Why is my Air Conditioner Tripping the Breaker?

When your air conditioner circuit breaker trips, it does not mean you clumsily tripped over one of the air conditioner components. The breaker is essentially a safety switch that is part of the electrical system of your home. In this scenario, tripping stops the electricity from frying an important component in your unit or starting a fire, possibly damaging your unit and surrounding property.

It is normal for a circuit breaker to trip every once in a while in a home. Maybe you are using the same outlet to vacuum and run an electric weed eater at the same time and it trips, or maybe you have too many devices such as computers and televisions plugged into the same outlet extension cord. However, if any single switch in your electrical panel keeps tripping on a frequent basis, then you most certainly have a problem in the electrical system which needs to be looked at and dealt with immediately.

In the case of an air conditioning system, the explanation can be a bit more nuanced than something as simple as too many devices. The key questions to ask if you ever find yourself in this situation are:

  1. Was my A/C system installed properly and professionally?
  2. Was it manufactured by a reputable and reliable company such as Rheem, with universally accepted quality and safety standards?
  3. Is it simply an environmental/bad luck issue that can be solved with a simple phone call to your local air conditioning repair person?

To help you decide, here are all the main reasons which may cause your A/C breaker to trip.

Improper installation or poorly manufactured  

If your air conditioning appliances look clean, shiny, straight and level, with the edges of the ductwork cut and plastered perfectly, then you should feel comfortable that a proper job was done. Beware of loose tape, hanging or dangling wires that aren’t strapped down. There are many brands of air conditioners out there, and too many of them are either cheaply or poorly made. The one brand that we trust to install for our customers is Rheem, because it is a top quality, durable product made to last and stand strong over time.

Lightning/storm or electrical surge damage

If your lights tend to flicker once in a while, or breakers are constantly tripping, that is a sign that the power line coming into your house is receiving surges of electricity, which, are generally completely normal. But for an air conditioner, like most appliances, those small spikes in energy may very well damage the equipment, and we would recommend to have a technician come over and offer you some protection against both the small surges, and even large ones such as from a bad lightning storm.

Loose wire or breaker connection

Whether the air conditioning system you have is too large or too small for your home, or even if the breaker itself was installed with the wrong amperage size, your breaker could be tripping because of it. Loose wires are a major contributer, all of these are even possible fire or spark hazards and should be dealt with promptly and urgently by a proper technician.

It’s frustrating to deal with an air-conditioning system that is overheating or malfunctioning. Calling a professional HVAC technician puts your mind at ease by addressing the underlying cause. At Gus HVAC, we serve the Canton, GA, Alpharetta, GA and surrounding areas. Talk to us about repairs, maintenance, replacements, new installations, and refrigerant leaks. Our indoor air quality focus includes products and service for ventilation, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, UV lights, and filters. For more tips and information about why your air-conditioner is tripping the breaker, please contact us.