AC Circuit Breaker Tripping: Common Causes & Fixes

AC Circuit Breaker Tripping: Common Causes & Fixes

AC circuit breaker tripping is a common issue that homeowners in the Coachella Valley face during the hot summer months. This can be a vexing experience, possibly leading to your AC ceasing to function. This post will explore some of the main reasons for AC circuit breaker tripping and provide you with valuable information on how to address these issues.

We’ll discuss potential causes such as bad circuit breakers, overloaded compressors or fan motors, electrical short circuits, refrigerant pressure issues, and wiring problems. By understanding these factors behind AC circuit breaker tripping incidents, you can take proactive steps to prevent them from happening in your home.

Stay tuned as we dive into each of these topics in detail so that you can keep your air conditioning system running smoothly throughout the season.

Reasons for AC Circuit Breaker Tripping

There are several reasons why your air conditioner’s circuit breaker may keep tripping, ranging from a faulty breaker to refrigerant pressure issues. Comprehending the potential sources of this issue can help you diagnose it and take appropriate action to address it. In this section, we will discuss some common reasons behind an AC circuit breaker tripping:

  • Bad circuit breaker: A faulty or worn-out circuit breaker might be unable to handle the electrical load of your air conditioning system.
  • Compressor or fan drawing too many amps: When a compressor or fan motor is overworked, it can draw more current than the circuit can handle, causing the breaker to trip.
  • Electrical short circuits: Short circuits occur when wires touch each other unintentionally, creating a high-current situation that trips breakers as a safety measure.
  • Refrigerant pressure issues: An imbalance in refrigerant pressure within your air conditioning system could lead to increased strain on compressors and higher amperage draw, resulting in repeated breaker tripping.

Identifying a Bad Circuit Breaker

If you’re experiencing frequent AC circuit breaker tripping, one possible cause could be a faulty circuit breaker. A bad breaker may not be able to handle the electrical load of your air conditioning system and trip as a result. To determine if this is the issue, you can use an infrared camera to inspect your circuit breakers for signs of excessive heat.

  • Check for visible damage: Inspect the exterior of the breaker for any signs of physical damage or wear that might indicate it needs replacement.
  • Infrared inspection: Using an infrared camera, look for areas where there’s significant heat coming from the breaker. This could suggest that it’s struggling to handle the electrical load and should be replaced.
  • Contact a professional: If you suspect that your AC unit’s issues are due to a bad circuit breaker, contact an experienced HVAC technician who can assess and replace it if necessary.

A faulty circuit breaker isn’t something homeowners should attempt fixing themselves – always consult with experts before taking action on such matters.

Overloaded Compressor or Fan Motor

If your air conditioner’s circuit breaker keeps tripping, it could be due to an overloaded compressor or fan motor. These components may draw too many amps if they are stuck, worn out, or running on borrowed time. This excessive amperage can cause the circuit breaker to trip as a safety precaution.

To ascertain if the AC is having issues, investigate signs of deterioration on these components and observe their operation. If you notice that the compressor or fan motor is struggling to function properly and causing frequent trips in the process, it might be time to consider saving up for a new system. An aging air conditioning unit with a limited lifespan will lead to more breakdowns and increase energy consumption and costs.

  • Maintain regular maintenance: To prevent overloading issues in compressors and fan motors, ensure your AC system undergoes routine maintenance by qualified technicians who can identify potential problems early on.
  • Upgrade when necessary: If your current system has reached its end-of-life stage or consistently causes circuit breakers to trip due to overloads, investing in a newer model would provide better efficiency and fewer headaches down the line.

Dealing with Electrical Short Circuits

Dealing with Electrical Short Circuits

One of the reasons for an AC circuit breaker tripping is an electrical short circuit. This occurs when wires leading to the motor touch each other while the system is supposed to be on. This high current situation triggers safety mechanisms in place and trips the breakers. To prevent such issues, it’s essential to identify and address any potential wiring problems within your air conditioning unit.

  • Inspect Wiring: Regularly inspect your AC unit’s wiring for signs of wear or damage that could lead to a short circuit. If you notice frayed or exposed wires, contact a professional technician immediately.
  • Maintain Proper Connections: Ensure all connections are secure and tight, as loose connections can cause overheating and increase the risk of short circuits. You may need a qualified electrician if you’re unsure about handling these tasks yourself.
  • Hire Professionals: When dealing with electrical issues in your air conditioner, always consult experienced technicians with expertise in HVAC systems like those at Anthem. They can efficiently diagnose and resolve any underlying problems before they escalate into more significant concerns.

Taking proactive measures against electrical short circuits will help keep your AC running smoothly and ensure its longevity by preventing unnecessary strain on its components. If you’re experiencing issues with your AC tripping the breaker, it could be due to a faulty breaker or compressor issues. Contact a professional for AC repair to stop tripping the breaker and ensure your air conditioner is running efficiently.

Addressing Refrigerant Pressure Issues

High refrigerant pressure within your air conditioning system can strain compressors over time and lead them to pull higher amperage than usual, resulting in repeated breaker tripping. This issue may be caused by various factors, such as:

  • An overcharged system
  • A blocked or malfunctioning expansion valve
  • A dirty condenser coil that restricts airflow

To address these issues, it’s essential to have a professional HVAC technician inspect your AC unit. If the technician finds too much refrigerant, they will take steps to remove it and possibly suggest replacing it with fresh coolant for optimal performance. In some cases, they might recommend starting over with virgin refrigerants for optimal performance.

Maintaining proper refrigerant levels is crucial for efficient cooling and preventing circuit breaker trips. Regular maintenance checks by qualified technicians can help ensure this balance is maintained throughout the lifespan of your AC unit. For additional guidance on keeping your AC in top condition, have a look at our guide to air conditioning upkeep.

Wiring Problems

wiring problems

If your air conditioner’s circuit breaker trips immediately after turning back on, there could likely be an issue with wiring connections inside components like motors and compressors. These problems would require professional assistance from technicians with expertise in dealing specifically with those types of equipment.

Poorly connected or damaged wires can cause electrical shorts, leading to the tripping of the circuit breaker. To avoid further damage to your AC system and ensure safety, it is essential to address these issues promptly. Some common signs that indicate wiring problems include:

  • A burning smell coming from the AC unit
  • Flickering lights when the air conditioner is running
  • Visible damage or fraying on wires near the unit

If you suspect a wiring problem within your AC system, it is best not to attempt any repairs yourself, as this may result in more significant issues or even personal injury. Instead, contact a reputable HVAC technician specializing in repairing such systems. Anthem HVAC Repair Services can provide you with the best technicians in Coachella Valley.


AC circuit breaker tripping can be frustrating for homeowners in the Coachella Valley. By understanding the potential causes of AC circuit breaker tripping, homeowners can take preventative measures to avoid further occurrences. A bad circuit breaker, overloaded compressor or fan motor, electrical short circuits, refrigerant pressure issues, and wiring problems are all potential culprits.

If you suspect that your AC circuit breaker is faulty or experiencing any of these issues mentioned above, causing it to trip frequently, then contact us at today! Our expert technicians are ready to identify the source of your AC circuit breaker tripping issue and provide a reliable solution for lasting comfort in your home.