Is your AC unit tripping the circuit breaker when you turn it on? When this occurs, you’re pretty much left with an unusable AC unit and a frustrating problem with more questions than answers. Until you actually address the reason why it’s tripping the breaker, you won’t be able to use your AC.
Is It Really Your AC Unit?
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that it’s your AC unit causing the circuit breaker to trip. Are you turning your washer, dryer or dishwasher on at the same time? If so, they could potentially be causing it. Make sure all the major appliances and electronics are off, and turn on your AC unit at the thermostat. If your circuit breaker is still tripping, then your AC unit is likely the problem.
Check Wire Connections
After you’vve determined the AC unit is causing the breaker to trip, you should check all of the wire connections. If the wire connections are loose or not securely connected, it may cause your unit to trip the circuit breaker. Open up your breaker and make sure the wires are tightly wrapped around the end connectors. Of course you’ll need to hire a professional HVAC technician to come out and inspect the wires inside your actual AC unit.
Another common cause for AC units tripping the circuit breaker is a compressor overdrawing. When a compressor malfunctions and begins to draw more amps than what it’s rated for, it will trip the circuit breaker as a safety precaution. It may seem like an annoyance, but it’s better than having your house burn down. The only way to check the amps your system is pulling is to have a technician measure it with a special device.
Dirty evaporator coils may cause a whole slew of problems, one of which is tripping the circuit breaker. If you haven’t cleaned your AC coils in a while, or ever, then it’s probably a good time to go ahead and do so. You can purchase a foamy cleaning solution at most major home improvement stores, but you’ll need to hire a professional technician to come out and really clean it thoroughly.
Having your AC unit trip the circuit breaker is a real nightmare that will ruin your week. Don’t throw in the towel just yet, though. Follow the steps outlined above to try and determine what the root cause is. Once you’ve identified it, you can then work to fix it and have your AC back to its working state again.