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Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping When I Run the AC?

This is something that could frustrate even the handiest of homeowners. The air conditioner is running, but as it turns on, the circuit breaker shuts it off. You can get it started up simply by resetting the circuit breaker. (Hopefully, you don’t have a fuse box, which would force you to replace a fuse each time!)

This may have to do with your electrical system. It might be a problem with the circuit breaker. Or, sometimes, it’s actually an issue occurring within the air conditioner forcing it to draw more ampage than it should. We’ll go over all of the possibilities, as well as what you should do when your circuit breaker does trip, in this guide. Feel free to reach out any time for more information!

What to Do When the Circuit Breaker Trips

When the circuit breaker trips, make sure you know where to go. The circuit breaker box is also a lot easier to use when you’ve labeled the individual circuits each breaker switch operates. Take some time shutting off all of the breakers but one and switching on lights to find out which one leads to where and label them appropriately (kitchen lights/garbage disposal/etc.).

When your circuit breaker trips, all you have to do is reset it. Much of the time, it’s really not so big of a deal (unless you have a fuse box, in which case you should be sure you’re stocked up on fuses). This just means your electrical system is working properly in protecting your from overcurrents and ground faults. It’s only if this keeps happening that you should become alarmed.

Why Is the Circuit Breaker Tripping?

If the circuit breaker trips when you turn on an appliance, or when the air conditioner automatically cycles on, it usually means the circuit is overloaded. This could be an electrical problem—or your air conditioner may be pulling in more amps than it should.

This could be due to several possible issues, but the point is that your air conditioner is using more energy than it needs to in order to run. In order to protect you from a potential electrical fire, the circuit switches off.

What Can a Technician Do?

That depends on what the source of the problem is. In some cases, you’ll need to call in an electrician, who can redistribute the circuits so that the air conditioner is not on the same circuit as multiple other appliances and fixtures. In some cases, you’ll need to upgrade your electrical system.

However, there are often problems within the air conditioner that need repair.

  • Broken compressor – This is a costly parts replacement, and many technicians recommend replacing the entire AC unit as a cost-effective option.
  • Broken fan motor – A broken fan motor can be replaced.
  • Dirty air filter or coils – This forces your air conditioner to use more power than it should have to, but dirty filters and coils are easy to prevent with regular maintenance.

Unfortunately, sometimes an air conditioner draws in too much amperage simply because it is not the right size for your home to begin with. In this case, you might be better off replacing the whole system.

Johansen & Anderson Inc offers air conditioning services in New Lenox, IL. Give us a call today to learn more!

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