Why The Outside AC Unit Keep Tripping The Circuit Breaker?

image of a circuit breaker that controls air conditioning system

Electrical issues are troublesome since they can cause the air conditioner to go down completely. Nothing makes people happier than finding comfort in their homes when it’s scorching outdoors. However, when the outside AC unit tripping breaker, anyone would feel distressed, especially if they have no idea what’s causing the HVAC problem in the first place. This article discusses some of the most common causes and solutions for an air conditioning issue like this. It is important to note to call an experienced HVAC contractor right away for assistance.

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The Outside Air Conditioning Unit’s Circuit Breaker Is Constantly Tripped

The air conditioner compressor is located in the outside air conditioning unit. As far as the cooling system is concerned, this is the most vital part. It helps refrigerant circulation by absorbing heat from the interior of the house and directing it outside. The house gradually cools down until it reaches the thermostat setting. At this point, the air conditioner turns off automatically. The operation of the air conditioner compressor demands a substantial amount of energy. The device loses power and becomes inoperable if the breakers trip. Because of the seriousness of the situation, homeowners must give it their whole attention.

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What Causes Air Conditioner Breakers to Trip?

Several factors can cause a circuit breaker to trip. Keep in mind that this is an automatic safety feature that activates in disaster scenarios. Breakers trip in order to protect the system against short circuits as well as electrical current surges.

They lessen the risk of fire and ensure the safety of connected equipment by halting the flow of power. Previously, electrical systems relied on single-use fuses. Circuit breakers, on the other hand, aren’t quite as delicate. They can be reset to get back to normal functioning. Resets, on the other hand, may not be enough if the circuit breaker keeps tripping frequently. The following will demand additional investigation:

1. An HVAC Air Filter That Isn’t Clean

image of a dirty air filter for an air conditioner causing circuit breaker to trip

Before the breaker trips, how is the air conditioner running? Check the temperature of the machine if the problem repeats. Your air filters are likely to be clogged if you’re experiencing excessive heat. HVAC airflow is restricted due to blocked air filters. The lack of fresh air to cool the system causes heat to build up, to the point where the system can no longer function safely.

Filters that are clogged reduce the system’s efficiency and performance. You’ll be able to tell the difference. Because of this, it is essential to clean reusable filters on a regular basis. Replace disposable filters as needed. A good rule of thumb is to check monthly and clean/replace as needed. The amount of pollutants in the air and the frequency with which the AC unit is used determine the precise schedule.

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2. Dirty Air Conditioner Condenser Coils

Apart from the HVAC filters, dust and other airborne contaminants can cause the condenser coils to become dirty. It’s possible that the dirt layer will build up to the point where it works as an insulator. This keeps the coils from releasing heat outside. In the worst-case situation, the system could overheat due to an electrical short. The system may continue to function in less severe circumstances, but cooling the house may use more energy than usual. It is normally a good idea to inspect and clean the coils on a regular basis to avoid this problem. HVAC companies incorporate cleaning as part of their annual HVAC tune-up services. Simply get in touch with them and set up a visit.

3. Faulty Air Conditioner Coil Fan

air conditioner condenser fan close up

Coil fans are integral to the cooling process and are housed within cooling units. The motors are commonly found outside. The coils are cooled by the airflow provided by the rotating blades. The fans will stop working if the motors fail. It’s possible that this is a result of normal aging. If the fan motor is constantly tripping the breaker, it may be time to replace it. Without a comprehensive check by a qualified HVAC technician, it’s difficult to say. Find Look for a qualified specialist who can analyze the situation and recommend a solution.

4. Start-up Issues With the Air Conditioner Compressor

The importance of the compressor has already been mentioned. Engineers make every attempt to extend the component’s life and reliability. However, it may occasionally behave unpredictably, such as by doing a hard start. As a result, the compressor has a hard time starting and requires more energy to start running. The circuit breakers may be tripped as a result of this issue. Keep track of how long it takes for the air conditioning to turn on. In the vast majority of circumstances, one second is all that is required. You’ve found the cause of the problem if it sputters and takes more time. Advanced solutions are required in this situation, therefore don’t take any chances. Seek professional help as soon as possible.

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5. Loose Wiring & Aging Air Conditioning Components

Other system components, aside from the compressor, may deteriorate over time. The wiring of the system is an ideal illustration of this. There are an unfathomable number of wires that carry electricity and signals throughout the house. Several of these components may loosen with time, causing improper connections. It is possible for bare wires to come into contact with one another even when they are not intended to do so. A circuit breaker may also be tripped if the wires hit sensitive components, such as the compressor’s inside wall.

This is a difficult issue that homeowners should not attempt to resolve on their own. Instead, they should hire experts to do a thorough evaluation and skillful rewiring. They may also uncover more system components that need to be replaced.

6. Defective Air Conditioner Capacitor

multimeter and run capacitors of an outdoor air conditioning unit

The compressor is started using capacitors. The capacitor may attempt to draw an excessive quantity of electricity during the start-up procedure if the compressor has problems starting. If it surpasses a predetermined threshold, the circuit breaker may trip. After years of use, the capacitor may potentially fail. It will stop working as effectively as it should once it reaches the end of its useful life. It must be replaced as soon as possible by technicians. The capacitor is located inside the exterior air conditioning device. They’ll take off the metal cover to get to the capacitor, which they’ll replace with a compatible one.

7. An Outdated or Weak Air Conditioner Compressor

Compressors in recently installed units work well. As long as they are taken care of properly, these can operate for a decade or more. Even the most powerful compressors, however, deteriorate with age, like all aging HVAC systems. They might eventually degenerate to the point that they can’t start the cooling cycle. Attempts may result in tripped breakers due to the compressor using an unusual amount of power. Because the compressor is the most expensive component of the air conditioner, its replacement should be carefully considered. Consult a specialist to determine whether this is the genuine issue and, if so, what other options are available.

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Is the Air Conditioner Breaker Malfunctioning?

Occasionally, the issue is not with the air conditioning device itself. Maybe the breaker keeps tripping because it has actually malfunctioned.  While this is a rare occurrence, it should be addressed as part of the troubleshooting process. Sturdy switches make up breaker panels. Those which trip regularly as a result of external conditions, on the other hand, may gradually deteriorate. They may trip far more frequently the next time they encounter a trigger. Replacing the breakers with more efficient ones is the wisest course of action.



A tripped breaker might signify a range of issues with your air conditioner. Simple observations can make it difficult to determine the underlying cause. Air conditioning professionals are capable of advanced troubleshooting and correct diagnosis. They can shed light on what went wrong and how similar incidents can be prevented in the future. You can easily find the damaged component with their assistance.

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For All of Your Heating & Cooling Needs, Call Point Bay Fuel


Point Bay Fuel is a leading heating and cooling service provider in Ocean and Monmouth County, New Jersey. We only hire competent professionals capable of providing outstanding HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installs, as well as replacements. We ensure that each of our technicians has the skills and experience necessary to service your HVAC unit quickly and effectively.

Point Bay Fuel assures the most cost-effective heating and cooling service in the area. We can help you lower your heating and cooling bills while improving your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. We can suggest the most cost-effective solution for your house, whether you need HVAC repair or a new system installed and maintained. To assure your pleasure, we offer a guarantee on all of our work. Contact the Point Bay Fuel right away to schedule a service appointment. We’ll come to your house and give you a free estimate.

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