When your air conditioning system suddenly stops working during the middle of a hot day, the first thing you need to do is check the thermostat to make sure the problem isn’t a programming mistake. The second thing to do is to go to the electrical panel and check on the circuit breakers to see if any of them have tripped. Sometimes the air conditioner can place too much draw on the amps when it’s working hard, and this will trip the breaker to cut off the electrical flow. Reset any tripped breaker and try the air conditioner again to see if it works.
If your air conditioner causes the circuit breaker to trip again not long afterwards, then you may have a more serious problem than a temporary surge. The issue may be a worn out breaker, but it could also be problems in the AC itself.
Here are some possible air conditioner problems that will cause the circuit breaker to trip:
- Dirty outdoor coils: If there is excess dirt on the outdoor coils, the AC will not be able to release sufficient heat to the outside. The heat that remains trapped in the system will cause the air conditioner to work harder, and this can lead to the excess draw on amps that trips the circuit breaker. You’ll need HVAC professionals to chemically clean the coils.
- Short in a motor: When any of the motors in the AC overheats, the insulation on the wiring can melt, allowing an electrical short to occur. The circuit breaker will trip to avoid starting an electrical fire. Repair technicians will need to replace the motor.
- Hard starting compressor: When the compressor suffers from mechanical stress that makes it harder for it to overcome the pressure at the start of the cooling cycle, the increase in electrical draw can lead to a tripped circuit breaker. This situation is known as “hard-starting,” and it will require technicians to attach a hard-start kit to supply the extra voltage necessary for the compressor to work normally again.
For air conditioning repair in San Gabriel Valley, CA, trust to JW Heating and Air.