Outside Breaker Tripping


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Old 04-18-11, 12:40 PM
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Outside Breaker Tripping

I searched threads and found some info on this but need more.

I have an old (15 years plus) A/C system that has been working ok since I bought the house in 1996. I replaced the outside breaker in 2007. The system has been service each year [not yet this year though].

Today I turned the system on and the outside breaker tripped. I reset it and then went for a bike ride. When I came home, the breaker had tripped again. I reset it. It has been running ok for the last 40 minutes but I wanted to know if this was probably just "something that happens once in a while" or possibly the prellude to something more serious.

I straighted the fins on the outside coil last week (using a fin comb). New filter. The only other change to my system is I moved the thermostat about a month ago but had used the furnace and the a/c a few times since then......

Thanks for any advice.

Mitch
 
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Old 04-18-11, 04:41 PM
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Likely the compressor is getting old (well..it already is actually) and drawing more current than it should. Does it trip right away from a cold start (not being used for a while).

Need to get someone with a clamp on ammeter and check the current draw when starting and running.
 
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Old 04-18-11, 04:55 PM
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Breakers should not just trip once in a while. It is drawing too much current, likely on start up. Something is failing and it will likely get worse.
 
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Old 04-18-11, 07:49 PM
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get a hvac company in there to do a replacement for you. 15 years is quite a lot of miles for a compressor. since 410A is the new gas of choice and with the much higher efficiencies nowadays your looking at lower bills and more reliability in the coming years.
 
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Old 04-19-11, 01:44 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. I have been avoiding the thought of replacing the compressor. I have been hoping it would malfunction enough to be replaced rather than repaired - I have a home warranty that will pay for a replacement (or at least most of the cost) if it breaks and isn't repairable.

At any rate, it would only cost me $60.00 to get it repaired or replaced. Will have to call AHS soon.

Mitch
 
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Old 05-02-11, 09:59 AM
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I just thought I would update the information here. I haven't had a recurrance of the tripped breaker, so I am going to assume for now it was just an anomaly. Usually a few of the A/C companies in my area run specials at the beginning of the summer ("check your entire system for 50.00") and when they start I'll get one of them to giive it the once-over.

Mitch
 
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Old 05-02-11, 10:05 AM
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Don't be surprised if that $50 check turns into $500 (or more) in "needed" repairs. Or if shortly after the visit your system doesn't work right. Quality companies don't need to resort to those kind of tactics, but there's always bad apples in a basket.

You'd be better off calling a company and asking them to check temps, airflow and current draw and paying a single hour rate. Shouldn't take longer than that.
 
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Old 05-02-11, 10:46 AM
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Thanks Vic, I think I'll check the BBB website for the companies in my area and pick a good one to do just what you suggested. Alternatively, I could report the breaker problem to my Home Waranty company, have them send someone to check my system, and then if repais are needed I'll get them for the one low price.....

I'll keep the thread updated.

Mitch
 
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Old 05-02-11, 02:51 PM
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gunguy is 1000% right. a full once over doesnt cost $50. and if they are doing it correctly and walk out of there with $50 you should go play the lottery cause luck is on your side. $50 would barely cover material to do a full eval.
 
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Old 05-05-11, 04:21 AM
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Get it replaced before your home warranty has expired, it is old & it will fail!
 
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Old 05-16-11, 11:53 AM
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At any rate, it would only cost me $60.00 to get it repaired or replaced. Will have to call AHS soon.

Good luck. Do you know anyone else who got a new system for $60.00?
 
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Old 05-16-11, 01:19 PM
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Good luck. Do you know anyone else who got a new system for $60.00?
No. I am being hopeful. My home warranty says any covered system will be repaired; if it cannot be repaired it will be replaced and all I pay is the service fee. I got a new water heater installed for 55.00. My A/C system is a covered system. There are no caveats in the contract that I can see.

If anyone here is familiar with AHS or have other experiences with them I would like to hear about them.

But, on a good note, I haven't had any recurrence of the problem. The weather has been great lately so haven't needed to use it.

We'll just have to see what happens.



Mitch
 

Last edited by hvactechfw; 05-16-11 at 02:39 PM. Reason: removed non beneficial info from and about brian chatfield
 

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