central AC keeps blowing fuses


A few days ago my AC stopped working; I noticed that the fuse had blown, so I replaced it and it immediately blew again. Everytime I turn the AC on the fuse blows (quite spectacularly; one time a spark flew out into the air, but since the glass cover hadn't broken I don't know how that happened), and since Not sure exactly what to do now. Two of the fuses actually are breaking now, the one that handles the cooling (not sure whether it's for the condenser or the evaporator) and the one that handles the fan, though the fan's fuse doesn't blow every time, just occasionally now.
I called the AC guy and he said I should call an electrician, which I guess I'll do, but I wanted to consult the experts here and see what I should expect them to do and how much it should cost. I live in Miami so it has to be done (it's October and my apartment still gets to 95 degrees during the day without AC), but, I live in Miami, so there's a great deal of shadiness here on the part of some contractors and I'm worried I might get taken for a ride.
These are 30 amp S-type fuses, so as far as I can tell I can't really go any higher. But since the fuse ran fine for about 2 years I'm figuring this problem goes deeper than the fuse box itself.
So, any idea what could suddenly be causing this? Will an electrician have to open up walls at all? Is there anything I can do to narrow down the problem before I call?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

First off, it's an apartment. So call maintenance.
Second off, DO NOT CONSIDER GOING WITH A HIGH NUMBERED FUSE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
If it's a plug-in type. Unplug it and then replace the fuses. See what happens.
If it's a built-in A/C, turn it off at the thermostat (or set the AC to some all the way up so it doesn't come on). Then replace the fuses.
See what happens and post the answers here.
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Pat wrote:

Thanks for the response!
Unfortunately it's a condo so I'm responsible for that sort of stuff.
It's a built-in A/C; there's a switch on the part of the unit inside the apt so I can turn it off manually. When it's turned off nothing happens to the fuse; as far as I can tell there's nothing else on those lines other than the AC unit and the AC fan, so nothing should be drawing power other than the unit itself. The fuse blows only when I turn the AC unit back on.
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Gee, if it is a stalled compressor, the fuse should not blow like the 4th of July. The short circuit (based on your report of fireworks) seems to be inside of the A/C unit itself. An electrician is not what you need ... you need an AC service company.
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