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Why does my air conditioner trip my breaker when it kicks on?

Don't have model information at hand. I have central air outside hooked into my heating unit that is under the house. The air conditioner has worked fine for years, it just started doing this in the last few days. A few weeks ago(using heater at that time), we started hearing a consistent buzzing noise that sounded to be under the house about every 7 minutes or so that would last for a minute and then stop. The fan for the heating system would not run. I thought that the fan was locked up and tripping the reset switch and when it cooled off, the fan would try to restart again and make the same noise. The fan motor is working currently but now when the a/c tries to kick on, the breaker for the heater is thrown. Could I have a heater fan going bad and this be throwing my breaker or is it something else?

Building Supplies , HVAC
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2 Answers from these members:
scott d
If the breaker is tripping when the outside unit comes on, the problem could be with the compressor. It could be locked (stuck) which will cause it to pull excessively high amps or it could be shorted. One of the other wires in the outside condenser could be shorted also. There are also other components like a contactor that could be shorted or burnt. A lot of times ants will get into the unit and can cause this type of problem. I recommend having a technician check this and make the necessary repairs. For specific information about your air conditioner a model number will be required.
by scott d Earned 3,282 community points in HVAC
May 18th, 2009
0 votes
Mark Innes
Air conditioner may draw more power than the Breaker can provide. As in the expert answer but if you installed a new air conditioner the Breaker may be too small for the load. seek electrician help.
by Mark Innes
July 31st, 2010
0 votes
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