Rheem heat pump keep tripping circuit breaker

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Old 12-10-18, 08:33 PM
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Rheem heat pump keep tripping circuit breaker

This is a father/daughter team and I'm the daughter. My heat pump has been doing this on colder days in the winter for 2 years now...
First, we had our local heating and air people come out. They told us we needed an electrician. There goes $100 for that little bit of info.
We didn't call an electrician (yet) b/c I started smelling a weird smell in my house... the circuit breaker was melting. We replaced the old circuit breakers first with "refurbished" ones (aka, ones someone had pulled out of an old house and sold for way too much because they don't make them anymore.). After going through a couple of those, we (when I say "we," I really mean my dad... I just stand there and hand him tools or watch and ask stupid questions...) replaced the circuit box and two breakers with new ones.
That wasn't the problem.
I called an electrician. He tightened a wire, looked at my main circuit box and said I might need a whole new circuit box. That was another $100+.
My dad thought that was not the problem, so he ordered and replaced the resistive heat "sequencer" in the unit thinking that was the problem.
Well, it's still tripping the breaker.
Any ideas?! (And, yes, I've changed the filter and all of the vents are open and unobstructed.)
 
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Old 12-10-18, 08:44 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A heat pump is two distinct systems in one.
1) The heat pump uses the compressor to obtain heat from outside.
2) Inside the air handler are electric reheat coils.

So I'm guessing the heat pump system is working normally but just the reheats have a problem.

You haven't given us any system information but there should be one 2P breaker for the outside condenser and one or two more for the electric heat and blower.

You are mentioning old panel and old breakers ?
What brand are these breakers ?
It sounds like you changed a sub panel but the main panel still has issues.

A sequencer won't cause the circuit to trip and neither will a dirty filter. The heating coils demand a lot of power and if they don't get it..... things will melt.

It's hard for me to guess at the problem. The electric heats should have the sized breaker they require.
Pictures can help...... How-to-insert-pictures
 
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Old 12-11-18, 07:46 PM
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Welcome to the site Murphy.
As PJ has already posted some pictures would be of great assistance.
A model number for that air handler might help in bringing u the wiring diagram as well.
 
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