, before you call a professional for diagnosis or repair, try the steps below to see if the temporary distortion is something you can remedy by yourself.

  1. Go to the thermostat and turn off the AC.
  2. On the electrical panel, put the circuit breaker in the ON position.
  3. Wait for git about 30 minutes while your AC is still off. See to it that the thermostat is OFF for the internal circuit breaker of your air conditioner to reset.
  4. Once the time elapses, put your air conditioner back to cool mode.

If after trying this, your circuit breaker didn’t turn off, then you are good to go. However, if it trips off afterward, I will advise you to call a professional for the next line of action.

How do I stop my AC from tripping the breaker

If after going through the steps explained in the previous section, your breaker still keeps tripping, then it is high time you went through the possible causes of circuit breaker tripping discussed earlier in this article, and make necessary adjustments. To make your job easier, call a professional.

How to reset AC circuit breaker

It is very easy to reset the circuit breaker of an AC, all you have to do is to follow the simple steps below.

  1. Go to the electrical panel, switch off the circuit breaker.
  2. Then put it back in the ON position.
  3. Wait for 30 minutes for the time breaker to reset.

How to replace AC circuit breaker

No matter whatever could be the cause of your circuit breaker tripping, changing the old one and installing a new one will help you narrow the possible causes faster. Circuit breakers are not expensive and not so difficult to replace as long as you have some knowledge about electrical problems. Even if you don’t know, don’t worry, the simple steps should be enough to guide you through the process. However, be careful, because you will be dealing with the main electrical panel without the safety cover!

1. Turn off the main power

You should know that this is not necessary as many professionals would remove the circuit breaker without switching off the power. However, as an amateur, it is recommended that you turn it off. Find the main circuit breaker and put it in the on position. Note that this may leave you working in the dark if you are working during the night, so I would suggest that you hold a flashlight beforehand.

2. Unfasten the cover plate of the brake panel

Unscrew the cover plate from the breaker panel. It is best to start unscrewing the screws at the corners first before unfastening the two screws at the middle of the panel. Hold the cover plate with your hand while you unscrew the last two screws so the cover doesn’t fall. Carefully remove the cover and set it aside.

3. Remove the faulty circuit breaker

Flip the reset panel of the circuit breaker to the OFF position. You will see an insulated black wire attached to the breaker, if it is firmly doubled across the two sides of the panel, extend it further from the panel making sure you are careful enough not to touch the panel or any other wire.

Go to the inward middle part of the panel, hold the old breaker at the edge, rotate it towards the outside of the panel. The breaker will break free, just pull it out from the panel. Make sure you do not touch the metal bus bar that is attached to the breaker.

4. Disconnect the wires

Unfasten the screws terminal holding the black circuit wire connected to the breaker to remove it. Note that if you are installing a 240-volt breaker, it will be connected with a black and red hot wire.

If it is the AFCI or GFCI circuit breaker that you are installing, it will be connected to a neutral circuit wire and a coiled white pigtail wire that connects the neutral bus bar. Disconnect these wires.

5. Connect the disconnected wires to the new circuit breaker.

Flip the new circuit breaker to the ON position before installation. Connect the black circuits wire and the new circuit breaker. This should be done by putting the naked end of the wire into the screw terminal of the breaker and tightening it with a screw.

Regardless of the type of circuit breaker you are installing, connect the wires to the corresponding screw terminal. Put neutral wires into a neutral screw terminal.

6. Insert the power breaker

The new power breaker should be hooked into the rear holder clip on the circuit breaker panel, push forward for a firm grip. During installation, see to it that breaker lines and the bus bar align. Excess wires should be tucked into the panel, neatly using it to fill up gaps across the sides of the panel.

7. Replace the panel and turn on the power

Fasten the cover of the service panel with its screw. Flip individual circuit breaker to OFF position before you turn on the main circuit breaker. This is necessary to prevent a sudden surge in power once you turn on the main breaker.

Once you switch off the circuit breaker, turn on the main circuit breaker. Then flip on individual feeder circuit breakers one after the other. Test fixtures and outlets afterward.

AC breaker FAQs

Are AC circuit breakers directional?

Yes, AC circuit breakers are directional. Circuit breakers are just like fuses, they can work in either direction.

Where to find AC circuit breaker?

Usually, you would find AC circuit breakers in the laundry room, basement, closet, garage, and every other exterior part of the house. They can be easily recognized by a switch that is in a neutral position

Can you use an AC circuit breaker on DC?

No, you cannot use the AC circuit breaker on DC. This is because the AC and voltage may affect the circuit differently than they would affect a DC that has the same voltage level.

Is it okay to turn off the AC breaker?

Yes, you can turn off the AC breaker. If you do not know what to do with your faulty AC circuit breaker, it would be best for you to switch it off pending the time you can have a technician come around to check it. Once the breaker is shit off, all your components like the compressor, the evaporator, and some other components will be shut off as well, which means you will be reducing the chances of getting those components damaged.

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