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Tom B. 05-30-2005 05:28 PM

Circuit Breaker Kicks Out
At the end of last summer my air conditioner worked great. I turned it on this year and no cool air. I checked the circuit breaker and it was kicked out. I tried to flip it on and it kicks off immediately. Do I have an electrical problem or an AC problem. Whick should I call and is there a likely cause to this problem. How does an AC unit go out when it is not in use? (Sorry, I have never done electrical or HVAC work)

jproffer 05-30-2005 06:59 PM

It's an electrical problem. Now, whether the problem is INSIDE the A/C or in the wiring leading to it...**shrug**. I know a fair amount about electrical work, but I too am green as far as HVAC goes. The only thing that trips a breaker is a fault, but again, without knowing whether its leading to, or inside the unit itself, it's hard to decide who to call first. Call the sparky first and its inside, you pay a trip fee for nothing, he likely won't touch anything past the outer shell of the unit. However, if you call the HVAC guy first and it's a problem outside..well same get the idea.

EDIT: :o hit submit too early...hadn't answered anything.

Do you have any electrical skills at all? If so, or if you know someone who does, try going as far downstream (away from the breaker panel) as possible towards the unit and disconnect the power, as close as possible to it. (maybe a junction box somewhere nearby). SEPERATE ALL WIRES AND WIRE-NUT/TAPE OFF <<<VERY IMPORTANT. Go back to the panel and try the breaker again, if it still trips it's likely a problem in the wiring leading to the unit. If it doesn't it's probably inside the unit itself. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, then DON'T. As far as who to call first, I would probably try the sparky first, only because in my area, their trip fee is slightly less than HVAC, and I'd rather spend less for nothing, than more.

When all else fails, call and ask, point blank. if they won't tell you their trip fee (they know it, whether they like to say it or not) then find someone else. PS - I'm not talking about the total bill, just the trip fee, that shouldn't change, you're either in area, or you're not.

jbfan 05-31-2005 06:08 AM

Go outside where the ac unit is located. Remove or turn off the disconnect to the unit. Turn on breaker again. It breaker holds, call AC guy. If breaker trips , call Electrician.

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