Why does my air conditioner trip my circuit breaker
September 2, 2015

An AC that keeps tripping your breaker is a serious problem.

Breakers help prevent electrical fires and electrocution by shutting off the flow of electricity to parts of your home when there’s a short circuit or too much electrical current flowing through them.

So if your AC causes your breaker to trip more than once, stop using it until a professional AC tech takes a look.

Now, if you’re wondering what could be causing the tripping, here are the 3 possible culprits.

Your AC is working too hard

If you’re putting too much stress on your air conditioner, it can pull more amps than it should. When this happens, your breaker trips to prevent a possible electrical fire or other dangerous situation.

Some common causes of an overworked AC include:

  • A dirty air filter. A dirty air filter suffocates your AC. As it struggles to pull in air, it has to work harder, which causes it to pull more electricity than it should.
  • Dirty condenser coils. Air conditioners that haven’t had a tune up in a while, have dirty coils. This makes it difficult for your AC to cool your air and can cause your AC to overheat.
  • Refrigerant leak. If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it has a refrigerant leak (refrigerant isn’t used up like gas). Low refrigerant can also cause the AC to overheat and trip your breaker.
  • A fan malfunction. The fan in your condensing unit (the one outside) may be stopped or malfunctioning, causing the AC to overheat.

Related: 3 Signs Your Central Air Conditioner is Low on refrigerant

There’s an electrical problem

Wiring or components inside of your air conditioner may worked themselves loose, causing a short circuit or ground fault that trips your breaker.

Or the problem might be with the wiring inside the walls of your home.

The breaker is bad

The last and least common reason for an AC that keeps tripping your breaker is that the breaker itself is bad. Over time, breakers can wear out and no longer function correctly (especially if they’ve been ‘tripped’ a lot).

Want a pro’s help?

Pippin Brothers can find and fix what’s causing your AC to keep tripping the breaker. We serve Lawton, OK and the surrounding areas. Contact us today.