I don't want to be woken in the middle of the night by fire trucks
blaring down the street, so...
Neighbor sez the breaker for his central AC unit regularly trips when
it's running. I think only when it's warm/hot outside (he goes
straight from heat to AC, so it's on even when it's 70 outside).
What could be causing this? I (think) I know that it's not good
"physically" for breakers to trip and they only have a finite life, so
to speak, but is it dangerous or problematic?
Certainly better than the breaker *not* tripping in an overload
situation. The breaker tripping is a clear sign that there is
*something* wrong. It might be that the circuit was undersized to begin
with, or that the compressor and/or one of the fan motors has a problem.
Sounds like your neighbor needs to have a competent HVAC tech look at
his AC, and depending on what is found there, an electrician might need
to look at the wiring and circuit breaker.
It could be a bad or improperly sized breaker, but tripping at high
temperatures could also be an indication that the outside unit's coil is
clogged, or for some reason there isn't sufficient air flow through it. Are
there any cotton wood trees in the neighborhood? The blowing fuzz from these
can quickly clog the outside coil. Is the outside fan running at the proper
speed? Some of them have 2 speed fans that are supposed to switch to high
speed when the system needs to work at full capacity. An over charged system
can also cause this - only a trained serviceman can determine this though.
You should clean the outside coil, make sure the outside fan runs properly,
and maybe try changing the breaker if you feel competent to do this before
hiring the serviceman.
What has this got to do with woodworking?
It is probably an AC problem. Although, I have seen an instance where
direct sun light on the breaker box would cause a trip. The breaker box
was on the west side of the house and it would trip when the sunlight would
hit it. Only at late afternoon would the breaker trip. Ultimately the
breaker was faulty and replaced. This was in a brand new home first summer.
I have had a breaker go bad and trip under normal load, and I have had
a central AC that had a bad fan outside. The fan would start and run
normally for a while then stop. The coils would overheat and the
breaker would trip. Replacing the fan cured it, but it took a
dedicated serviceman who sat and watched it until it happened to
figure it out.
Never overlook the obvious. Double check to make sure the breaker is
screwed down tight in the breaker-box. Being loos can cause incessant
-Kevin in Indy
To reply, remove (+spamproof+) from address........
> Neighbor sez the breaker for his central AC unit regularly trips when
> it's running. I think only when it's warm/hot outside (he goes
> straight from heat to AC, so it's on even when it's 70 outside).
> What could be causing this? I (think) I know that it's not good
> "physically" for breakers to trip and they only have a finite life, so
> to speak, but is it dangerous or problematic?
What most people don't realize is that a c'bkr only has to work ONCE
to meet federal design specs.
The fact that most function many times is an extra benefit.
If the above example, sounds like it is time for a service call by the
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