Everytime my central air unit kicks on my circuit breaker trips. It didn't do this last year or even earlier this year
A circuit breaker 'tripping' everytime the AC unit kicks on 'most always' indicates a direct short (somewhere in the condensing unit), although it is possible that the breaker itself is bad - (but not likely).
Usually the cause of this 'short' will be - either the condenser motor in the condensing unit (outside unit) or the compressor - also in the condensing unit.
If you're mechanically inclined - and "very careful" around electricity - there is a fairly simple way to find out which component is causing the short.
Step 1 - Make sure the condensing unit (outside unit) is completely disconnected (electrically) , i.e. pull the fuses/turn off circuit breaker on outside unit and turn off thermostat.
Step 2 - disconnect the condenser motor (this is the outside fan motor). Note: when you disconnect the wires of the condenser motor "be sure" you mark/write their location, and wrap them in electric tape.
Step 3 - start the AC unit. If the breaker trips again you can pretty much rest assured it's the compressor that is shorted.
To prove it (without a doubt) - go to next step.
Step 4 - "be sure circuit breaker and thermostat is turned off" - and - 'reconnect' the condenser motor - and - then disconnect the compressor wires (mark wires and tape them).
Step 5 - Start AC.
If breaker doesn't trip - you know it's the compressor that is shorted.
If breaker 'does' trip again - then it's possible the breaker itself is bad (not likely) or there is a 'short' in the condensing unit's "wiring" somewhere (not likely).
My guess is that either the condenser motor or compressor is shorted.
Hope this helps.
Jun 10, 2010 |