If your HVAC system keeps tripping the circuit breaker in your electrical panel, it's a good idea to keep the breaker off until it can be inspected by an electrician. It may be difficult for you to tell if the problem is with your HVAC system or the electrical panel, but since electrical problems can be hazardous, it's best not to take any chances and call a professional for help. Here are some things the electrician may check when deciding on the type of electrical repairs needed.
Check For Signs Of A Bad Breaker
When the electrician checks the electrical panel, there could be obvious signs of a bad breaker, such as melted plastic, a burning odor, char marks on the panel, or heat around the breaker. These signs let the electrician know the problem is likely to be with the breaker rather than the unit.
One way to determine for sure if the problem is with the breaker is to test it with a multimeter. The reading lets the electrician know if the breaker is good or bad. Although not necessary, the electrician might also check the electrical panel or even the HVAC unit with a thermal camera to detect hot spots that show electrical malfunctions and where electrical repairs are needed.
Replace A Bad Breaker
Once troubleshooting is complete, the electrician knows if the problem is with the panel, the breaker, the wiring, or the HVAC unit. If the issue is a bad breaker, the old breaker can be pulled out and replaced with a new one. However, the electrician needs to cut off power and work carefully around an electrical panel.
Wiring problems might be fixed by tightening connections or replacing melted wiring. If the problem is with the electrical panel, the electrician might need to replace and upgrade your old panel. Panels can wear out due to age or damage and need to be replaced. If the problem is only a bad breaker, then electrical repairs should be simple and more affordable than if your panel is bad or if the HVAC unit has an electrical problem.
Test The New Breaker
When the new breaker is in place, the electrician can reset and start your HVAC unit to see if it runs without tripping the breaker. If the breaker trips again, more troubleshooting is needed to figure out what is causing the problem with the breaker. If the HVAC system runs and turns off and on as it should, then the electrical issue with your equipment should be fixed. After a thorough check by your electrician, your HVAC system should be safe to run once the electrical panel and breaker are operating properly.