Why is Your AC Unit Tripping the Breaker?Do you suspect your air conditioner is tripping the breaker? If the power shuts off from the breaker just one time, and doesn’t do it again, it may just have been due to a surge. But if it happens more than once, you need to address the situation and correct it. The breaker is a safety mechanism that trips when there’s a reason, continuing to flip the breaker without fixing the problem could damage the electrical system or appliances.

Reasons for a Tripping Breaker

There can be a number of reasons why a breaker is tripping. Let’s look at a few of them.

Electrical Wiring

The air conditioner may be fine while the wiring is at fault. One common reason for a tripping breaker is a loose electrical connection, which occurs during temperature changes when wires expand and contract, eventually loosening.

A faulty breaker gives off some signs it’s bad such as being hot to the touch, emitting a burning smell, showing a burnt or black, scorched surface or having frayed wires.

An electrician should fix these issues. Tinkering with electricity without being licensed is dangerous.

A/C Problems

Dirty air filters can slow airflow to the point where the A/C begins to labor to keep cooling adequately. As it draws more amps to do the job, it may trip the breaker.

Dirty coils in your outdoor condenser can impede refrigerant from properly cooling down. When that happens, the refrigerant can’t properly absorb heat in the house.

Dirty conditions can be easily remedied, either by changing the filter or cleaning the coils, or having your A/C tech do the latter.

Additional Reasons Your A/C’s Breaker May Flip

  1. Low refrigerant (possible leak), causing the A/C to work harder – The leak should be fixed.
  2. Failing capacitor, the part that starts the compressor
  3. Condenser fan breakdown – The fan distributes air over the condenser coils so the unit cools properly. The A/C will labor to cool with a malfunctioning fan.

If you’d like to learn more about why your A/C may be tripping the breaker, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing of Indianapolis.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).