You switch the air conditioner on, sit back, and enjoy the cool breeze — until it stops working. That familiar snapping sound as the breaker trips and your portable air conditioner is no longer the godsend it’s meant to be! This can be a very frustrating situation, but it also has a solution. Here are some of the answers to your question, “Why does my portable air conditioner keep tripping the breaker?”.
Pulling too Many Amps
This is the most common reason for your portable air conditioner to trip out. If your machine uses more amps than your breaker is able to cope with, it’s going to trip the breaker. If this is the reason, the worst thing you can do is keep switching it back on as this can not only damage the AC, but can also increase the risk of fire.
Dirty Air Filter
This is also one of the primary causes. If the filter is clogged and mucky, the AC unit is going to have a hard time starting up and may trip out because of the extra work it needs to do in order to start running. A clean filter means that the machine doesn’t have to work so hard.
If you have not cleaned your AC unit you will find that it has to work a lot harder and so will be pulling more amps than it should. This will trip out your breaker, but can be easily resolved by giving your unit a good cleaning — both inside and out.
Your AC can go for days without being turned off, but there’s also a risk of the motor shorting when it does this. This is the result of overheating when the motor works too hard, and in cases like this, you will normally need to replace the motor in order to get things running again.
Sometimes the breaker itself is the issue, and this can be caused by loose wires or a faulty connection. It’s quite a cheap issue to fix, and it’s recommended that you use a professional for the job as only an electrician should be touching the box.
The compressor is the heart and soul of your AC unit, so if something goes wrong here then it’s going to be noticed. If the compressor has trouble starting, this is usually down to age or damage. Sometimes it can be fixed by an AC technician and other times it needs to be replaced completely.
If the compressor is grounded it means that an electrical winding has come loose and is hitting the side. This means the wire is igniting the oil and causing a burnout in the AC unit, causing a surge that leads to the breaker tripping. An AC technician will need to come and replace the refrigerant lines.
When the breaker trips it can be stressful, but the important thing is to remember to take a breath and check the health of both your breaker and AC unit before you try to switch it back on. The solution is often quite simple, and you will likely find that you don’t even need to call anyone out to help. Good luck!