Why Is My AC Tripping Circuit Breakers?

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Circuit breakers are safety devices in your electrical system that prevent overload on a particular circuit. They can “trip” – turn off – for many reasons. Your air conditioning unit requires enough energy that it will have its own circuit breaker. Sometimes the breaker will trip due to weather events, in which case you can switch the breaker back to its on position. But if your AC breaker trips frequently, gives resistance when switching to “on” or immediately trips a second time after switching it to on, leave it off and call an expert from AC Designs, Inc. We want you to enjoy great air conditioning in Jacksonville.

Reasons Your Air Conditioning Breaker Can Trip

Breakers trip for a reason, so never force a breaker to go on. The same goes for a breaker that trips multiple times. If the breaker is hot to the touch, leave it alone. A hot breaker is an overloaded breaker, and switching it back to “on” means re-triggering the overload.

So what can cause your AC breaker to trip? Here are a few reasons we’ve seen at A/C Design, Inc.:

  • Faulty/loose breaker
  • Loose electrical connection
  • Undersized breaker
  • Faulty/loose wiring
  • Issue with the compressor
  • Dirty air conditioner filter
  • Frozen vapor coils
  • Loss of refrigerant

With the exception of the dirty air filter, all the other reasons listed above should only be handled by an AC Designs, Inc. professional. Electrical boxes and your air conditioning system carry high levels of voltage that can be very dangerous, and compressors and the refrigerant require a high skill level to manage.

So why does your breaker trip?

Faulty/Loose Breakers and Connections

If the reason is due to a faulty or loose breaker, or a loose electrical connection, the electricity is being interrupted and needs to be reconnected. You’re air conditioning specialist will find the parts that are loose and/or faulty and repair them as needed.

Dirty Air Filter and Frozen Coils

When air conditioner gets stressed, it has to work harder to achieve the temperature that has been set. One of the top reasons an air conditioner becomes overstressed is from a dirty air filter. Why? Dirty air filters restrict the amount of air that flows through your system. Once this happens, the entire system has to over compensate for the loss by working harder and drawing more energy.

Frozen evaporator coils have a similar effect. When the evaporator coils freeze, they can neither absorb nor release heat from the system, causing a back-up in the entire cooling process.

Compressor Issues

The compressor is responsible for pressurizing the low-pressure, cool gas of the refrigerant into a high-pressure, heated gas. To do this, the compressor has valves and a motor to help do its job. So one of the first potential problems when dealing with a compressor is to make sure the valves aren’t leaking. Why? Leaky valves mean the compressor is working much harder to create the pressurized gas, which can lead to electrical shorts and burnout of the motor. The compressor motor also has a number of electrical connections within it; if one or more of the connections aren’t functioning properly, this will cause the motor to break.

A second component to be looked at in your compressor is the level of refrigerant. If your system has lost refrigerant, the air conditioner has to work harder to achieve the set temperature of the property. The refrigerant also keeps the compressor motor cool, so loss of refrigerant can lead to overheating of the compressor’s motor.

Lastly, the compressor may need replacing due to age. The older a compressor, the more likely it is to break. Only your A/C Design, Inc., specialist can tell you if you need to replace the compressor.

Don’t Trip

If your air conditioner’s breaker keeps tripping, call A/C Design, Inc. today. Our specialists will pinpoint the problem and safely make the repair to your AC system. When it comes to air conditioning in Jacksonville, we’re the technicians to trust. Give us a call today.