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Old 06-30-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
Bill Traver
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AC Wiring Troubleshooting

I have a tenant who is having problems with their AC window unit. Their apartment is all 15 AMP fuses (4 circuits total).

Their AC window unit is rated at 12 AMP but is about 12+ years old. It will cycle on and off for a bit then pop a fuse. They tried putting a power strip in but that would pop also.

My opinion is that the load being pulled on start-up to get the unit going goes over 15 amps .... they have tried plugging in to a few of the circuits ... one which had literally nothing else on it.

Is my opinion correct? Could this be pointing to something in my wiring (some lines are older (figure mid-late 50s).



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Old 06-30-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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The air conditioner filter and possibly the finned cooling panel could be clogged with dust and dirt.

The air conditioner could have insufficient Freon or Freon line contamination (or excess Freon from an imperfect servicing/recharge).

These conditions can cause the compressor to strain and draw excessive amperage.

You could use an ammeter to measure the current draw. They make convenient actual reading (not clamp on) ammeters too, you plug the appliance into the meter and plug the meter into the receptacle. These cost about $25. at stores like Home Depot.


The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 06-30-2012 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:11 AM   #3
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12 year old AC unit? Yeah, time to upgrade. 12 amps is 80% of a 15 amp circuit and falls within the scope of cord and plug equipment not fastened in place, so the issue is with the appliance itself.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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As stated before clean condenser coil,then try
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