Written by 3:53 pm Air Conditioners, Home Appliances

What Causes AC Breaker to Trip [Exploring the Most Common Reasons]

How do I stop my breaker from tripping?

If you’re wondering what causes AC breaker to trip, we can guide you in the right direction! A breaker is what keeps the AC unit going. Once it trips, your cool AC experience becomes frustrating. That’s why you must learn the split AC compressor tripping reasons to fix the potential problem, going back to leveraging the chilly AC experience.

Normally, an AC keeps tripping because of clogged air filters, a weak breaker unable to withstand the load of the AC, a grounded compressor, loose wiring, a broken coil fan, and more. Let’s explore these reasons in more detail, understanding how each one plays its part when an AC trips breaker after a few hours.  

ac circuit breaker

Reasons on What Causes AC Breaker to Trip

Here are the most common reasons on what causes AC breaker to trip:

Note: fix your AC from tripping the breaker!

·         A Clogged Air Filter

A clogged air filter forces your AC unit to strain, like trying to run with a blocked nose. This increased effort results in a higher electricity demand, causing the breaker to trip. When your AC trips the breaker after 5 minutes, it indicates the system’s struggle to maintain proper airflow.

This not only diminishes cooling efficiency but can lead to severe compressor strain. If neglected, it may result in immediate tripping, compromising overall system performance and potentially causing long-term damage to the compressor.

·         Dirty Condenser Coils

Dirty condenser coils act like a thick blanket on your AC’s ability to release heat. As the coils become coated in grime, the compressor works harder, drawing more current and causing the breaker to trip. In split AC units, compressor tripping reasons are often traced back to these dirty coils.

Addressing the dirty coils is crucial if your air conditioner keeps tripping the breaker. Persistent issues may lead to immediate tripping, reduced cooling capacity, and a stressed compressor prone to long-term damage.

·         Weak Breaker

A weak breaker struggles to handle the electrical load demanded by your AC unit. If the breaker keeps tripping on the AC unit, it cannot cope with the system’s requirements. This may manifest as the AC tripping the breaker immediately or after a few minutes of operation.

Upgrading to a breaker with adequate amperage is essential to prevent safety hazards like electrical fires. A robust breaker helps maintain a stable electrical flow, preventing inconvenient and potentially dangerous situations where the AC unit breaker keeps tripping.

·         Loose Wiring

Loose wiring within your AC system is also what causes AC breaker to trip. The intermittent contact can lead to sparks and heat generation, suddenly causing the breaker to trip. When the air conditioner trips the breaker immediately, it signals a pressing issue.

Ignoring loose wiring risks frequent disruptions and increases the likelihood of electrical fires. A comprehensive inspection and timely correction of loose connections are paramount to ensure the AC unit breaker keeps tripping and doesn’t become a hazardous routine.

breaker tripped

·         Compressor Failure

Compressor failure is the AC’s Achilles’ heel, often resulting in frequent breaker tripping. When the compressor struggles to start or maintain operation, it draws excessive current, leading to the breaker shutting down. Compressor issues are common culprits in cases of split AC compressor tripping.

If your AC compressor trips the breaker after a few seconds, it indicates a critical problem. Ignoring this may lead to a complete breakdown, leaving you with an inoperative AC and a significant repair or replacement cost.

·         Broken Coil Fan

The coil fan plays a pivotal role in maintaining optimal operating temperatures for the compressor. A malfunctioning fan disrupts this balance, causing the compressor to overheat and trigger the breaker. Inspecting the coil fan is crucial if your AC unit breaker keeps tripping.

Neglecting a broken fan can escalate the issue, leading to immediate tripping and potential compressor damage. Investing in timely repairs ensures the uninterrupted functioning of the coil fan, preventing both short-term disruptions and long-term damage to the AC system.

·         Bad Capacitor

The capacitor serves as the electrical pulse of your AC, initiating and regulating the current flow. A malfunctioning capacitor results in an irregular voltage supply, causing the AC to trip the breaker immediately or after a brief operation.

If your air conditioner consistently trips the breaker, the capacitor is likely a culprit. Failing to address this issue can lead to increased wear on the compressor, reduced system efficiency, and a higher risk of unexpected breakdowns. Prompt replacement of a faulty capacitor is essential to maintain the stability and longevity of your AC system.

How to Reset AC Circuit Breaker

Resetting your AC circuit breaker is a straightforward process, but it’s crucial to approach it cautiously. If your breaker keeps tripping, an underlying issue might need professional attention. Follow these simple steps for a safe reset:

  1. Ensure the breaker is fully in the OFF position before attempting a reset. If it’s not, switch it to OFF.
  2. After confirming the OFF position, switch the breaker back to ON. Take note of any unusual sounds or smells as the unit starts.
  3. Allow the AC unit to run for a few minutes. If the breaker doesn’t trip again, it might have been triggered by a temporary power surge, like during a thunderstorm.

Here’s how you can locate your AC breaker in 7 easy steps!

fixing ac tripped breaker

Assess the status of other household appliances like the stove and microwave. If they also experienced disruptions, it may not be an issue specific to your AC.

Only attempt to reset the circuit breaker once. If it trips again, refrain from resetting it repeatedly. This indicates a persistent issue. Why is why you must know how to turn the breaker off easily.

Don’t attempt further resets if the circuit breaker trips when your AC starts. Please keep it in the OFF position and contact a local HVAC professional. Immediate tripping indicates potential wiring or short circuit problems, best handled by a qualified technician.

Closing Words

Resetting your AC circuit breaker is simple, but persistent issues demand professional attention. Always prioritize safety, resetting the breaker only once and observing for normal operation.

If problems persist or the breaker trips immediately, refrain from further attempts and seek the expertise of a local HVAC professional. Remember, trained professionals best handle electrical issues to ensure the safety and efficiency of your air conditioning system.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop my AC from tripping the breaker?

Ensure your air filter is clean and condenser coils are free of dirt. Check for loose wiring and address it promptly. If the issue persists, consult a professional HVAC technician to assess and repair any electrical or mechanical faults.

Why is AC MCB tripping?

The AC MCB (Miniature Circuit Breaker) may trip due to overloading, short circuits, or faulty components in the AC system. Identify the root cause by checking for loose wiring, damaged capacitors, or a malfunctioning compressor. If uncertain, seek assistance from a qualified electrician or HVAC technician.

Why does my AC trip after 5 minutes?

A tripping AC after 5 minutes may indicate issues such as a clogged air filter, dirty condenser coils, or compressor strain. Ensure proper airflow, clean components, and address any mechanical problems promptly. If the problem persists, consult a professional to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.

How do I stop my breaker from tripping?

Avoid overloading circuits by redistributing electrical loads to prevent your breaker from tripping. Inspect for loose wiring, damaged appliances, or faulty components connected to the circuit. If problems persist, consult an electrician to assess and address the underlying issues, ensuring a safe and efficient electrical system.

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