air conditioner circuit breaker trips

I live in Dallas and the weather has been very nice until today. Today I decided to use the central A/C, the unit ran without incident for maybe 20 minutes than the circuit breaker tripped. I reset the breaker and 10 minutes later again the circuit breaker tripped (The a/c was cold before the breaker tripped and returned cold after I flipped the breaker). What is going on here?
I believe I have a heat pump unit (you know the one that gets cold but not as cold as someone with a regular unit). Thanks in advance.
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A.Taylor wrote:

It could be a number of things. Anything from a weak breaker to a nearly dead A/C. My guess is a basic service/maintenance call will take care of it. When was the last time you had it serviced?
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Joseph Meehan

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Depending on the age of the house (breaker box), breakers do wear over time and become more resistive. When you turn your AC on, it gets very hot and that's what typically causes breakers to trip. The breakers trip when they get hot due to overcurrent, or just old age.
My personal experience was that my box was so old (1968), the busses feeding the circuit had corroded to about 1/2 the size and basically lit up like a lightbulb when the AC was on, causing the breakers to trip. I had to remove the box.
Good luck, tim1198
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It sounds a lot like your unit is drawing excessive amperage.
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Christopher A. Young
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First, a heat pump should have exactly the same cooling capacity as a regular A/C unit of the same tonnage. You should really have your unit serviced yearly to be sure it is working at maximum capacity and efficiency. As to the breaker tripping, it is hard to diagnose without being there, but from what you describe, it sounds more like a problem in the electrical service to the unit rather than a problem with the unit itself, but there are many possibilities, and unless you have some basic experience with electrical work, it is best left to a pro. Your best bet would be to call an A/C company, explain the problem to them, and ask that they send an experienced service tech out. Most larger companies will have techs with varying amounts of experience, and some with more expertise in certain areas than others, so it wil be in their best interest as well as yours to send someone out that can diagnose your system rather than guess at it. Good luck, Larry
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I think you need to check the time/date on your computer. That would make this group happy.
cm

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Damn, this is going to top my list for awhile! I think maybe I'll wait it out though!
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Just hit delete and it will disappear from your viewer but not anyone elses.
The date stamp comes from the server not the originating PC unless you use malicous software.
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wrote:

Yes. With some news clients, Shopdog will have to wait 9 years before the first post in this thread goes away. It probably won't be deleted because of age, because it has a negative age. When the first post is deleted, the others will be in date order, like usual.

I don't think so, at least not all the time. When my clock is wrong and I post with Agent, whatever my own clock shows is what shows in the list. I set this post for 10:42 AM, before the post I'm replying to, so you all can see.
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A.Taylor said something like:

I had the exact same thing, and after talking my service technician OUT of replacing board after board in the indoor part of my a/c unit, we went to the circuit breaker and discovered that that the wire to it was loosely screwed in.
And discolored.
This by itself can cause a circuit breaker to throw.
We tightened the screw and it has been fine ever since.
Note: PULEEZ shut down the universe before attempting touching that screw.
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"reel\'-tee", *not* "reel\'-a-tor" and "reel\'-i-tee" !!!!
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==============================================================My mom lived in a condo before her death. The second year that she lived there, the central A/C unit would pop the breaker 2 or 3 times a day. I would have to go over there and reset it for her. The A/C was freezing cold, and I saw no reason for the breaker tripping. It followed no pattern--sometimes it would run for 10 minutes and trip, and other times a few hours. I finally got fed up of going over there multiple times a day, and got another double pole 30 amp breaker, and installed it--problem solved--it never tripped again--some breakers do get weak. Try a new breaker.
=======================================================Remove the ZZZ from my E-mail address to send me E-mail.
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On Sat, 17 Feb 2007 17:11:12 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net (Ron in NY) wrote:

That's because IT'S WINTER. You should have saved the cold from last month and used it now. They make insulated containers for this.

I would have gotten a big stick, so you could flip the breaker from your house.

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Those are just genius suggestions.......NOT
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Right. It's either a bad breaker, or something in the electrical innards of the AC unit. Replace the breaker first. If that doesn't solve it, time to call an A/C repairman.
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On Wed, 15 Apr 2015 21:51:19 -0500, A.Taylor wrote:
< Don't know, I ignored it as the OP obviously deliberately set his clock 6 years into the future>
Fix your clock if you want people to help you. An hour or two out may be a genuine mistake, but six years certainly isn't.
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One of several choices.
1) you have a mystery electrical problem 2) Your breaker is weak 3) The system is overloaded for some reason, and drawing too high of current.
Did it trip the single breaker to the air handler, or the double to the outdoor unit?
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"A.Taylor" < snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net> wrote in message
news: snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com...
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On May 11, 9:07am, "Stormin Mormon"

Heat pumps cool just as much as a regular ac. Works the same way. Just reverses in winter to provide heat instead of ac.
A relatively cheap thing you can try is to replace the breaker if that is within your diy abilities. Turn off the main first of course. Regular breakers are less than $10 at lowes or home depot. Breakers do get weak. If you can find the paperwork for the unit you might confirm that the correct sized breaker is on the circuit. Do not be tempted to increase the breaker size unless you know that a larger breaker is called for by the heat pump manufacturer and the circuit was wired with the correct gauge wire for a larger breaker.
If that's not the problem then something is causing a larger current draw and needs to be investigated further. Is it a split system with the air handler inside the house somewhere and an outside unit? Or a package unit that sits outside and has the house duct work hooked directly to it?
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==================================================================
Really insufficient info! What ampere size is the breaker? How many amps does the unit require? Is it the original unit or was it replaced by, say, a bigger unit previously? Did this start recently? Has the AC unit been correctly maintained? Filters/air coils kept clean.
Since it is tripping after the unit running for a while it does suggest that either; a) The breaker is getting weak. (Know what you are doing before working on that and be cognizant of the correct wire size and breaker rating). b) The breaker and possibly the wiring are the incorrect size for the capacity of the unit? Maybe the unit was plugged in another circuit; or that the AC circuit is shared with something, that perhaps it should not be?
Does the AC work OK when plugged in when plugged into another 'normal' outlet circuit; using if necessary an extension of suitable wire gauge?
Sounds like something an electrically capable person could diagnose and fix in 20 minutes!
Just as an example of trying to explain some of these things to the non technical (which the OP seems to indicate!) ............ There was a case where the circuit breaker supplying a fridge kept tripping! A long discussion ensued on a local l news group, similar to the above. The outcome was that it was later discovered that a daughter was plugging in her hair dryer to a bedroom outlet that had been added to the 'same' circuit that supplied the fridge. The hair dryer's 1200 to 1400 watts was sufficient whenever the fridge was running (or perhaps starting up) to trip the breaker. It was also found that an earlier user had tapped on the extra outlet for a bedside radio! Never intended for anything 'heavy'. With the very low power requirement (just a very few watts) the bedside radio addition had worked that way for years!
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