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What Do I Do When the Air Conditioning Flips the Breaker?

First, let’s talk about the purpose of a circuit breaker. According to Wikipedia: “A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current from an overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected.”

So, if your circuit breaker is flipping on and off repeatedly, you may have a serious problem on your hands. There’s a reason it’s happening, and you should not resolve the issue by simply flipping it back on. You need to seek experts to take a look at things to protect your home, your family, and the system itself. Finding out WHY the breaker is flipping is the essential way serious problems can be prevented.


One of the more likely reasons your breaker could be flipping is your air conditioning system is over-heating. Over-heating can happen for several reasons such as a fan malfunction, low refrigerant, dirty condenser coils, or a dirty filter. The only problems you can deal with as a homeowner are the filter and the condenser coils. It should be relatively easy to replace or clean your filter, and checking your condenser coils which are in the outside unit can be relatively simple as well. Take a look at your outside unit. It should be free from any obstacles impeding the flow of air into the system, which means any exterior dirt, leaves, or other debris need to be removed. Also be sure any bushes or other plants are trimmed back to allow easy movement of air. However, even if doing those things do fix your problem, it’s a good idea to call an AC company like AC Genius. It’s a great idea if the breaker keeps flipping. Have professionals troubleshoot your system and identify the problem before something worse happens. AC Genius has more than 50 years’ experience in taking care of air conditioning systems.

Loose Electrical Connections

If your air conditioner is not overheating, there are a few other possibilities as to why your AC keeps tripping the breaker. Loose electrical connections are a possibility, especially in North Texas. As the weather changes, sometimes drastically, and storms ravish the area, wires can contract and expand, leaving loose connections and faulty breakers. While this seems like a simple fix, these wires transfer very high voltage and they should be handled and approached with extreme caution.

Electrical Short

One thing you must absolutely do is always call a professional if your AC wiring is causing a short. An electrical short means electricity is going somewhere it’s not supposed to go, and that can be dangerous since shorts can cause sparks, smoke, or fires. If the breakers flips immediately after the air conditioner kicks on and you hear a popping sound, you probably have an electrical short. Do NOT turn the breaker back on, and call a professional at once.

Compressor Problems

An old compressor can cause a tripped breaker as well. Simply call AC Genius, and a qualified technician will take a look at things and determine the best course of action.


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