Circuit Breaker

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Old 02-07-02, 09:58 AM
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Question Circuit Breaker

My Air conditioning is on a double 20amp breaker. It has tripped and won't stay on. So I am wondering....do I just need a larger breaker? If yes....where can I get the breaker....and is it something I can fix myself? I have done some electrical things around the house, but nothing ever with the breaker box...All suggestions welcomed.

Thank you!!
 
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Old 02-07-02, 10:37 AM
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You must understand that a circuit-breaker is specificaly designed to operate and open the circuit ("trip") in reponse to an un-safe condition in the circuit or the connected load which in this case is an un-specified AC equiptment. It is far more probable that the trouble is in the circuit/load than in the breaker. Is the "AC" a window-unit or the compressor section of a "central" AC system?
 
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Old 02-07-02, 10:48 AM
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spmacias - just curious. where do you live where you're using an air conditioner this time of year? PATTBAA is correct. You need to do some troubleshooting to find out why the breaker's tripping. Is the A/C a cord and plug type?
 
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Old 02-07-02, 11:09 AM
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Circuit Breaker

This is a Central Unit System. I am in SC and I'm not using the unit at this time. We just happened to have a hot day a wek or so ago and the unit tripped the breaker and when I noticed the air wasn't cold, I turned off the AC and flipped the breaker back, but as soon as I turned the unit on again, it tripped the breaker again. I have a friend who rewired a house she is renovating and she mentioned I should do a bit of research on changing the breaker. So I thought I would start here. Hope this helps a bit.
 
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Old 02-07-02, 11:54 AM
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One possibility is the compressor motor is in the "locked-rotor"condition because it won't start/run.A defective capacitor in series the "Start" winding could be the cause.Perhaps you could remove the grill, dis-connect the leads to the compressor, and than re-set the breaker.Record as much info. as possible from the name-plate -make, model#,etc. If the compressor motor is the problem you could try re-placing the starting capacitor-for more "expert" advice refer the problem to the "Heating and Cooling" section of this forum
 
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Old 02-09-02, 12:12 PM
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Patbaa seems to be on your problem. I am wondering why the overload didn't trip out on the compressor before the breaker tripped. I suspect you problem may be the fan instead, yet it also should have an overload built into the fan motor. Even if the capacitor is bad you would think the overload would cut out. Could be a short circuit also. I also am wondering why you have a 20 amp breaker on an outside a/c unit seems awful small to me. How big is your home? Also check to see what size wire is coming from the breaker panel to the a/c unit. This would help us get closer to the subject.

Patbaa suggested disconnecting the compressor. You may not know how to do that. If you don't know how try turning the thermostat to its highest or hottest setting above the temperature in the house. Then reset the a/c unit's breaker.

If the breaker does not trip then we eliminated several areas of short circuit possibilities. Then have someone stand by the a/c unit and listen for sounds as the a/c tries to start. If they can identify humming from the fan motor or the compressor it may help center into your diagnostic problems.

Look at the name plate on the a/c unit and tell us what the maximum overcurrent device size it says. Then look where it says minimum circuit conductor ampacity says on that name plate. That also would help us get closer to the problem.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
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Old 02-11-02, 10:41 AM
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Circuit Breaker

Thank you so much for your replies to my problem!!! I am beginning to think it is a bigger problem than I can handle and maybe I'll have to call out a repair man. However, I will check your suggestions first! Again, thank you for all your help!

Samantha
 
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