A/C Circuit breaker tripping

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  #1  
Old 10-09-07, 09:02 AM
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A/C Circuit breaker tripping

Hi folks,
I've looked back through the posts, and don't see one that really addresses my problem, and I'm hoping you all can help. Here's the issue:

About 2 months ago, the circuit breaker on our outdoor A/C unit started tripping. I'd reset it, and after a few hours of working properly, the breaker would trip again. I called the place that installed the A/C unit, thinking it was an issue with the unit. They sent a guy out, he checked everything and said the unit was fine. Not pulling too many amps, coolant levels are fine, nothing wrong. He suggested it was probably a weak circuit breaker. So I replaced the double pole 35 amp breaker with a double pole 30 amp breaker since I couldn't find a 35 amp breaker the day I had the time. Turned the unit on, and after a few hours, it tripped again. I realize I need to find a 35 amp breaker, but it's obviously not a problem with the breaker.

By way of explanation, there is a breaker box on the outside of the house, near the unit, and that is the one tripping, not the one inside the garage at the main breaker box.

It's not real pressing since it's getting cool enough around here (northern CO) that we don't really need the A/C, but I'd like to find out what's wrong. I don't know a lot about electrical wiring, and wouldn't be comfortable replacing much else. I realize I'll need to call an electrician, but wonder if you all might be able to give some ideas as to what may be causing the problem?

Any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-09-07, 09:19 AM
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Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
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I may have some idea but really what you should do is get the name plate it will stated " min fuse or breaker size " and the running amps [ that will be on the list as well ]

those two item it will help to find out if the breaker is pretty close to the limit


Merci, Marc
 
  #3  
Old 10-09-07, 09:42 AM
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Use a 40 amp CB ---- the outdoor CB is being used as a service dis-connect -- it's not protecting the conductors from over-current ( excessive current ). The CB in the Service panel is protecting the conductors .
 
  #4  
Old 10-09-07, 09:57 AM
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Thanks Marc - where would I find the information you're looking for? The AC guy said the unit was running about as well as it can, and shouldn't be anywhere near the limit of the breaker.

PATTBAA - would using a 40 amp breaker create any other issues? Again, novice here, and I don't want to be masking a real problem by using a higher limit breaker.

One other thing. The location of the unit is on the southwest corner of the house, so it gets full sun pretty much all day. Someone mentioned to me that excessive heat can cause breakers to trip, and the day it tripped the first time, it was really hot (around 100). Since then, it's been warm (and in full sun), but not anywhere near that first time. Could that be a factor?
 
  #5  
Old 10-09-07, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by wyofan View Post
where would I find the information you're looking for?
There will be a metal plate on the backside of the outdoor unit with all of the electrical information stamped. It's also printed in the installation manual if you have that handy.

would using a 40 amp breaker create any other issues?
Should be okay, but the nameplate data will confirm.

Someone mentioned to me that excessive heat can cause breakers to trip
This was my first guess. Excessive heat could be caused by the direct sunlight or by a loose connection in the box or both.
 
  #6  
Old 10-09-07, 01:36 PM
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It the CB is adjacent to the compressor section ( "within sight" for someone servicing the equiptment ) , then it's a dis-connect for de-energizing the circuit when it's being serviced. It's not protecting the conductors that extend from the "source", i.e. , the Service breaker panel, so a 40 amp breaker is safe.
 
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