AC keeps tripping the breaker...please help

jennyeSeptember 20, 2007

About two months ago, my compressor shut off (not the blower) during a horrible storm. The unit is on the roof. Naively, I called an ac technician out and paid him $350 to show me the breaker had swiched over and he also changed the contact points on the compressor. He recommended this to avoid problems later. He said the unit looked great and should work fine and it did for a couple weeks. Well it has been steadily tripping the breaker more and more often since he left to the point (today) that I cant turn it on without tripping the breaker. When it is on, it works terrific. I plan to call the guy soon to come back. I am worried about the expense and what this means. :(

Thanks for any help.

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sundial8

I have a 16 years old American Standard that did the same thing. The technician told me that the compressor is at fault/broke.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 9:25AM
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busboy

How old is the unit? Might be time to consider a new system. It does sound like your compressor is wearing out. It is pullin more amps as it fails. It may be dead now. Don't wory about the expense..I'm sure it will be.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:58AM
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jennye

It's about 12-15 years old.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 11:00AM
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garyg

You could replace the breaker and see if it helps. Use the same amp rating. Sometimes the breaker gets week.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 1:10PM
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jennye

Just wanted to update you all. It was my capacitor. It blew out. It only cost $145 to fix. I would recommend this AC guy to anyone in Phoenix. He tried everything he could so that I could avoid a new compressor. He is also an electrician which helps.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 9:24PM
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mr_havac

"He is also an electrician which helps."
Actually that doesn't help much at all. I've seen many instances where electricians working on a/c systems have done more harm then good. Sometimes electricians do stupid things like jumper out a safety not knowing its purpose in the system but the wiring diagram shows the control should be closed. You lucked out this time but please don't preach to a bunch of professional HVAC technicians that it helps that he was an electrician. Our knowledge of an electrical circuit goes way beyong "black to black, white to white, and green to ground"

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 10:41AM
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jeffnette

Well said, Havac....

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 3:29PM
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mr_havac

Thanx jeff. BTW, beyong is very similar to the english word "beyond"

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 9:55PM
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jennye

Thanks for the info., but I think you are over-reacting and oversensitive. He owns his own AC co. and is BOTH an AC tech. and electrician. I am not "preaching" to anyone but thought, as an ignorant home owner, that the skills of an electrician would be important when dealing with wiring and breakers.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 11:11PM
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ase_tech

Posted by mr.havac (My Page) on Sun, Sep 23, 07 at 10:41

"He is also an electrician which helps."
Actually that doesn't help much at all. I've seen many instances where electricians working on a/c systems have done more harm then good. Sometimes electricians do stupid things like jumper out a safety not knowing its purpose in the system but the wiring diagram shows the control should be closed. You lucked out this time but please don't preach to a bunch of professional HVAC technicians that it helps that he was an electrician. Our knowledge of an electrical circuit goes way beyong "black to black, white to white, and green to ground"

She WASN'T preaching, you oversensitive-boob. And the fact that the A/C tech she found WAS ALSO an electrician certainly does help, you dope !

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 12:04AM
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jeffnette

I think what he was trying to say is that being an electrician doesn't help at all, it is being a HVAC tech that he draws his knowledge from. Working in this field for the past 18 years, I know of very few electricians with the knowledge of control wiring when it comes to a/c equipment.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:45AM
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mr_havac

Thanx but you don't have to defend me jeff. I'm the last person in this place who should be accused of being overly sensitive! I don't have to prove myself to some little bimbo. And look at this new little nit wit with the fancy handle. Ase Tech, or is that a misspell? Some little punk who probably has a few piddly years exp. in the trade calling me a dope. I'm sure he's gonna come back professing to be some HVAC whiz. Lets just see if he can contribute anything to this forum besides name calling. I doubt it.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 8:45PM
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DNT1

Fairly rare that a bad capacitor will cause a correctly sized breaker to trip all by its lonesome. Most likely your unit has other issues. You may want to start a savings fund for your new system RIGHT NOW.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 8:48PM
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deweymn

"It was my capacitor. It blew out."

Have you not seen a capacitor where one of the wire connects on the capacitor burnt right off? Then if the wire is melded to capacitor body or is shorted inside, you would get a dead short.....click goes the circuit breaker.

"He tried everything he could so that I could avoid a new compressor."

This part is a little vague. But, we were not there to hear what he said. When you get a shorted capacitor you would usually smell something as soon as you opened the panel or at least would see a visual problem without much effort. Still, a dual capacitor, the service call, some other inspection/testing and probably running the unit to make sure it would be ok, for the price she paid is a good deal. She is happy and so am I.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:24PM
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jennye

"I don't have to prove myself to some little bimbo. And look at this new little nit wit with the fancy handle. Ase Tech, or is that a misspell? Some little punk who probably has a few piddly years exp. in the trade calling me a dope."

Arent you the hypocrite?

And the "little bimbo" is a physician who specializes in brain tumors. Get a life.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 2:41AM
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bus_driver

As an electrician, I do limit my work on HVAC equipment wiring to the parts that I do know and understand. And my knowledge of that is gradually growing, but there is little need to intensively study the subject since application opportunities for me are few. On my own HVAC installation at my home, I soon recognized that the fellow did not know how to correctly wire the controls. 35 years in the trade, so he claimed. So I got the factory rep involved. Another contractor redid the controls, set the CFM flow and did the subcool. So HVAC folks have all sorts of different levels of skill - or not- just as do electricians.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 8:52AM
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mr_havac

"Arent you the hypocrite?" No I'm not, where do you see any hypocracy in my comments?
"And the "little bimbo" is a physician who specializes in brain tumors. Get a life."
Yeah, OK, a surgeon! And I'm an astronaut! LOL Don't make a fool of yourself in here by reliving your childhood fantasy. Would a surgeaon really make a comment like this, "I am worried about the expense and what this means. :(" I believe thats your quote,,,,DOCTOR
btw, I would heed the words of DNT1

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 4:03PM
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mr_havac

"I soon recognized that the fellow did not know how to correctly wire the controls. 35 years in the trade, so he claimed."
Longevity in any field doesn't amount to a hill of beans if that old timer doesn't bother to keep abreast of the new technology thats coming out all the time. Even though I hardly ever put in a full day anymore the day I pass up the opportunity to attend a training seminar and learn something new is the day I pack it in for good. I know there are others in here that feel the same way. I guess you just had a cruiser BD.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 11:12PM
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ase_tech

"Longevity in any field doesn't amount to a hill of beans if that old timer doesn't bother to keep abreast of the new technology thats coming out all the time".

And you certainly proved that point. I see that you attended the seminar on " people who can't shut thier pie holes ". Do us all a favor and let that giant cut under your nose heal shut because your suggestions are about as useful as A#* FLAVORED COTTON CANDY ! And yes I DO have yrs of experience in the trade, but I won't waste my time explaining it to a simpleton like you because I've forgotten 1/2 the things you THINK you know.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 12:44PM
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mr_havac

Like I said earlier, lets see if you can contribute anything to this forum besides stupidity. Apparently you can't.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 7:52PM
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ase_tech

"Like I said earlier, lets see if you can contribute anything to this forum besides stupidity. Apparently you can't"

LOLOLOLOLOLOL LOOK who's talking big mouth !

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 9:55PM
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davidandkasie

ass tech, i think you need to take a chill pill.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 10:18AM
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garyg

Why can't we all just get along?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 1:08PM
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jennye

" LOL Don't make a fool of yourself in here by reliving your childhood fantasy. Would a surgeaon really make a comment like this, "I am worried about the expense and what this means. :(" I believe thats your quote,,,,DOCTOR"

You once again make false assumptions ...one doesnt become a well-paid physician upon completing medical school. It takes years of residency training, during which time one is paid little (and therefore broken AC units are of concern), especially relative to accumulated educational debt. I am now in my subspecialty training. Not that I especially care what you think.

the DOCTOR

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 11:46PM
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mr_havac

OK jennye, whatever,,,I hang around this forum to help people and before you make some dumb ass comment to the contrary I suggest you spend some time looking through the previous pages here. Stop already with your doctor crap, I really don't care what you are.
Besides, I have a space flight to get ready for!!!!!:-0

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 9:12PM
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joportja5_aol_com

Golly, you guys. Chilly out. You certainly don't sound professional, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:16PM
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kagu_66_hotmail_com

I agree with you Joan:)) But I doubt they're here anymore, since these posts are from '07 :D.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 3:58PM
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sfairman

Hey, if any of you are able to pull away from your fight and help a fellow tradesman, my 9 yr old heil heat pump is tripping my indoor breaker about every 7 hours or so. I changed the breaker and it tripped that one every 30 minutes.
The heat pump.is the only item on the circuit.
I replaced the 50/5 capacitor in.april. i.also.replaced the contavt switch at the same.time.as it was low in.voltage. my hvac guy came.out when the.pronlem.first started 3 days ago and he said my breaker was tripped. I asked him.since he was there could he check.the unit and.make.sure the unit was ok. He said it was.
So why is the unit tripping my indoor breaker still? Maybe a dying compressor that is using more amps.ro.run? Thanks for your help in advance.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 4:04PM
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weedmeister

This is a 7-year old thread. Doubt that anyone who was here then is still here now.

Start your own thread and more folks may answer.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 5:43PM
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grubby_AZ

These A/C guys are something else, eh?

One thing you can do to check is work through the electrical from the main box to the contactor on the unit and make sure all is tight and clean. A/C work is dead simple and once you do the obvious you can putter elsewhere. If you can borrow a good meter that measures current (especially as things heat up), that could help too.

And yes, reviving an ancient dead thread, especially one as embarrassing as this kerfuffel, with a new question isn't a good idea. I can't understand why GW thinks it's a good idea to hold onto stale stuff so long.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 6:02PM
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