Thursday, August 9, 2012

Consumer Question: A/C Tripping the Circuit Breaker

Hi, Joe,

My outdoor air-conditioning unit is 10 years old. The freon or coolant supply is adequate. Twice in the past week, the circuit breaker(50 amp) has been tripped rendering the whole house temperature to increase or not cool. What do you suggest? Is it ok to just reset the breaker? Is it time to buy a new unit? Is it possible for the compressor to have become so inefficient that an increase amperage is needed? My understanding is that a compressor may cost about $2000, and a new unit at least $3000.

Thanks for your help.

A: Hi, HR,

Thanks for your note. 

I might suggest you call a reputable service company and ask if they have a licensed electrician who can check the unit as well as the circuit breaker box. It could be that all you need is a new circuit breaker. Please let me know.

Joe Gagnon

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