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TimVZ26, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 157
Experience:  6 Years exp. Nate Cert. in Air-to-Air Heat Pumps, Lots of Bryant/Carrier exp.
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breaker gets hot and eventually trips in heat mode. compressor

Customer Question

breaker gets hot and eventually trips in heat mode. compressor will not kick in in ac mode.

outside evaporator fans works fine. contactors kick in/out ok. starting/.running caps test ok. thermostat tests ok.

what is common to both systems that i am missing?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  TimVZ26 replied 7 years ago.
It sounds to me like your compressor is overheated and the overload has tripped in it at the moment, after it cools down again it should reset. Is the condenser coil clean? if it is dirty it may cause the compressor to overheat and trip the overload. Oliy other thing that comes to my mind is low refrigerant charge, this will also cause the compressor to over heat and trip breaker and overload in compressor.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
coils are clean. this is not an overheat trip. compressor does not start. refrig. charge is ok. only the heat breaker trips. in ac mode all seems well but comp will not start.
Expert:  TimVZ26 replied 7 years ago.
when you said heat breaker trips, do you mean the breaker in the electrical panel or a switch on the A/C itself?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I have 3 breakers for the heat pump/AC. 1 in the main panel. 1 in the main unit closet that I thought was only for the heat. Finally 1, at the outside unit.


The one in the main unit closet heats and eventually trips when on heat pump only. I can swith to the aux coils (standard heating coils) and the breaker gets warm but does not trip. The main breaker in the circuit box and the outside breaker at the comp/evap do not get warm and do not trip.


BotXXXXX XXXXXne: no heat pump and no AC. The compressor does not kick in at all. I do not see how this causes a breaker trip on the heat pump side.


To be clear to you, I am not an AC guy. I am an electrical engineer. It seems to be an electrical problem to me. But, let's face it, other than basic theory on how AC/heat pumps work and putting guages on the freon, I'm just another Harry Homerowner. It seems to be some electrical connection between the two problems..........but, I have to recognize I'm just Harry Homeowner.



Expert:  TimVZ26 replied 7 years ago.

It seems odd to me that you have 3 breakers to the HP. 2 is normal but the one in the closet is kinda weird....


Check on the data plate what the maximum amp breaker is and then check what amp breakers you have in the house for starters...maybe we just have an undersized breaker

Expert:  TimVZ26 replied 7 years ago.
If I was help full please hit the accept button. Thank you