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August 25, 2016

Why Is My Air Conditioner Tripping the Circuit Breaker?

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Photo: Alan Hochberg, Flickr Creative Commons

You notice that your home is unusually warm and that your air conditioner isn’t turning on, leading you to fear the worst. You check your electrical panel and find that the circuit breaker has tripped. You reset the breaker in relief – problem solved! But a few hours – or days – later, the breaker trips again. It may be tempting to keep resetting the breaker and pretend nothing’s wrong, but circuit breakers trip for a reason: they are designed that way to prevent damage to your electrical system and appliances, and to prevent electrical fires. A tripped breaker is a sign that something is wrong with your air conditioner, and you should call your Newark AC technician right away.

5 Common Reasons Your Air Conditioner is Tripping the Circuit Breaker

  1. Dirty air filter – When the airflow to your unit is constricted, the blower has to strain to circulate air. This leads to an increased demand for electricity that can overload the circuit.
  2. Dirty outside unit – Your AC system is comprised of inside and outside units. The inside unit absorbs heat from the air and the outside unit dispels it. Because dirt acts as an insulator, if the outside unit is dirty it cannot disperse the heat. Your unit will keep running, trying to rid itself of the heat, until it pulls so much current that it disrupts the circuit.
  3. The motor has a short – Motors can put up with a lot, but if they are under strain for too long, their wiring can break down. This can cause sparking and power surges that overload the circuits.
  4. The compressor has trouble starting – The compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system. Just like the engine of your car, the compressor draws a lot of power when it starts. Older and poorly maintained compressors can have trouble starting, pulling excess electricity that strains the breaker.
  5. The compressor is grounded – A “compressor short to ground” is disastrous to your system and can be quite dangerous. It occurs when electrical wiring inside the compressor breaks and touches the side of the compressor, generating sparks that ignite the oil in the compressor. The result is a burnout and massive power surge that will trip the breaker. In this situation, your compressor will need to be replaced (though it may be cheaper to simply buy a new A/C unit.)

Call Newark’s #1 AC Repair Company

If your Newark air conditioner is giving you trouble, Gold Star is here to help. Many of the issues above require the attention, equipment, and training of a professional technician to resolve. Our expert Newark AC technicians can get to the heart of your problem and have your home cool and safe again in no time. Call us today and, whether you need one-time repair or want to set up a regular maintenance plan, we promise you’ll be satisfied by the service you receive.

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