Once I purchased my first home, I realized that I needed to do my part in caring for my home appliances. In addition to reading the user manuals for my kitchen appliances and state-of-the-art plumbing system, I realized that I also needed to do a little research about HVAC. Because I had no experience with HVAC systems, I called out a professional to teach me a thing or two. It was fascinating to talk with him, and I was able to take notes about all kinds of important topics, such as maintenance, troubleshooting, and even shopping for a new system. This blog is all about understanding HVAC guidelines.
AC problems can sometimes cause the breaker in your electrical panel to trip off. This can happen for a number of reasons, and it may not even be a problem if the breaker stays on once you flip the breaker back on.
If the breaker flips off when your condenser starts up, that's a good indication the issue is somewhere in the condenser parts. Here are some things that go wrong and how an air conditioning repair technician can find and fix the problem.
There's A Short Circuit
A short circuit can cause your breaker to trip. The problem could be in the wiring or in the parts inside the condenser. The air conditioning repair technician can use a multimeter and test along the path of the electricity as it travels from the wires to the contactor, capacitor, fan, and compressor.
Sometimes, the problem might be obvious, such as when wiring is damaged by a rodent. Damaged wiring can be replaced or repaired so the shorted wire is removed. If the contactor, capacitor, or fan motor has a short as found with a multimeter, the technician can replace those parts. If the compressor has a short, the situation is different because the compressor is so expensive.
Depending on the age of your air conditioner and its condition, it may be better to replace the entire condenser than to replace one expensive part. Your air conditioning repair technician can help you make the right decision.
Once the part with the electrical short is replaced, the power is restored so your AC can be tested to make sure it no longer trips the breaker.
Parts Overheat And Strain
One of the functions of the condenser is to cool off the compressor and refrigerant coils. It does this with a fan and with ventilation through the fins. If the condenser is dirty and clogged, heat builds up inside that affects the parts. Heat also builds up when the fan malfunctions.
The problem is made worse because the fan motor and the compressor struggle to operate and that creates more heat that can cause the parts to burn out. The strain can cause the breaker to trip off. If the problem is a clogged condenser, the air conditioning repair technician may need to clean the fins or clean out the condenser so air can flow through freely. Getting plant growth away from the sides of the condenser can help, too.
If the problem is a malfunctioning fan, the repair technician may need to replace a blade, clean the fan, or replace a capacitor that helps the fan motor start. When the fan has maximum airflow again, the motor won't strain and the condenser can cool down.
If you need an AC repair, contact a local HVAC technician to get help.