Breaker trips

Originally Posted By: Peter Ehrenpreis
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Hi Guys! (note not gender specific) LOL


New here, am going to be starting out (taking a 70 hour course to start with next month.) Will be joining asap. Lots to learn, I've been a "lurker" on this board for awhile. (Great info, great community, help, etc.)

I have a quick question (hopefully) that can be answered easily.

Today (for the first time ever in 8 yrs.) 3 times I've had a [the] breaker (2-45amp breakers, connected together in the panel (marked furnace) trip thereby shutting off my air conditioning (outside condenser/Fan stops) upon reset it starts up and I have cooling again. (Gas furnace/air) York (pos) 4Ton unit 12SEER.)

The breaker on the outside right at the condenser/fan does not trip.

The blower fan in the furnace does not stop, there is only one ac (power)line connecting up to the furnace, so if the breaker pops should this not also stop?

Any thoughts?

High temps last couple of days (95-100) Condenser/coils freezing up?

Thanks,

Peter


Originally Posted By: rbennett
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Peter


Sort of beyond the scope inspecting but you might want to check some of the following before calling the AC man

You might also check some good AC repair forms out on the net

---- Only if you feel SAFE doing the following ---

Check filters

Check for dirt - leaves etc in outside unit

Check for bad electrical connections

Check relay/s in AC for voltage drop when AC is running

Check voltage at ac when running and not running - I would be upset at 10% or greater drop

Check current draw with clamp on amp meter against mfr spec

Possible bad breaker if all is in the normal range

Check air and if possible refrigerant supply and return temps

--- In short -- the above are probably not the problem but are sort of easy to fix.

Because you ask the question I sense that you don't have the background and test equipment to do some of the above. So you should get someone to work with you that has the knowledge.

Know how to kill the power to the unit in an emergency
Know and follow electrical safety procedures-- (eye protection - etc.)

Remember you are working around something that can hurt and or kill if you do something wrong

This might be a good learning exp for you

Just remember to BE SAFE and get someone to work with you

It is not quit as bad as doing your first break job on the family car but you can get into trouble

The knowledge that you will gain on how AC systems work will help you in your inspecting. Good luck

rlb


Originally Posted By: bking
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The breaker at the outside unit may only be a disconnect without any current limiting. Most likely is a bad connection or a bad breaker but it could be a bad start/run capacitor for the compressor too.



www.BAKingHomeInspections.com

Originally Posted By: wdecker
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In order of sequence (and in order to try the simple, inexpensive stuff first):


1) Clean filter.
2) Clean condensor coils. Turn off compressor unit, open top, use hose or air compressor to blow out any shmutz in the unit's coils. you would be surprised the amount of stiff that gets in there.
3) Replace breaker. Braker may be old.

After this, I would say that it is the compressor. Could be capacitor, could be compressor.

In any case, in these extreme conditions, all units are being tested. I have a Craftsman that is 20+ years old. Still cranking away (Praise the Lord / Baruch HaShem).

Hope thsi helps.


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: dandersen
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I will assume you have a “Split Unit”.


The breaker in the main sub-panel (the one tripping) is there to protect the wiring to the Outdoor disconnect breaker. It is rated for the size and length of the wire. Also note that a breaker is NOT for equipment protection, it is for conductor protection.

The breaker at the outdoor panel is to protect the wire to the unit.
There may be more than one unit on this panel and would require fuses or breakers. Non-fused disconnects are fine if only one circuit is installed.

To fix:
1. Check the amperage draw down stream of the tripping breaker and compare to the rating.
2. Test the temperature of the breaker and compare to the ambient panel temp.
3. Hot breakers with low amperage draw, in cool panels is often a loose wire connection.
4. If the wire is clean and tight, pull the breaker and inspect where the breaker attaches to the panel box internally. Discolored breaker connections, pitted, charred, discolored buss bars ect...
5. If none of the above, you likely just have a defective breaker. Replace and check it all again.

Also, check adjacent breakers for heat.
If you are running close to max draw and the panel or adjacent breaker is hot, the rated capacity of the breaker goes down and may trip it.


Originally Posted By: Peter Ehrenpreis
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Thanks everyone for the info/advise.


I had checked all the standard things (i.e.) filter, coils/grills (are clean), the capacitor, fast start, breaker(s), fan/motor etc., Ah!! the compressor is bad (bad compressor, bad) LOL. Well a call to the home warranty folks gives me a replacement with another "el-cheapo" 4 Ton, 10 SEER unit. No way, I just replaced the evap. coils with a 12 SEER unit, sooo.... I sprang for a complete new unit as the York has had a "problem" almost every year the past couple of years (fan motor twice, capacitor, disconnect.) Now have a new "matched to the coils" unit and sweet cold air (been a heat wave past couple of days here.)

Thanks again for all your help.


Originally Posted By: rbennett
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We sure tried to hit the cheap things


Sometime the worst is the problem

Oh well

In the not so old days the compressor was repairable and the motor drove it with a belt.

rlb


Originally Posted By: mcyr
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icon_smile.gif icon_smile.gif Hire a professional on this on, and hope you continue to become part of the NACHI family. We are all on a learning course of continued education and are here to help each other to this regard.


WELCOME;

Good Luck.

Marcel


Originally Posted By: kbowles
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Ok Peter,


In order to make things very simple here and not confuse you I will take you the easy way out of this mess........... Call an HVAC technician. Your hands stay clean and you get the problem fixed without second guessing if it was done right.

Kevin


--
Life's a journey, not a destination.
Aerosmith

Originally Posted By: wcipriano
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Peter,


I had that problem with a heat pump before. It turned out to be a bad compressor. When the bearings go bad it draws to much current and trips the breaker.