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Old 05-23-2011, 08:14 PM   #1
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


Forgive my ignorance with this. I'm not an electrician or ac guy and just want to be sure I know what I'm talking about before I call for repair.

I am in a new house (to me) and I turned on the ac for the first time today. After about 20 min the compressor outside will trip the breaker. The fan inside will keep running. Attached are photos of the plate on the ac outside and my breaker.

Is this tripping because my breaker should be higher? Or is it deeper than that? I assume that if your breaker is too high it could be a fire hazard right?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:28 PM   #2
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


Minimum circuit amps 32, max breaker size 50. If the wire is not big enough to handle 50 amps then it wouldn't get that size breaker. That's a fairly old unit so I doubt it has anything to do with the breaker or the old owners would have corrected the issue 16 years ago.

Is the unit clean? Dirty coils add quite a bit of electrical load.

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Old 05-23-2011, 08:41 PM   #3
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


Thanks I am going to check the coils. I forgot to attach a pic of the wire. Here it is..this wire has a date jul 2010 on it. I think it was a requirement of the inspection to change it.

Does seeing this wire change your reply?

Thanks
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


Could also be low on freon and overheating the compressor. Get it checked ASAP B4 more damage occurs. Has number 6 gauge wire which is plenty large enough. Will use 26 amps when fully loaded so 40 amp breaker is fine.
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Last edited by yuri; 05-23-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:42 PM   #5
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


Thanks I'll get it checked out
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:09 PM   #6
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


It does look like that wire can go on a 50A breaker, according to this chart, assuming the run is not too long.

http://lugsdirect.com/WireCurrentAmp...ble-301-16.htm
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:37 AM   #7
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


While the breaker size can be increased. That may not be the solution, since the current breaker is tripping after the unit has been running for a while. The units amp draw while running should be less then 26 amps. If its tripping a 40 amp breaker while running, there is something wrong other then breaker size. Could be as simple as a weak breaker, or it could be a winding problem in the compressor or condenser fan motor, or a intermittent short in the wire itself in one of the connection points. Just increasing breaker size could cause more harm then good, if the problem is searched out more before increasing breaker size.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:59 PM   #8
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


The contractor switch contact was melted... It was replaced... I wish I would have looked at it myself first. I was afraid of the capacitor. A quick google told me I could have just de charged it with a screwdriver wearing a heavy glove...do you think that was it?...have not had a hot day to try it in real life situation... The breaker stayed on but it was only 55 outside....
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:30 PM   #9
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


It could been the problem. Or just another symptom of another problem. Can't say for sure from here.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:33 PM   #10
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


ok heres what we got so far... and there is a pattern..

replaced contractor switch...run AC breaker trips depending on how hot it is outside..

one morning it was 50 some out and it ran for a long time...

when it was hot out it ran for about 20 min.. i happened to be by the box in the house when it tripped.. flipped it back on ran to the window and the fan did not start back up and it tripped right away...

so im thinking the fan motor is overheating? if i wait an hour or more depending on how hot it is out i can get it to run for a bit..


the motor looks original and its an old unit.. i ordered a replacment should be comming in a few days...

what do you think?

Also is it ok to run just the fan from the house unit all the time? As in set it to ON from AUTO until i get this fixed? Just to circulate some air around the house? or will that burn anything out?

Thanks !
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:43 AM   #11
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


Running the indoor fan 24/7 won't hurt it.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:20 PM   #12
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


i run my fan in the winter to circulate my wood stove heat. never had a problem.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #13
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


Thanks for everyone's replies so far...here is where I'm at and what I've done...

Changed contractor switch
Changed fan motor
Changed thirmister

Fan runs for a while depending on how hot it is outside.... Fan stops... I hear buzzing for a few seconds then breaker trips....

Am I out of luck? Do I even bother with the capacitor at this point? Or is the compressor bad?

Thanks for helping me through this
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:08 AM   #14
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Breaker is not the same size as noted on plate on ac, tripping breaker, thoughts?


Detyianni,

I think you are going ahead too far. Sorry if you have to replace all this parts and it is still not working. Run the system again and when it trips, touch the breaker (NOT THE WIRE) to make sure if it is hot or not, If it's hot, you got a bad breaker. Check the wires from the breaker to the condensor to make sure it's not loose (including the disconnect box or fuse box). PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU TURN OFF POWER BEFORE CHECKING THE WIRES.


Do you have a voltmeter? If you don't, might be better off calling someone to diagnosis it for you, cause there is really nothing I can help you with. But on the other hand, since you replace the fan motor, contactor. It wouldn't hurt to replace the capacitor (It's cheap). Just make sure you match the right size. If it's a dual run capacitor, it should read something like 50uf/5uf 440v. Make sure you turn off the breaker before touching the capacitor. Hope this help, and please please be careful, cause 240 volts with 20-30 amp currents can be very dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by detyianni View Post
Thanks for everyone's replies so far...here is where I'm at and what I've done...

Changed contractor switch
Changed fan motor
Changed thirmister

Fan runs for a while depending on how hot it is outside.... Fan stops... I hear buzzing for a few seconds then breaker trips....

Am I out of luck? Do I even bother with the capacitor at this point? Or is the compressor bad?

Thanks for helping me through this


Last edited by Mr.HVAC; 06-10-2011 at 12:45 AM.
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