AC makes my breaker trip


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Old 08-09-15, 09:06 PM
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AC makes my breaker trip

My breaker keeps tripping during the day whenever I have my AC (window unit) and TV on at the same time. It doesn't do it at night, or in the early morning. It only happens durring the middle of the day, when the temperature reaches up to the tripple digits. There is the AC, TV, computer, and light on this one circuit.

My husband is an electrician, however, he is working out of town right now. When he was here last week, he replaced the breaker, but it still keeps doing it.

The thing that I am worried about is that just now (at 10:30 at night, while it's cooler outside) I touched the breaker and it felt pretty warm. Not too hot to touch, but definitely above room temperature. So I am worried that it may catch fire. My husband assured me that it would be ok until he gets home in two days, but he has a tendancy to downplay things so that I don't worry. Should I be worried?
 
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Old 08-09-15, 09:12 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I don't think you are in danger there.

There should be an ID plate on the A/C that denotes amperage. What is it ?
What size is the breaker that is tripping.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 09:35 PM
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Thank you, so much, for your quick reply!

The A/C amp is 10.2. I don't know how to tell how big the breaker is. I'm completely stupid when it comes to electrical anything.

I know it's a double pole unit (if that matters at all). The only numbers I see on there is where it says "120/240 V-"
 
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Old 08-09-15, 09:51 PM
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If the air conditioner is on the same circuit as other items there then it should be on a single pole breaker as it's running on 120vac. That may be a duplex breaker for adding extra circuits to a somewhat full panel.

The size of the breaker is usually, but not always, on the handle.

If it's a 15A breaker, which is likely, it will run warm especially with other small loads on the same circuit. I would have to believe your husband as an electrician has the proper size breaker installed. The breaker will protect the wire and may run warm at that load.

Your husband needs to install a new circuit dedicated to the A/C.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 10:20 PM
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Yes, I believe that the breaker is a 15A breaker. This house is an old house that we had bought from my grandparents, and when we moved in 12 years ago, I know that my husband had a lot of the wiring redone because he said it wasn't up to NEC code, but I had never had any problems with anything until we installed the window unit a few weeks ago, after my regular A/C started going out.

I will ask him about putting in a new circuit when he gets here.

And thank you, again, for replying so quickly! I know I don't really know what I am talking about when it deals with electrical stuff, so I thank you for your patients and helping me ease my mind!
 
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Old 08-10-15, 08:00 AM
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Your husband needs to install a new circuit dedicated to the A/C.
The circuit is overloaded. PJ is right, you need a new circuit dedicated to the A-C unit. The breaker is just doing it's job when it trips.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 05:31 PM
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For the time being you could remove some of the other stuff plugged into the circuit such as the TV, computer etc. just to lighten the load at least when the AC is running.
Geo
 
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Old 08-10-15, 05:35 PM
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Remove the TV and the computer.....
 
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Old 08-10-15, 08:50 PM
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Thank you all for your replys. Luckily, my husband comes home tomorrow night, so hopefully he will fix this! But in the meantime, when you say "remove the TV and computer"" do you mean completely unplug, or just turn off? I have had my computer turned off for a few days now, and I keep my TV turned off durring the day, which does keep the breaker from tripping, but it doesn't keep the breaker from feeling warm. The plug for the TV is a little difficult to get to, as I would have to move my heavy entertainment center, but I could unplug the computer.

I have heard that electronics, and appliances can still use electricity even when they're off, does this include TV's?

Thanks again, to everyone, for all of your help.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 09:18 PM
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I have heard that electronics, and appliances can still use electricity even when they're off, does this include TV's?
Yes. .
 
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Old 08-11-15, 07:00 AM
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Yes, but the amount they use when "Off" is very, very small -- usually just a small receiver to listen for the "On" signal from the remote control. The exception to this is DVR or Tivo boxes, which often always use full power due to the fact that they could be recording your shows at any random time of the day; they can't really shut down or they would not serve their purpose. A laptop computer might be using power when turned off if the battery is still charging from the last time it was on. A desktop computer should use only a small amount of power when turned off.

I would not worry about unplugging your devices, just leave them off. It is ok for a breaker to be warm, but should not be hot. If you can't hold your hand on the face of it, that is too hot.
 
 

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