AC breaker flipping

I monitor this board and read a lot of the posts, so I know AC is a touchy subject on here. However, I have done what I can and I need some additional info if possible. I have central air and it has run without problem for 7 years or so. I have an HVAC company that checks it out twice a year. About a month ago, the breaker dedicated to the AC started tripping. It doesn't trip consistently and indeed is very sporadic, running for days and then tripping. I had the company out and they replaced the breaker as they could find no problem. I had to leave for Florida for disaster relief work and was gone a month. During the time I was in Florida, the new breaker tripped. My wife called a company that a friend of hers has used for some time. They came out and did a lot of monitoring supposedly and then told her it was "drawing too many amps" and that the AC unit needed to be replaced (to the tune of $1300). When she called me about it, I told her to get another company to look at it. She did, and this company said it was fine, except that it was overcharged with freon. They drained a little off (this was two weeks ago) and it has worked without tripping the breaker since. My questions: 1. Is this a plausible scenario? Could being overcharged with freon cause the AC to draw more amps, or is there something else underlying this? 2. If someone has some ideas or has encountered this before, how was it fixed? I know there are a lot of variables that could go wrong here, but what are some of them. 3. How can I find an HVAC co. to fix this? I had a co. that did yearly maintenance, a referral from someone we know who recommended a company, and lastly a company that we have seen quite often in the neighborhood. You have heard the results above. Who to believe?
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We moved into our current house less than a year ago, so have no idea when the AC was inspected last -- perhaps not since it was installed about three years ago.
A couple of months back, when I saw someone installing AC at our neighbor's house, I asked him if we should have ours inspected -- so he could easily have said "Yes" just to get the job. On the contrary, he said, "If it's working OK, leave it alone."
MB
On 09/15/04 01:41 pm RVanhoo put fingers to keyboard and launched the following message into cyberspace:
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There are several good reasons to have your system checked each spring and each fall.
1. The manufacturer requires semi-annual checks to perpetuate the warranty.
2. It give you peace of mind that if there is something going wrong, the technician has a good chance of seeing problems before they cause major damage.
3. It keeps your favorite AC man busy. You help support him by allowing him to make some bucks. If he doesn't go bankrupt, he will be available next time you need someone you trust.
That attitude of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." is ok for a lot of people including me, but if my ac breaks I just have to go out to my truck and get the necessary parts to fix it. Most people would rather have the peace of mind.
Just my 2 cents.
RW
On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 14:16:16 -0400, Minnie Bannister

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gauges don't lie, provided you know how to read them. way too much refrigerant would cause high starting current especially if it short cycles because of a utility power blink/brownout. Trust that guy for now, be happy - don't worry.

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Another common cause for a tripped breaker is short cycling. This symptom is easily fixed with a delay timer.
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Comparing the amp draw on the amp meter to the RLA (Running Load Amps) on the nameplate of the unit is a good way to tell if the ac is using too much amperage. Did the tech show you the gauge or did he pack away all his tools then tell you about the problems he found.
Selling you a new AC will fix most problems. That's what a lot of techs do when the don't really know how to fix them. No way for us to know in this case based on information supplied.
Overcharged air conditioners are a very common thing and it can cause nuisance breaker trips. If the ac continues to operate normally, I would say the guy knew what he was doing.
If the breaker problem comes back, I would also check the breakers on either side of the ac breaker. Have the tech check them with his infra-red temperature gun. A hot breaker is a defective breaker and can cause the adjacent breaker to trip.
Good Luck
Robert
On 15 Sep 2004 17:41:33 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (RVanhoo) wrote:

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