2 AC Unit Tripping The Breaker - Any Relief??


  #1  
Old 06-24-10, 09:54 PM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: US
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
2 AC Unit Tripping The Breaker - Any Relief??

So here's the story:

I live in a very old apt in Brooklyn. Entire apt runs on one circuit. We run 2 AC units and whenever we do (after a few minutes) the breaker trips. One AC unit is about 12 years old and is 12,000BTU's and the other is about 4 years old and is 8,000BTU (in case this helps - but both are approximately the same amps and volts). The building/wiring is old the landlord won't do anything and I barely having access to the breaker switch (which i believe is 20amps).

Is there anything i can do to stop this? I am so hot and fans are not cutting it. Tried unplugging a bunch of stuff while the AC's are on and it still trips. Didn't know if buying a smaller AC would even help since my 12 year old unit seems to be the same power usage as the new ones (unless there's something i'm missing).

Any help would be great. thanks ya'll.
 
  #2  
Old 06-24-10, 10:40 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
20 amps is not going to do it. In fact you really need dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuits just for the ACs. Of course breakers do wear out and replacing the breaker may help.
 
  #3  
Old 06-25-10, 01:10 AM
S
Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 111
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I don't think adding a new small unit is gonna help.
 
  #4  
Old 06-25-10, 09:13 AM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: US
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
hmm... maybe a smaller unit running on a timer? i haven't timed it out exactly, but it seems like the units might run together for 10-20 min before killing the breaker.

my only hope is that the older unit is just not running efficiently. for example, whenever i turn my unit on (and the other unit is NOT on) the lights dim and then come back on (it must be taking that much of a drain on the circuit). but when we turn our other unit on the lights don't flicker. don't know if that matters.
 
  #5  
Old 06-26-10, 07:40 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 44
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Hint: lights dim...

The lights dim is a clue as the circuit you have these 2 units on is not designed to handle them. Like what was stated earlier you need them on separate circuits. Separate circuits means separate breakers. Most older apartments were built and wired before air conditioning and a lot with just enough to get by and cut costs. Try to plug it in a different outlet. If you use an extension cord make sure it is an appliance grade one with ground. Not a 99 cent extension cord from Wal-Mart. Actually extension cords are frowned upon for many reasons, trip hazard, amperage draw, etc. Another thing to check is the receptacle (outlet) and plug. They should fit tightly and not be loose and the plug prongs should be shiny. If the outlet and plug get warm that means loose connection and loose electrical connections start fires. Let us know how it goes.
You could try to change breaker as they get weak over time but don't go any higher than the one that is in there. I really don't think it is the breaker as it is doing what it's supposed to do; trip on current overload.
Later, Marty.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: