House A/C Question

I have been having issues with my outside compressor tripping the inside breaker. This does not happen frequently (No pattern noticed) but will trip at odd times. After reading some previous comments I think I resolved my issue. I looked at the outside unit and found out the maximum breaker should be 45A. What I need to know would it be OK to use a 50A until I can locate a 45A breaker. I have looked @ our locate Home Depot and Lowes Centers and have not located a 45A breaker, I have been using a 40A but the issue still occurs.

It is probably better to find out what is causing the overcurrent.

Is it an older unit?

It is a new system about 2 years old. The original Breaker was left in which was a 30A. I switched to a 40A last year. I have determined that the breaker trips at start-up. The outside temp does not normally determine if breaker will trip or not and inside conditions are never the same(i.e. House load,lights,stove…etc) It only trips during the day never at night, when we are at home or when house is empty.

You do not want to get involved in a situation where you’re putting in a bigger fuse on a problem circuit. You just turn the wire in the house into a fuse and burn the house down.

A 50 amp breaker is not significantly larger than a 45 amp breaker, so I would venture to guess that you will be okay. If I were there doing it and checked out other conditions of the equipment I would feel safer doing this. I do not recommend you do it.

The circuit breaker is there to protect the wire traveling downstream from the breaker. It may or may not have anything to do with the equipment rating. If your wire to the equipment is not rated for 50 amps, you should not have a 50 amp breaker installed.

Also, circuit breakers are rated for HVAC use. If you install a breaker that is not rated for this service, the inductive load at startup may trip the circuit breaker prematurely causing this nuisance condition.

It says on the breaker if it’s rated for HVAC use.

Are the circuit breakers at the big-box store the same breakers required for your service panel? Just because they fit, does not make them okay.

If the tripping breaker is related to equipment load, there should be a pattern. A weather pattern. The HVAC equipment will not max out (even close) to rated capacity until it gets above 100°F.

You really need to get some amperage measurements taken before you consider this problem solved. If you exceed the equipment nameplate ratings it is because the components are wearing out and about to fail.

I highly recommend you get a competent HVAC repair man to fully evaluate the equipment. You could have defective components that are causing an imbalance load to the compressor and causing excessive amperage draw. A $70 compressor contactor failure may result in a $1200 compressor failure.

David’s info below (my bold and underline) may be helpful. But, have it checked out by someone qualified.

I personally not aware there was one specific for A/C use. This may be my problem all along. I will double check and see if the breaker is rated for A/C use. The individual who installed the unit did do a load test but could not duplicate the issue while he was hear. He was the one who told me to get the 40A breaker but did not tell me to verify it was rated for A/C

We do live in Texas and it is always close to 100 this time of year, which come to think of it, the problem only occurs June through August, now that you mention temp.

Are you an electrician? Do you have the knowledge to determine if the circuit is rated for a 45Amp breaker? Just because the system is rated for a 45A, **does not **mean that the circuit can handle the extra amps. There may be a very good reason **why **the 30Amp was left in. Call in an electrician, as well as the HVAC guy.