I've read several of the posts about tripping breakers. Most deal with
something close to what i'm experiencing but not quite. I have a 5 year
old split system with 5 year old and breakers in a 5 year old house. As I
understand it, this is all relatively new gear. The problem is that when i
start the a/c unit, the it will begin its startup cycle then the breaker
trips about three seconds into it. I removed the inspection cover and
everything looks to be in order with no corrosion or foreign debris to
speak of and all connections tight with no discoloration. The fan spins
freely with very little resistance and the compressor shakes a little and
sounds much like the next door neighbors unit. I've read about newer
systems being tighter and drawing more current, older breakers tripping
more easily and faulty starting capacitors. Where should i start.
You could have a weak breaker, but you might also have a wrong value
breaker installed. (I know, the person installing the breaker and
wiring it should have installed the correct breaker.) I think I would
first check the installation instructions for your units and compare
your current breaker's value to the required one. If it is incorrect,
then I would have the gauge of the wire installed for the breaker
checked to see if the proper value breaker can be installed.
If the breaker value was correct, I would replace the breaker with a
new one. This is a lot cheaper than calling out a technician for the unit.
As others have said, you could also have a problem with your units.
For that I would call someone with the proper tools to measure the
It is a motor circuit. The breaker can be larger than the wire rating.
The breaker provides short circuit protection. The overload protection
is at the compressor. Wire and breaker sizes come from calculations.
While it's possible that the wrong sized breaker was installed it's
rather unlikely. It has been working for 5 years. No harm in
checking that though. The paperwork with the unit should tell you
what size breaker it should be on. It sounds like it trys to start
for an unacceptably long time. I also agree the overload protection
at the compressor should be kicking out before the breaker though.
I'd be confirming that the outside fan comes on right away and
listening to also confirm the compressor is trying to start. You can
usually tell just from the sound. Without test equipment though about
all you can do is replace the cheaper parts and hope you get it. And
maybe add a hard start kit but it being only 5 years old does not make
it likely that hard start kit will fix it. It also wouldn't hurt to
check all the connections from end to end. A bad connection can lower
the voltage and make it harder to start. Particularly if it's a
really long run form the main panel. Run cap, breaker, and start cap
if it has one will all be around $10 apiece. If the run cap is a
combo it might set you back a little more. If ir has never run at all
this season that does make a frozen compressor a little more likely.
Admittedly it would be a special neighbor that would let you swap
parts for testing. Probably pretty unlikely.
On Jun 3, 8:50 pm, gsxrbox1000_at_yahoo_dot email@example.com (gsxrbox1000)
Has it worked at all this year? Does the fan startup? It's either
that the breaker is bad or the compressor is not starting. If you
don't have a clamp on amp meter then the easiest thing to do is to
replace the breaker. If it still trips then thr compressor is having
problems starting. You really need soem test gear at this point. It
may or may not have a start capacitor. It will have a run capacitor.
You can try replacing that as well. If your neighbor is very friendly
and has the same unit then you can try a cap from his.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.