A tripped breaker on an air conditioning unit can be a huge inconvenience, especially if you live in an area with hot weather and high humidity like Southwest Florida. The good news is that if it happens, it is an easy repair. It is so easy, in fact, that even novice DIY’s should find it simple to do. Under perfect conditions, resetting the breaker will fix the problem long-term. Hopefully it was just a ‘power blip’ and things will continue to run properly and cool your home.

But what if it keeps happening? You reset the breaker, all seems well, then it trips again. If the problem persists, it is time to start investigating some other causes. Here are a few possibilities.

Reasons Why an Air Conditioner May Keep Tripping the Breaker

From our experience, these are the top reasons that an air conditioner may keep ‘blowing fuses’ or tripping the breaker.

Grounded Compressor

One of the leading causes of an HVAC unit tripping the breaker repeatedly is a grounded compressor. An experienced HVAC tech will usually use a multimeter with an amp clamp to measure the current being used by specific parts of the system.

If the compressor shows as grounded, it means that the windings inside the compressor motor have shorted out. When that happens, it is necessary to replace the compressor. Certain contractors will try to sell you a new unit at this point, but a brand new unit is almost never a necessity. It could be a better option however, based on the age of the system. For example, if the compressor is out of its manufacturer warranty period, it may be wiser to spend that money on a new system with warranties.

High Amp Draw

High amp draw on an AC unit can have a number of causes including a worn out compressor, plugged up coils on the condensing unit or even a bad capacitor. Some of these issues are more serious than others but all are easy to isolate by an experienced HVAC technician.

Loose or Exposed Wires

A loose wire or one that is partially exposed could be touching metal and causing a short. As this can be a risky thing to both troubleshoot and AC repair, it may be necessary to call in either a licensed HVAC technician or, in certain cases, an electrician.

If your tech doesn’t find a problem with the wiring or with any other part of the unit, the issue could be outside the unit. He or she should be able to determine whether or not you will need an electrician to investigate further.

Poor Airflow

Inadequate duct work can be a major cause of premature compressor failure as well. This is because if you do not have enough air going across the evaporator coil inside the air handler, that same coil will get colder than it should, causing refrigerant in liquid form to go back to the compressor instead of refrigerant in its gas state. This puts a high level of stress on the compressor and over time will cause it to fail. Having your duct system looked over by a technical company like ourselves is half the battle in your home cooling as well as it can.

Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

If the unit is older and is not Energy Star rated and/or out of its manufacturer warranty period, it might be worth considering an upgrade, and a newer unit can always be repaired. Before deciding to upgrade, it is necessary to know all your options. If you feel you are being pressured into making a purchase you might not need to make, get a second opinion from another HVAC contractor. It is important to be in the know of where the problem is originating and be fully informed of your options.

Is your home in the Collier or Lee County area and you’d rather us take care of your and AC repair? No problem! Learn about our air conditioning repair service.

Call us at 239-597-7873 or chat with us online here using the chat bubble on this page.