Why Does My Air Conditioner Keep Tripping the Breaker & What to Do About It?

When a circuit breaker trips, your air conditioning unit won’t work since the equipment will not receive the power it needs to operate. A tripped circuit breaker calls for air conditioning repair in Frisco, TX and may be easily fixed by resetting the breaker.

A breaker that trips once in a while isn’t really a huge problem. But if the breaker always trips a few minutes after turning the A/C on is a completely different story. In this case, you should stop attempting to fix the breaker by resetting it.

Why Does My A/C Keep Tripping The Breaker?

A circuit breaker is built in to your house’s electrical system. It acts as a safety switch, stopping the flow of electricity to your air conditioning unit when the equipment consumes too much power. So the electrical current overload won’t damage the equipment or cause a fire.

Your air conditioning unit will trip the breaker if the unit pulls more amperage than what the breaker can handle. For instance, your circuit breaker is only rated 20 amps, but your A/C is pulling in 30 amps. It may happen because of the following:

  • Clogged air filter – It can impede airflow, forcing the unit to work harder and longer and draw more electricity, resulting in breaker tripping.
  • Dirty condenser coil – The condenser coil is housed in the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit releases the heat that the A/C removes from your indoor environment. 

When the coil is coated with dirt, grime, and debris, the heat transfer will be impaired. The system will have to work harder and draw more power than necessary.

  • Frozen evaporator coil – This problem can cause your A/C to use more power, resulting in circuit breaker tripping. If you see ice forming in the coils, don’t turn the A/C on and fix the problem first. If you keep using the A/C despite the frozen evaporator coil, you’ll be damaging the compressor, and it’s a very serious problem.
  • Loose electrical connection – It can create heat that’s great enough to trip the circuit breaker. Contact a licensed electrician to fix this problem.
  • Grounded compressor – It means an electrical winding inside this component has broken. It hit the side of the compressor, causing a direct short to ground and a sudden current surge that will cause the breaker to trip. Call your trusted local air conditioning repair technician in Frisco, TX to solve this problem.

What to Do?

Resetting the breaker usually does the trick. So if you find your breaker tripped, here’s what you should do:

  • Turn the thermostat and A/C off.
  • Locate the circuit breaker. Move the handle or switch to the OFF position to turn the breaker off. Move the handle or switch to the ON position to turn it on.
  • Wait for 30 minutes before turning the A/C on and setting the thermostat to cool.

For your safety, it’s best to wear safety goggles and stand to the side or on the back of the panel. There may be sparks when you move the breaker. Also, the area where your electrical panel is located may be dark, so bring a flashlight.

If the circuit breaker trips again, don’t attempt to reset it the second time. There’s likely an underlying issue that needs to be addressed; otherwise, the breaker will only trip repeatedly. The unit may be damaged and needs air conditioning repair in Frisco, TX. So contact a professional instead.

You can contact GO Heating, Air & Plumbing. The company has skilled and trusted technicians who handle and solve all types of A/C problems. In addition to air conditioning repair service in Frisco, TX, the company also offers residential and commercial HVAC installation, maintenance, filter replacement service, and more.  Drop them a line at 972-532-0008.