A circuit breaker that keeps tripping is a sign of an electrical problem. With an air conditioner, it’s usually a power overload: Too much electricity is trying to flow through your wiring, which can damage your HVAC system or the electrical service in your house. It can even cause a fire.
Your central air should be on a dedicated circuit. That makes it easier to find the problem than on a circuit with multiple outlets and appliances. But, you don’t want to risk things getting much worse by ignoring it or doing something wrong. We’ll go through a few troubleshooting tips here.
However, if the breaker keeps tripping then you need to call an electrician or HVAC company ASAP. That’s a sure sign the same problem keeps happening over and over again. Eventually, it’ll damage your AC and the wiring in your home.
If you have any questions or need an electrician in your Fort Washington or Philadelphia, Montgomery, or Bucks County home, call Your Home Solutions any time, day or night. Your call always goes right to an electrician, 24/7. We’re family-owned and operated and have been keeping our neighbors safe since 2008.
What To Do If The Circuit Breaker Trips When The AC Turns On
Turn off your air conditioner from the thermostat if the circuit breaker trips when the AC turns on. Then, flip the breaker switch back to the “on” position. Wait thirty minutes and then turn on the AC again from the thermostat.
Turn it off for good and call a professional if the breaker trips right away when the AC turns back on. Or if it keeps happening throughout the summer, even if it’s not all the time. Sometimes, your AC will draw too much power when it first turns on for the season.
An AC tripping the circuit breaker may be an isolated incident, especially when it’s hot out and the system’s working extra hard. That may But a recurring problem requires a service call to a professional electrician.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore A Circuit Breaker That Keeps Tripping
A circuit breaker is an interrupter that shuts off the power when an electrical fault can damage your home or appliances. Your AC isn’t made to keep turning on and off like that. The extra wear and tear will cause other mechanical issues.
Second, you’re playing with fire — perhaps literally — by disregarding a potential electrical problem. An air conditioner’s motor and compressor draw enough power to explode if there’s an overload.
Meanwhile, every time the breaker trips is like tapping a glass window shut with a hammer. Eventually, the glass will shatter.
The same applies to your appliances — and to the wiring running throughout your home.
Four Reasons Your Air Conditioner Keeps Tripping The Circuit Breaker
An air conditioner keeps tripping a circuit breaker when there’s an overload of power. The common causes are:
- Dirty Filter
- Dirt On The Outside Unit
- Grounding Issues
- Motor Or Compressor Problems
- Loose Or Damaged Wiring
You can troubleshoot by checking for the first two issues on your own. But, call an electrician right away if these tips don’t solve the problem immediately.
A dirty air filter in your furnace will prevent air from flowing correctly from the ducts into your heating and cooling system. When that happens, the motor works harder to draw in air, drawing more power than it should.
Replace your filter and see if that solves the problem. If the cloth screen is gray and visibly clogged, it’s likely the cause. Change it out every month when your system is running.
Dirt On The Outside Unit
Likewise, dirt on the fins of your outside unit can prevent proper airflow. The fins are those tiny ridges you see on the compressor sitting near the house. You can carefully clean them and then turn the AC back on.
But, call an electrician if it keeps tripping even after you clean the unit or change the filter.
Grounding an electrical appliance gives excess electricity a way to discharge without overloading appliances or wiring. So, too much power can flow through an air conditioner that’s not properly grounded. Then the circuit breaker trips.
The problem could be with the grounding wires on the compressor or furnace. Your HVAC contractor can address that.
But, if your home has a larger grounding issue, you’ll need an electrician. Other grounding problem signs include electrical shocks from metal appliances or water pipes, flickering lights, and breakers that keep tripping.
Damaged Compressor Or Motor Damage
A damaged compressor or motor may be trying to use more electricity than is safe. When those components try to work but can’t, they draw power to keep trying. Or, if there’s a major malfunction, there’s the chance of an overload or short circuit.
If you’ve also noticed your system blowing warm air or no air at all, or if there have been loud sounds or burning smells coming from the system, a mechanical issue could be the cause.
Electrician In Fort Washington, PA
You can call Your Home Solutions any time, day or night, to speak to an electrician in Fort Washington, PA immediately. We’ve been keeping our neighbors safe in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Bucks counties since 2008. There’s no charge if we give you advice and help over the phone.