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Breaker for condenser runs hot and trips frequently

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Check the side of outdoor unit for a name plate and see if breaker is correct size as is required on name plate. then test, run and start capacitor to see if within 10 percent of rated value. if ok then look at contactor to see if you are starving voltage through it to compressor. if you are then back trace to main electrical panel and see if breaker that feeds outside disconnect is good and wires are snug. then check breakers adjacent to it to see if they are good and transferring heat improperly.

Posted on Oct 19, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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What makes the condenser fan shut off but the compressor keeps running but not every time


Condenser fans cycle on and off to control the temperature/pressure of the refrigerant in the condenser. This is normal operation.

As to cooler weather start up and tripping the breaker; how cold is it when you are running it? If it is too cold you could be pumping liquid refrigerant back to the compressor, slugging it and causing it to trip a breaker. However, many things can cause an air conditioner to over-amp and trip a breaker but this tends to be more problematic as the weather is hotter.

Feb 20, 2015 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

I have a whirlpool central air conditioning and the condenser stoped working. what could I expect it to be?


When you say the 'condenser' stopped running - I'm 'assuming' you are talking about the outside unit, and I'm also 'assuming' that when you say it stopped running you mean 'nothing' runs on the outside unit - fan motor OR compressor. The fan motor will drown out the compressor running noise which is a 'low rumbling' sound - often not heard by the layman because of the noise the fan motor puts out.
Assuming you are talking about the outside unit and 'nothing' is running either fan motor or compressor then you might be 'in luck.' Because the most likely reason for the outside unit to be totally off will be a 'blown fuse' or a 'tripped breaker.' The good news is that in 'hot weather,' especially the kind of hot weather that has been present this summer (especially in the south) - blowing a fuse or tripping a breaker is not necessarily an expensive repair.
Indeed, it's not uncommon for a AC unit to blow a fuse (or trip a breaker) on occasion, although it must be noted that doing so is also is sign on something seriously wrong with your AC, i.e. a fan motor breaking down electrically or even a Compressor, both being expensive items to replace.
But, as I said, it's not uncommon for a fuse to blow once in awhile.
I would check my fuses (and breaker) and see if this is what has happened.
If you have fuses (usually located outside close to the condenser) and have no way to check them (you check them with a ohm meter looking for continuity) - then just 'replace' them with new ones. Note: always put 'time delay/dual element' fuses back in - even if the ones that are in there now are 'one time' fuses. 'Time delay' fuses do just what they say they will do - (they hold for just a second or two during that initial start up (of the compressor) without blowing).
If a blown fuse/tripped breaker is your problem then "most" of the time the AC will run ok and you will not have any more problems.
However, if after replacing the fuses and turning the AC back on - the fuse(s) blows instantly, or a short period thereafter (say a few minutes or an hour) then you probably have a problem that is causing it - i.e. the fan motor or compressor is going bad.
Note: one thing that you can fix that might be causing the fuse to blow is a dirty condenser. So, check the condenser coil (think of it like a car's radiator). It 'must' be clean to run properly and when it gets 'really dirty and clogged with dirt it will cause high head pressure and can cause the unit to blow fuses and trip breakers.
Good Luck!

Aug 10, 2011 | Whirlpool Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

My unit is tripping the main breaker what should i look at first


With this cold weather, -- it is not likely tripping off because it is too hot!

Are you familiar with the history of this unit?-- Like has it tripped in the past during HOT weather?
This might be a clue, that the circuit is really loaded close to its limit--

This leads to the next possibility: That the breaker is getting weak (They do after many hard starting loads!
Now-- If you can get the system to start and run for just a few seconds-- can you put a Clamp around Amp meter on the wires?-- and read the full load current?
How close is this to the rating of the circuit breaker?
Is the breaker, and the wire size marginal?

Another thing to look for, is loose lug screws at the main fuses, and the Main contactors, and the motor leads--- for loose wires result in overheating, which raises the current, and leads to tripping, too.

How long ago was the condenser cleaned-- this leads to high amp draw too.

But the first thing would be to learn more about the age of the Main Breaker, and what the 'normal' run current is for that system.

Mack B

Dec 28, 2010 | Carrier 38CKC036 Air Conditioner

2 Answers

OUr air conditioning system works well until the circuit breaker trips. We added another large return vent in the hall to try to get more air circulating and that didn't work. We just replaced the...


Current (amps) is voltage (volts) divided by resistance (ohms) or I=v/r. Breakers "trip" when there is too much current flowing through them. This can be caused by wiring that is too small for the application or a short (or a bad breaker, but since you just replaced that).

Cable Size:
The conductors have resistance and heat up when current runs through them. Properly sized conductors allow this heat to be dissipated. Long cable runs or cable runs which are tightly bundled with other cables can prevent this dissipation. Heat adds additional resistance which in turns causes more heat, eventually tripping the breaker to prevent a fire. For a 40 amp breaker, the cable should be a dedicated, 8 gauge wire.

Short:
A short (low impedance connection) can be between two conductors or between one conductor and ground (also called a ground fault). Shorts can be tough to track down when they are intermittent. This can be because the insulation was damaged (during installation, by rodents, etc). Moisture can deteriorate insulation or conductors.

It may only be present under certain conditions, so you can try this immediately following a trip. Shut both the breaker and the cutoff at the condenser (you want to isolate the cable), then use a meter to check for bleed between each of the conductors and each other conductor or ground. The neutral eventually connects to ground so it will have zero impedance. If you find there is a connection, you (or your electrician if you don't know what you're doing) will have to track it down and repair it.

It could be a clamp that is too tight where the line enters a jbox or panel, a staple that was driven too far and is biting into the insulation, a bend that is too tight, or a length that isn't supported well and subjected to vibration from a nearby motor .

Other possibilities:
At 40 Amps they'd be really expensive, but are you using a GFI or Arc-Fault breaker? Either of those could cause unwanted tripping.

Good luck with it.
jack g

Aug 06, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Trips breaker


You could have a dirty condenser coil or the fan motor isn't running at the proper speed to slow, weak or bad breaker, breaker to small causing to much voltage drop, loose plug in connection at wall outlet.

Jun 29, 2010 | Whirlpool ACQ128 Air Conditioner

3 Answers

Fan works, but if A/C turned on, trips breaker within a few minut


You need to verify if the problem is the unit or the breaker.  To do this, you will need to measure the current it is pulling from the power source.
If the unit is pulling too much current, then the unit is the problem.  If the unit is pulling as much or less than its rated current draw, then the circuit breaker is worn out.
The units WILL pull more power when hot outside.  It should not trip a breaker unless something is wrong with either the unit or the breaker.
A current draw test will tell you for sure.
If it's not the breaker, then it's probably low refigerant causing the issue.

Jul 08, 2009 | Dometic Rooftop RV Air Conditioner

1 Answer

Blower wont come on


If the blower never tries to come on, then that is why it is tripping the breaker. If the breaker is tripping while the entire unit is running, try cleaning the condenser coil. Go on top of the unit and remove the AC shroud. With a water hose, gently rinse the condenser coil out from the rear. Continue doing this until the water that flows is clear. This should help with the breaker problem, if it does not, then the fan motor is overheating and causing the amperage to go up. What size of breaker is the unit on? Does it trip mainly on hot days? If so then it is the fact that the condenser is dirty.

Jun 30, 2009 | Dometic Rooftop RV Air Conditioner

2 Answers

Tripping circuit breaker


You probably have a dirty condenser coil or the con den ser fan motor is bad or the blades are jam that's why it overheat and shut off by overload.

Apr 20, 2009 | Dometic Rooftop RV Air Conditioner

2 Answers

Electrical - Air Conditioning


Ben, you are on the right track. To upgrade the breaker, first look at the main house breaker panel and determine if allowing more current through main breaker will be taxing it too highly (will 20 more amps exceed my main breaker limit...what is the main breaker current trip at?) Then look at the wire size leading away from the 40 amp breaker to outside. If it is 6 gage copper or 4 gage copper-clad aluminum wire, you are ok to upgrade. Any smaller wire size could be unhealthy.

Sep 03, 2007 | Heating & Cooling

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