Air conditioner Trips Circuit Breaker-Call Electrician or A/C guy?

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I have a 4 year old Lennox central air conditioner. It has run fine until this summer. Now after it has been running for about 15 minutes the circuit breaker trips and the outside condensor fan stops. When running it does blow cool air.
I have heard that it could be the compressor or something else with the A/C unit or it could be a bad breaker. Since the unit is only 4 years old I am thinking that it is unlikely that the compressor has gone bad. If it were a bad breaker wouldn't it trip as soon as the unit turned on? Any thoughts?
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While it could be either, I'd call the AC guy. The electrician will say "yep, overloaded, pay me $75 and call the AC guy" but the AC guy can determine why it is tripping the breaker and fix it.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Was this a new or replacement A/C system?
If it was a replacement, I would tend to go with the idea that they may have used the existing breaker and it may be rated marginally for that unit. You need to check the recommended protection for that specific unit or it may just be tired and need replacement. That one you can do yourself IF you are reasonable competent and careful. But you will need to know what the new system calls for and if it is larger, you might also need to replace some wiring.
On the other hand if it was not a replacement, I would tend to suspect the compressor.
The electrician is not going to be qualified to check the A/C, but the HVAC contractor should be able to determine that the A/C is OK and that the correctly rated breaker is in use.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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It is a replacement and they did use the same breaker. If it were a marginally rated breaker wouldn't it have started giving trouble before this? Thanks for your input.
At any rate, I have called the A/C company instead of an electrician to come look at it.
Joseph Meehan wrote:

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New ac unit can be shall we say tight. have higher FLA (full load amps) to start with then after some use. an older breaker that has tripped a few times is the same way it trips at a lower current than it did when brand new, were talking 10ths of an amp if that. loose wires on the breaker will also cause tripping, seen that on our AC unit, check the wires make sure they are very good and tight. Ours would work fine for a while then when system had to work harder due to outside temp, and longer running cycle would trip out, was only loose wires.
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On 28 Jul 2006 08:21:13 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

When I fixed tv's, customers would ask me, Why did it break now?
I asked them, When would you have it break?
If you think it should give trouble before now, how much before now? A year? 2 years? Why not before then?

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Pull the breaker from the panel and check it. Sometimes the breakers will "burn" at the buss and not be noticable right away. While the air condenser / air conditioner is running, it will overheat the breaker [bad connection on the buss] and trip while there might be nothing wrong with the air conditioner itself.
--
Zyp
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Neighbors had a similar problem -- breaker for central A/C kept tripping. I replaced the breaker with a brand new one of the same rating and the problem went away.
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Howard Beale wrote:

Yeah, that's what I was going to do too, but two electricians told me that it was more likely to be an A/C problem
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Why not do that first? If it doesn't work, you're out $10 and the 10 minutes it takes to replace a circuit breaker.
If it does work, you've saved a pile of money and the aggrevation of waiting around all day for a service person.
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I gotta agree with the folks that say it is most likely the breaker. If there were problems with the a/c, they would usually show up in much less than the 15min or so you say it runs before the breaker trips. First question: Is the wire at the breaker aluminum? If so, you may be able to just tighten the screws at the breaker, or you may need to take the wire out, cut an inch or so off(assuming there is enough slack) put anti ox paste on the wires and reinstall them. Also check where the breaker plugs into the panel and see if the connections are stating to get burned. If they are, hopefully you will have unused spaces where you can install a new breaker, and just leave the original one empty.If the connections look bad and all spaces are being used, maybe you can trade spaces with another breaker for something that sees less use, like the range. Forgot to ask another thing: Is this breaker in the main panel, or is it in a smaller box at the A?C unit, and what brand of breaker is it? Good luck Larry
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I fix some machines for a living that use fuses or breakers rated 20 amp. Its pretty common for fuses to physically overheat and blow from poor connections heating excessively. breakers trip the same way.
see switch wires melt from the same situation.
plus breakers are designed to become MORE sensitive as they age. learned that westinghouse used to make breakers and I fixed machines at their plant in beaver pa.
fascinating place
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline ort believe it. at bottom.

Oh boy, do not pay attention to this guy.
--
Tekkie

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wrote:

What do you think the truth is?
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mm posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.

I think the truth can be found on the standards organizations or manufacturers sites - notably Square D. Holler Butt has spread SO much rumor and conjecture and opinion in his posts that the reasonable reader CANNOT BELIEVE ANYTHING HE STATES. When presented with facts he either ignores or goes off on a different tangent. Previous questionable statement have involved testing circuit breakers by shorting wires and that faucets are designed to leak from the factory. -- Tekkie
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wrote:

Oh, it sounded like you were saying that that particular statement he made, at the top, was false. Especially since you deleted everything else but that one sentence.
I'm afraid you risk losing credibility when you post like that after he says something which is most likely true. In this case I think it is obviously, totally true. The only other affordable alternative would be dangerous. So he was right and your criticism was ill-placed. If he keeps gaining a point and you keep losing a point, you won't be a position to contradict him even in cases where he's wrong.
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mm posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.

You can believe what you want, it's not a points race and his statement is BS. You find in any standards or manufacturers statement breakers are designed to get weaker with age - HIS words. They are not; along with the other BS he spews. He is dangerous and a hack. -- Tekkie
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wrote:

You're the one who has made an issue of this and insulted him because you claim he is wrong. It's up to you to find a standard or manufacturer's statement that breakers either don't change or get harder to trip with age.

You claim you give facts, but again, you don't.

Because you said so, I believed he was wrong the first time I saw you say he was wrong, but you've ruined it. Now I don't trust you anymore. You have to realize that not everyone has read all his posts or all of your replies, and you have to give facts to prove your position at every stage of the game. Otherwise, you will just sound like a crank. (For me, you already do. Sorry, nothing personal. I have had standards for years for judging who is a crank, and you fit the standards.)
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Tekkie wrote:

I have indeed accidently tested a breaker by shorting it that led to the discovery my FPE is a fire hazard. Breakers are by description designed to be tripped.
In the office machine industry technicians are trained from day 1 to TEST all safety protection devices by overloading or over stressing them to CONFIRM they work as designed. Safety switches fail sometimres and a critical one can cause a fire or injury.. bryyer the tech finds and fixes it than a building burns down:( The only tst device I can think of that isnt supposed to be tested is a thermal fuse since they are one shot devices....
I have no doubt there are circuit breaker test devices.
If I get some links on these things will you quit being a PIA?
yeah NEW faucets are designed to leak under very high pressure, so a frozen pipe doesnt mean a ruptured pipe, faucets leaks instead, its actually a good idea.when things thaw no harm done. thats a new federal law.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.
snip

That is not what you stated before. It was a deliberate short you caused to make certain a circuit was off.

I find this extremely hard to believe because most of these devices are one use therefore you are padding the bill for your lack of knowledge. If there is such a reference post it!

There are...

The economics of it are that the real testers are expensive and it's not feasible to test a $6 breaker with it. Deliberately shorting it is NOT the way to test it and you should know it.
EVERY TIME you make a false, unsafe or an assumptive statement I will counter it by asking for the facts.

This is PURE bullshit because I contacted MOEN Co. and talked to their representative named Phil whom stated: Faucets are NOT designed to leak under very high pressure = your words (whatever very high pressure is anyway) and there is NO NONE NADA Federal law to do so. If you would read the follow ups to your whimsical posts you would have read where I repudiated your babbling. If you can find in the manufacturers literature this is true POST IT! If you can find this "Federal law" POST IT!
Once again, IF you get your facts straight and provide references to what you post I will leave you alone.
--
Tekkie

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