Dallas Electrician | Air Conditioning Breaker Tripped | FAQ
Q: Why did my heating and air conditioning technician tell me to call an electrician for my tripped breaker?
Here's Why Some Motors Trip Circuit Breakers...
Motors create inductive loads, which means their current lags behind their voltage. When a motor is started, large amount of energy are used. However, much less energy is required to keep it running. In "E" style motors, the start up energy demand can exceed the normal working demand by as much as 1300 times! However, for most common A/C units the demand is about 150% to 300%. Most older A/C units require a longer start up time, often resulting in a tripped breaker. Older A/C units also may have weak or bad motors that often cause breakers to trip as well. A common attempt to remedy this is the installation of a capacitor to assist the motor on start up, commonly referred to as a hard start kit. Be aware, this does not correct the issue. Always consult a licensed, professional technician.
Loose Bus Bar Connections May Cause Overloads
Loose connections between the breaker and bus bar often are the source for breaker tripping. If this situation occurs frequently, it can cause a burn out where the breaker and bus bar meet. If this situation does occur the breaker box needs to be replaced. The bus bars that are damaged allow for tight electrical connections with the A/C or other breakers. This will eventually lead to a fire.
What Is "Lock Rotor Amperage" On Home A/C Units?
"Lock Rotor Amperage" refers to the amount of current that will be demanded if voltage is applied to a motor and the motor shaft seizes. This is very similar to the start up current required by a motor.