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Reasons Why Your Aircon Unit Keeps Tripping The Circuit Breaker

What is an aircon circuit breaker?

Generally speaking, a circuit breaker is a safety switch that is built into your home’s electrical system. This switch will stop the flow of electricity to any component or device that is consuming too much power. This helps prevent an electrical overload which could potentially lead to an electrical fire.

Why does an aircon unit trip again and again?


Your aircon unit circuit breaker will trip if it is pulling in more amps than your circuit breaker is rated for. For instance, your 30-amp circuit breaker will trip if your aircon unit is drawing in 40 amps. However, if your aircon unit keeps tripping the circuit breaker, then it might be a cause for concern. 

Typically, your aircon breaker trips when there’s a short circuit, the aircon unit is overworking or a part is bad or malfunctioning. If you continue to run your aircon unit, you could permanently damage the air conditioner. It is recommended to get a professional aircon servicing company out as soon as you can.

What are the common causes of an air conditioner tripping the breaker?

1) Dirty air filter

2) Dirty outside unit

3) Issue with the circuit breaker

4) Fan motor has shorted

5) Compressor has trouble starting

6) Compressor is grounded

What to do if an aircon unit keeps on tripping in case of emergency?

1) Turn the entire aircon unit OFF at the thermostats.

2) At your electrical panel, turn the DB Box or distribution board switch to the ON position.

3) It is important to wait for 30 minutes with the air conditioner OFF.

4) After 30 minutes, set your air conditioner back to COOL.

How to keep an aircon unit from tripping again and again?

1) When you have dirty air filters

Solution: Change the air filter.

Imagine forcing a pillow over your face. Hard to breathe right? That’s what a dirty filter does to your aircon blower since the blower has to work longer and harder to circulate air through the filter. This causes the blower to draw more electricity and trip the breaker.

2) When the aircon unit is dirty outside unit

Solution: Get a professional aircon servicing company to properly clean the outside unit. 

Your aircon unit has an inside unit and an outside unit. The inside unit absorbs heat from your air using refrigerant. That refrigerant flows to the outside unit to disperse the heat.

However, the outside unit can’t disperse heat well if it’s super dirty because dirt is an insulator. So the aircon unit runs and runs trying to disperse that heat outside until-click-the breaker trips due to drawing too much current.

It is also recommended to avoid doing the DIY aircon servicing for several reasons:

a) You lack the cleaning equipment and cleaning chemicals to clean the condenser coil professionally and buying the wrong type of equipment can actually do more harm than good to the condenser.

b) Cleaning it improperly could damage/flatten the fins wrapped around the coil. This blocks airflow over the coil and is just as bad as having the coil matted with dirt.

3) If an aircon unit has issues with the circuit breaker

Solution: Have a professional aircon servicing company tighten connections to the aircon unit’s breaker or replace the breaker.

The issue may not be with the aircon unit itself but rather with the breaker. Wires connected to the breaker may be loose or the breaker itself may be bad and needs replacing. This is a relatively inexpensive fix.

4) When the aircon fan motor has shorted

Solution: Call a professional aircon servicing company to find the source of the short.

Electric motors in your aircon unit can run for hours and hours and can take quite a bit of abuse. But if a motor runs hot for too long, the wire insulation can break down, leading to an electrical short circuit.

An electrical short circuit is where electricity bypasses its normal path, so it’s taking a shortcut. This shortcut allows more electricity to flow than the wires can handle, causing the wires to overheat, melt and cause a fire.

5) When the compressor has trouble starting

Solution: Have a professional aircon servicing company install a “hard start kit” which is a capacitor that 

gives the compressor motor an extra electrical “jolt” to get it moving.

The heart of your aircon unit is the compressor. It pulls tons of electricity when it starts up. Unfortunately, as the compressor ages, it has trouble starting, called hard starting, and pulls even more electricity, causing the breaker to trip as a result. However, the compressor may be old or damaged and need to be replaced instead.

6) When the aircon compressor is grounded

Solution: This is the worst-case scenario. A professional aircon servicing company will have to replace the compressor and clean the refrigerant lines.

A grounded compressor or compressor short to the ground means that an electrical winding inside the compressor has broken and hit the side of the compressor. This causes a direct short to ground, igniting the oil and causing burnout. And, of course, the circuit breaker trips due to the sudden current surge.

About 338aircon.sg

It’s always a good time to talk about the common issues that aircon units have. This way, you’ll be able to spot if there are problems with your unit or not and prepare for its replacement accordingly. If you require our aircon servicing services, Whatsapp us at +65 9222 4141 for a fast and transparent quote.

338 Aircon Servicing Singapore provides an extensive range of Aircon Services including Aircon Servicing, Aircon Repairs, Aircon Installation of the best aircon brands, Chemical Overhaul, Gas Top-up, Aircon Leaking Water, and Aircon Not Cold Fix, and more. We have a team of professional technicians who are equipped with vast knowledge and experience in the Aircon industry. 

We have over 15 years of experience in dealing with aircon works and have completed thousands of aircon works for both residential (Landed, Condo, and HDB) and commercial. We are a highly recommended Aircon Company in Singapore, with many delighted customers and reviews over the years on Google and Facebook.

WhatsApp us at +65 9222 4141 for a transparent quotation and honest pricing for all your aircon needs or Call us at +65 9222 4141. We offer a fast and efficient service to serve any of your aircon needs!