What’s Causing Your AC Breaker To Keep Tripping And How To Fix It

If you’ve been sitting at home on a hot summer day, you know there’s nothing nicer than the feeling of a little air conditioning to cool you down. But what if you try to turn on your AC unit, but it keeps tripping? If you’re experiencing this problem, don’t worry! Clover Contracting is here to help. 

This guide will walk you through common reasons why your AC breaker keeps tripping and explain what needs to be done if the problem persists. 

With our expert assistance, you can quickly and safely get your air conditioner back up and running again in no time. 

Help, my AC breaker keeps tripping!

Here are some of the common reasons that may cause your breaker to trip: 

A dirty air filter 

A dirty air filter can strain your air conditioning system, exacerbating tripping issues. As dust collects in the filter it can clog it, obstructing airflow through the system. This lack of circulation causes an overheating fan motor, forcing your circuit breaker to trip as a safety measure.

Regular cleaning or replacement of your air filter can alleviate this issue by ensuring adequate airflow through the unit and reducing pressure on the fan motor. Preventing dust accumulation is vital in maintaining the optimal system performance and avoiding overly strained motors or frequent trips by the breaker.

Dirty condenser coils

If your AC keeps tripping the breaker it could be due to dirty condenser coils. Accumulated dirt and debris on the outdoor unit obstruct heat transfer, pushing your air conditioner into overdrive. This strain can then result in a circuit breaker overload which isn’t good for your AC unit or your home’s electrical system.  

Just like an air filter, ignoring dust and grime buildup in the condenser not only leads to restricted airflow but might also flip your AC’s circuit breaker. Regular cleaning of the outdoor unit greatly reduces the risk of dirty condenser coils interfering with your comfort. 

Faulty fan motor

A faulty fan motor in your air conditioning unit can lead to restricted airflow. This reduced cooling capacity from your AC system can make those hot summer days uncomfortable and sticky.

A malfunctioning motor has to work harder to compensate for its decreased efficiency, accelerating wear and tear on the whole system.

This can often cause the circuit breaker to trip as a safety mechanism to prevent the electrical components from overheating and catching on fire. Persistent tripping of the AC breaker could signal a major issue with the fan motor that requires prompt attention.

In the event of a shortened fan motor, tighten connections or replace the breaker. 

Frozen evaporator coils

Frozen evaporator coils are a common reason why your breaker keeps tripping on your AC. Coils may freeze over due to reduced airflow due from neglected maintenance or a dirty air filter. The ice formation on the coils forces your system to work harder, drawing excess power and leading to an overload on the circuit.

This overload is what trips your circuit breaker. Cleaning these coils regularly can prevent freezing, maintain proper airflow and reduce the risk of circuit overloads, keeping your AC running smoothly without tripping the breaker repeatedly. 

Is your AC tripping the breaker? Here’s how to fix it 

It can get annoying to have to wrestle with your AC unit, especially on a hot day. There are a few reasons that might be causing your breaker to trip, but here are a few quick fixes. If you don’t feel comfortable doing these yourself, call a professional for assistance. 

Clean or replace your air filter

Though it may seem simple, it’s important to clean or replace your air filters regularly. Neglecting to clean or replace the air filter can cause problems, especially when it gets too hot outside. A clogged filter can lead to the fan motor drawing excessive power, which ultimately causes the AC breaker to trip. 

Moreover, keeping the air filter clean or replacing it as needed can resolve the issue of dirty condenser coils, another common cause of AC breaker tripping. Conducting regular maintenance on your air filter is key to preventing larger problems that could cause permanent damage to your air conditioning unit.

Clean condenser coils

Clean condenser coils regularly to prevent the AC breaker from tripping. Here’s how: 

  1. Shut the power to your AC unit off. 
  2. Remove any debris or leaves around the outside unit.
  3. Use a hose to spray water on the condenser coils, removing any dirt or grime.
  4. If there is stubborn dirt, gently scrub the coils with a soft brush or coil cleaner.
  5. Rinse the coils thoroughly with water until they are clean.
  6. Once the coils are clean and dry, turn on the power to your AC unit again.

Check and repair the fan motor

A faulty fan motor can cause your AC breaker to trip. Here’s how to fix it: 

  1. Look at your fan motor for any signs of damage or wear. 
  2. Tighten any loose connections or wires which may be creating electrical problems, then check its voltage to make sure it falls within its recommended range. 
  3. If your motor has shorted, you may need to replace it.
  4. Lubricate any moving parts of the motor to ensure smooth operation and remove any buildup of dirt from fan blades.

Defrost any frozen evaporator coils

If your AC keeps shutting off, try defrosting frozen evaporator coils:

  1. Turn your AC unit off: Start by switching off the air conditioning system at the breaker box to ensure your safety.
  2. Locate the evaporator coil: Find the evaporator coil inside your indoor unit. It is typically located near where the air filter is installed.
  3. Remove access panels: Carefully remove any access panels or covers that are obstructing your access to the evaporator coil.
  4. Allow time for thawing: Shut off your system for a few hours or overnight to allow the coil to dethaw naturally. Alternatively, a low heat hair dryer on a low setting can help accelerate this process and melt any ice formations on its coils faster.
  5. Check the tubing and the drain pan: While waiting for the coils to defrost, inspect both drain pan and tubing for obstructions which may have contributed to their freezing in the first place.
  6. Clean and dry the components: Once components have thawed, use a soft-bristled brush to thoroughly clean and dry them before it’s time to reassemble the parts. Make sure all parts are completely dry before putting it back together.
  7. Reassemble and turn your AC on: Reassemble and Turn On AC: Reinstall any access panels, close them firmly, and switch on your AC breaker once more to start cooling your house.

Call a professional technician for assistance

If your AC breaker keeps tripping, don’t hesitate to get professional help. Technicians have years of training and hands-on experience to identify any sources of trouble in your system, assess any damage, offer advice to prevent future trips from happening. So don’t wait until the situation gets worse; call in a pro and get your system back up and running!

AC breaker keeps tripping? Call Clover for all your HVAC needs. 

Clover can meet all of your HVAC needs with unmatched reliability – from regular maintenance to expert AC breaker repair! Our trained professionals have specialized experience and knowledge in HVAC maintenance and repair to ensure we always deliver the best results!

If you want the best service possible at the best price, contact us today for an efficient, hassle-free process!

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