At some point in our lives, it is likely that you have at least experienced a circuit breaker being tripped, cutting off the main supply of electricity. There are many reasons why a circuit breaker would trip, such as short circuit, ground fault, and the most common reason of all would be an overloaded circuit. An overloaded circuit occurs when the circuit tries to draw too much of a greater load of electricity than it had intended to. Therefore, the safety mechanism in the circuit breaker trips to render the circuit dead to prevent overheating and further damage to the electrical infrastructure . In this article, we will find out if your aircon is the main cause of tripping your circuit breaker, and if it is, we will discuss what are the steps you can do to help your situation.
Is my aircon causing the circuit breaker to trip?
First and foremost, if you are experiencing a tripped circuit breaker and are unsure of what is causing it, you should turn off all your electrical appliance, reset your circuit breaker and proceed to turn back on your electrical appliance one by one. In this manner, you can identify the main electrical appliance that is causing your circuit breaker to trip. Do also take note to test if the circuit breaker itself is faulty by testing more than 3 different items – if all of them trips the circuit breaker, it is likely that your circuit breaker is faulty.
If your aircon is NOT the culprit, please unplug the faulty appliance and contact the brand/company that you bought it from for further advice. Alternatively, you may wish to contact a licensed electrician for any complicated power tripping situation.
If your aircon is the one causing the circuit breaker to trip, then we might be able to help. Read on further to possibly identify what is causing your aircon to trip.
5 Reasons that can cause your aircon to trip the Circuit Breaker
1) Dirty Air Filter: Without regular cleaning, dirt and dust will accumulated in your air filter which increases the workload of your aircon blower. The blower now must put in a lot more effort to provide proper air circulation through the blocked dirty filter. As such, this may cause the aircon to draw more electricity than usual that leads to an overloaded circuit, tripping the circuit breaker. To resolve this issue, open the casing of your aircon unit to remove the dirty air filters and give them a proper thorough washing. Once done, be sure to dry your air filters completely before returning them back into the aircon casing.
2) Dirty Aircon Condenser: Air conditioning systems are made up of units on the inside and outside that work together to produce cold air. The outside unit is called a condenser unit. The job of the condenser unit is to exchange heat by converting refrigerant gas to liquid and then dispersing hot air to the outside. If the aircon condenser is not properly maintained, dirt and debris may accumulate which then acts as an insulator to trap heat. As the job of the condenser is to expel heat, a dirty condenser will have to draw in more electricity and work harder to expel the heat through the insulator created by the dirt and this can eventually result in a tripped circuit breaker. To resolve this, you will need to get the aircon condenser checked and cleaned. As the condenser unit remains outside, it may be difficult for you to access and clean. Therefore, it is recommended that you hire an aircon professional to conduct a thorough cleaning job for you.
3) Grounded Compressor: Also known as “compressor shorted to the ground” which means that an electrical winding inside the compressor had been broken and fallen on the side of the compressor and diverts current to the ground. This electrical fault can cause a burnout in the circuit and trip the circuit breaker due to the surge in current. As these involves complicated technical knowhow, it is recommended to get an aircon technician to have a look and replace the compressor. If your compressor is no longer under warranty, then you can consider replacing the entire outside unit as compressors are pricey to replace.
4) Compressor has difficulty starting up: The compressor of your aircon unit takes up a significant chunk of electricity when it starts up. As the compressor gets older, it may have difficulty starting up, also known as hard starting, and this forces the compressor to draw even more electrical power which can cause a surge that results in your circuit breaker tripping. One method to prevent this is to have a hard start kit installed by a professional aircon technician. What the hard start kit does it that it provides an extra electrical current that gives more power if hard starting occurs.
5) Motor has shorted: The electrical motors in your aircon runs for hours (depending on usage) and if it runs hot for too long of a duration, the wires that are supposed to insulate the motors can break down, which results in an electrical short. As the electrical short can cause wires to overheat, melt or in the worst case, catch fire, your circuit breaker will trip to ensure safety first. Given the possible dangerous scenario, please do refrain from using your aircon until the source of the tripped circuit breaker is found. Do contact a local aircon repair serviceman to provide professional assistance and ensure that your safety comes first.
Who to contact if my aircon trips the circuit breaker – Infinity Air
Once you find out that your aircon is the source of the circuit breaker trips, please refrain from using or experimenting with the aircon unless you know what you are doing. As there could be numerous reasons why your aircon trips the circuit breaker, some of which can lead to life-threatening scenarios, it is best that you let the experts handle it.
At Infinity Air, we have over more than 20 years of experience and have completed more than 15,000 aircon servicing jobs. We pride ourselves on providing transparent, reliable and the best customer service for you with assurance from solid word-of-mouth and reviews online. Therefore, if you experience any issues with your aircon tripping the circuit breaker, you can feel free to contact us for a consultation, and we can advise you accordingly. In simple cases, troubleshooting can even be done over the phone. Easy solutions for simple problems but if it gets any more complicated or if a professional aircon technician’s eyes and experience is required, we will send one down to you to resolve your problems.