I have an OLD Gaffer & Sattler HVAC unit installed at my home. The condenser outside has a lockout box next to it with a 60 amp 230 volt breaker - however, the circuit to the main electrical panel only has a 40 amp 230 volt breaker.
On hot days, the AC unit will run one cycle fine - but when attempting to start the condenser for the next cycle several minuets later, it will pop the 40 amp breaker.
Thinking that maybe the 40 amp breaker (also very old) may be weak, I replaced it with a new Square D 40 amp breaker (same as before). This did not solve the problem.
So... here are my main questions:
With a 60 amp breaker in the lockout box, and a max fuse rating of 60 amps on the spec plate on the condenser, can the 40 amp breaker at the main panel be replaced with a 50 or 60 amp 230 volt breaker (without burning down the house)?
If not an under rated breaker, what else could be the problem?
Boy it's hot out here! Any fast answers may just save my life (just kidding... I think).
Thanks for the help,
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Re: Electrical - Air Conditioning
The important thing is not to put in a breaker rated higher than the A/C wiring. If the breaker box is in direct sunlight, the additional heat can cause the breaker to trip before the trip-point current is reached.
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Re: Electrical - Air Conditioning
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.
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to be taken in air conditioners and to save cost.
These are some useful precautions to be taken in air conditioners (A/C).Improper refrigerant charge can damage your compressor, which is the heart
of your air conditioning system; this is an expensive air conditioner repair.
Systems improperly charged will cause increased electric bills because this
will reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system. The proper
refrigerant charge will provide longer equipment life, lower your utility bills
and reduce the need for air conditioning service.
A dirty condenser coil (outside unit) will reduce your air conditioning
systems ability to remove and reject heat from your home. This will cause your
system to run longer and increase your electric bills. The benefit of a clean
condenser coil is proper heat rejection, reduced run time and lower energy
bills. A dirty air conditioning condenser can lead to system failure and the
need for you air conditioner to be repaired, dirt and house dust that escapes
through your air conditioning filter can cling to the cold moist coil. This
will restrict the air flow through the coil reducing your air conditioning
system of performance and capacity. Maintaining the evaporator coil will ensure
that proper air flow is delivered to all areas of your home, increase comfort
levels, provide a cleaner healthier indoor
environment. Inspecting and changing your air filter on a monthly basis will
help prevent air conditioner repairs.
As your air conditioning system removes heat from your home, humidity is
extracted from the air. The condensation created by warmer air passing over a
cold coil must be drained from your system. This is done through a condensate
drain line. The drain must be checked and cleared of algae build up or foreign
particles clogging the drain, which could cause water damage to the ceiling or
floors of your home. By keeping your air conditioner drain line clear you will
reduce the need for air conditioning service and overflow problems which can
result in water damage. Proper draining will also aid in maintaining indoor
humidity levels. Cause of
Dirty blower wheels can affect the air flow to your home; limit your air
conditioning system's capacity and your comfort. It can also spread dust
particles which irritate sinus and allergies. A clean blower wheel and fan
motor will provide maximum air flow, improved comfort levels and proper
cooling. Most of air conditioner repairs are caused by dirt and the lack of
maintenance. Cause of
Your thermostat should be properly calibrated. This will ensure accurate
temperature control and operating cycle. This will save you on operating cost
and assure your comfort level. Moving parts in need of lubrication can cause
increased electrical consumption and air conditioner repairs. This is due to
additional power required to overcome the resistance in motors and drive shafts
that are not lubricated. Proper system lubrication will offer smooth motor and
shaft operation, extended part life and less air conditioner repairs. The
electrical components on your air conditioning system should be inspected
regularly for signs of wear. Faulty electrical components can lead to very
expensive air conditioning repairs. A thorough inspection will reduce the need
for air conditioner service if the faulty or worn parts are replaced when
Carrying this tips help reduce the amount of air conditioner repairs you
will encounter over your air conditioning systems lifespan. If you are in need
of air conditioner service make sure the company you choose is licensed and
insured to do the required repair work (warranty) .
Ductless split air conditioning units are the very best thing for some situations. Of course they can be installed in the place of most any central air conditioning unit. They also are a very good alternative to window air conditioning units. I will explore the use of these units more closely and look at how they can be used effectively. One of the many problems encountered by the professional is when they are asked to install central air conditioning in an older home that was never designed with air conditioning as even a possibility. The walls may be very thick stone. Often they have very little or no insulation. The floor structures may be rough cut lumber. The joists spacing may be random. Walls and ceilings are plaster and lathe. Basically everything is stacked against any type of ducted central air conditioning. Many log style homes also are not very easy to get any kind of ducted central air conditioning installed. The open ceilings and the bare log wall design does not allow for any kind of ducting. I'm sure there are other situations. These are the ones that I have come across most frequently. If you have a home or building that falls into one of these categories you may want to investigate installing a ductless air conditioner. This type of air conditioner can be installed in almost any home or building. The small indoor unit can be attached to the wall with a few screws. Most of the units only require that a three inch hole be bored through the outside wall. In new installations the units can be placed on inside walls with some fore thought and planning. For installation in older homes or homes that are already built you will want to plan the units to be on the outside walls. The outdoor condenser units can be placed up to one hundred feet away from the indoor units. One outdoor unit can be used for many indoor units. Up to four indoor units can be attached to the same outdoor condenser. Some very advanced electronics will control the operation of the condenser and compressor to supply the refrigerant to the indoor air handler units that are running at the time. With variable speed technology the compressor and the condenser fan will only run as fast as needed. This technology has become very efficient in the last few years. You do not have to give up any efficiency with these ductless split units. Another advantage to these mini split air conditioners is that they can be controlled to run only in the rooms that you actually need air conditioning in. If you are not going to be in a room you can shut down the unit. The units also have timers that can be set to turn the air conditioning on or off at preset times. If you are not going to be home all day the air conditioning can be setback or turned off. The timer will turn on the air conditioning so that you return to a cool house. Central air conditioning is very hard to zone effectively. Also with large central air conditioning systems the outdoor compressor will be running at full capacity even though only a few rooms amy be calling for cooling. There are some central air conditioning systems that are do some staging and variable speed technology. These are not as efficient or as effective as the ductless split technology. Ductless split heatpumps are another great idea to look at. For a few dollars more you can also very easily have heat from your air conditioning mini split. Then especially in the mild spring and fall weather you can have some very efficient heat with out starting up that big monster of a furnace or boiler in the basement. In southern climates the heatpump version of the ductless split system may provide enough heat year around. Ductless split air conditioning is definitely something that can solve many problems for some homeowners. Add to that the many advantages of these units and you will find that they are worth every penny that you will invest into them. As with any project like this make sure that you screen your contractor. These units are not for do it yourself people. There are many things that need to be done correctly for these units to work properly and efficiently. A refrigeration license is also required to install these air conditioners. By doing a little research and hiring the right person you will enjoy many years of trouble free service from your new ductless mini split system.
Since the failure of an air conditioner to turn on, loss of air conditioner cooling capacity, reduced air conditioning output temperatures, loss of cool air supply, or even loss of air flow entirely can be due to a variety of problems with one or more components of an air conditioner or air conditioning system, after reviewing the lost air conditioner cooling diagnosis procedures described in this article, be sure to also review the diagnostic procedures at each of the individual air conditioning diagnosis and repair major topics listed just below. To return to our air conditioning and refrigeration home page go to AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS.
Electrical problems on HVAC systems: Keep in mind that despite the depth of technical detail you will find here about all components of air conditioners and heat pumps, most service calls for non-working air conditioners or heat pumps turn up an electrical problem. So if your A/C system is just not working at all be sure to check all of our electrical and control setting suggestions first.
Mechanical problems on HVAC systems: tend to fall into these groups: refrigerant leaks, dirty condenser coil or unit, dirty evaporator or cooling coil, or burned out (or hard-starting) compressor motors. We have also seen a number of problems with fans and fan motors in both the compressor/condenser unit and in the air handler/blower fan unit. Some of those fan problems are mechanical - like a loose fan belt or blade. MORE DETAILS
the best way to clean your air-conditioning by using pressure washing
step 1: Turn off your power supply or remove plug.
step 2: Pullout unit
step 3: Remove electrical box or insulate the electrical box to prevent water enter the electrical box and fan motor.
step 4: Clean the evap. and condenser by use pressure washer.
step 5: Wait unit dry the unit
Step 6: Remove insulate electrical box and fan motor
step 7: Install the unit
step 8: Plug and turn on the power supply.
step 9: Turn the unit
Check to make sure that the power is on to the outdoor unit and the furnce. Check breakers and fuses. There may also be a disconnect outside located by the condenser. It is probably a gray box, loft the cover and make sure the shitch is on. Otherwise if you turn the thermostat to cool, if the furnace blower comes on and the outdoor unit does not check the following. Turn off poer to outdoor condenser and open up the electrical compartment on the condensing unit outside. There is a round or oval cylinder inside. Its probably silver in color. That is the capacitor. If the top is bulged, its a true sign of a capacitor failure. Take the capacitor out and take it to your local HVAC Wholesaler of contractor. The part should cost you around 15 to 25 dollars. If this does not work, let me know.
That is a fairly large difference. It is usually ok to have the inside evap. coil and blower up to 1 ton larger than the outside condenser. That will make the unit slightly more efficient as well as less likely to freeze up on low airflow situations. It is not recommended to install a new condenser on an old evap coil. There has been a lot of changes to the design of the coils in the last little while. For example a 10 year old 2 ton coil may only have 3 cubic feet of volume but a new 2 ton coil may have 4 cubit feet of volume.
There are many factors that may have infulenced the decision on what size condenser to install. Many of which can only be done by visiting the home and doing alot of work, checking the duct sizing bioth supply and return, inspecting the insulation and windows of the home etc. etc. Most of the time that never gets done. You can blame the contractor for not doing a complete check, but at the same time you can blame the customer because many contractors that are that good loose the job to a cheaper bid that did not no any of the research. It is a catch 22 for everyone involved.
There is ALOT more to sizing equipment that many people think, sadly that also includes many HVAC contractors. Way too many people use "rule of thumbs" or flat out "guess".
Sorry for the rant but your queston can only be answered by a good well educated HVAC contractor visiting your home. That type of a contractor is getting hard to find these days in such a price competetive world.