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Carrier central airconditioning heat unit - breaker trips when cooling turned on

The circuit breaker of my AC Unit trips every time i turn on the
AC cooling from the thermostat. Thus the fan does not work.

what can cause this to happen..

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  • ljseaside Jul 21, 2008

    this happens when the compressor kicks on otherwise the fan stays running

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  • 33 Answers

Well mineswas a blowen compressor

Posted on Jul 19, 2008

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What causes caravan aircon to trip circuit breaker on start up


My first guess would be that the compressor has seized. If not the compressor seizing, then I would look for a short to ground in the wiring. If you pull the cover of the AC you will most likely find that the compressor motor is plugged into a receptacle. If you can unplug or otherwise disconnect the compressor motor from its' power source and activate the thermostat to run and the circuit breaker does not trip, it is the compressor motor. If the circuit breaker trips, then it's in the wiring.

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It needs to be determined wether it's a dead short or the compressor is bad. A dead short is when the hot (colored) wire is in contact with the neutral (white) wire in a 120 V system.
I would get to the compressor connection box and disconnect the power from the compressor and turn the circuit breaker on. If it trips, it's a wiring problem. If it doesn't trip, the compressor is shorted internally.
As an alternate test to disconnect the compressor, you can turn the thermostat to off and reset the breaker, if it trips, then it's a wiring problem, if it doesn't trip and as soon as you turn the thermostat to on, then you must go to disconnecting the compressor and check it again with the compressor disconnected.
Other tests, an electrical meter is required.

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see this step: God bless you
check.gif Check the house circuit breaker to see if it tripped?
Click here if you own a Vacuflo Central Vacuum Unit continuously trips your circuit breaker
If it is tripped, then turn off your central vacuum unit and reset the circuit breaker. Then turn the central vacuum unit on. If the circuit breaker trips again, then refer to the following:
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My honeywell thermostat will not start the a/c


Makes sure the thermostat switch is turned to A/C or Cool

Then make sure any switch on the AC unit is turned on

then check the circuit breaker box to make sure your AC breaker did not trip (or may have been turned off by a service technician last fall).

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I've just moved into a home with an existing Armstrong Concept 10 A/C unit that's at least 15 years old. When I left for a 2-week vacation, the unit was working great. I set the thermostat to 77 to save...


Hello 93 The compressor caused the breaker to trip.A weak capasitor or burnt wire is a common cause.It sounds like the compressor is NOT on even though the fan is.It may need a new wire or maybe a HARD START kit to help restore operation.Call for help.HS kits are not expensive.NO damage results from leaving it on, the problem would have happened anyway even if you went on vacation or not.The curcit breaker stopped it.Its worth fixing.

Aug 30, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

I have a Carrier AC unit with a heat pump. I noticed that it wasn't cooling and the circuit breaker had tripped. When I reset the breaker and try to start it again, it trips againafter 10 seconds. The...


Check with your contractor to see if their repair is warrantied. If it is not call someone who carries a warranty and satisfaction guarantee on repairs. It is likely that you got a bad capacitor, however, this typically will not trip a breaker. It's possible that other issue(s) caused the capacitor failure.
How old is this unit?

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1 Answer

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.

Good Luck!

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'Breakers' - are tripped because they are exceeding their amp limits.

The 'hotter' it gets outside - the 'harder' your AC has to work - and under normal circumstances this is not a problem - but when you have a fan motor or a compressor that is starting to 'break-down' (electrically) - often the AC's amp draw will exceed the limits of the breaker - thus 'tripping' the breaker.

I would suspect either the fan motor or the compressor is causing your breaker problem.

Eventually - the component (either the fan mtr or compressor) that is 'going bad' will go out completely and your breaker will 'trip' and not stay on when you try to reset it.

At this point you will need a Service Tech to determine which one is bad.

There is a possibility that your condenser coil (the one that blows hot air) is 'dirty' which will also cause a problem similar to the one you have - but it is less likely.

Also - if you've had the AC 're-charged' lately - it's possible you are in a 'over-charged' condition - but again, this is not very likely.

hope this helps.

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1 Answer

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