5 Reasons Your Heat Pump Is Tripping Your Circuit Breaker
If your heat pump tripped your circuit breaker, be happy.
This means your circuit breaker is doing its job and preventing a power overload in your Austin home. Without the breaker working correctly, you could face an electrical fire or other serious damage.
Let’s Not Get Trippy
When your heat pump trips your circuit breaker, it indicates there’s something wrong. For some reason, your heat pump is trying to pull too much power from the circuit.
If you reset the breaker once and it does not trip again, you are most likely fine. But if it trips again, you should leave the power off to your heat pump and call in one of our AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals to diagnose the issue.
Electrical issues in your Texas home are nothing to ignore or take lightly. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), from 2012 to 2016 local fire departments across the United States responded to an estimated average of 44,880 home fires each year involving electrical failure or malfunction. These fires caused deaths and injuries and additionally resulted in $1.3 billion in direct property damage.
If your heat pump requires a repair, we will promptly address it and get you up and running. On the other hand, if it is an electrical issue, we will let you know and advise you to work with a licensed electrician.
Why Is Your Heat Pump Tripping Your Circuit Breaker?
Our AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning heat pump experts commonly see the following five causes for a heat pump to trip a circuit breaker:
1. Dirty air filter
When your heat pump’s air filter is dirty, it blocks airflow. Besides negatively affecting your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ), a dirty air filter forces your heat pump to work harder and longer to circulate your cooled or heated air throughout your Round Rock area home.
Your heat pump needs more power to work this hard, so it ends up tripping its circuit breaker. This can also happen if you somehow block or close your home’s indoor vents. The same premise is responsible—obstructed airflow.
Change your filter every three months, at a minimum. In addition, be sure your vents are open, and keep furniture and objects well away from their vicinity.
2. Wiring issues
Wiring could be at the core of your circuit breaker tripping. Sometimes wire connections become loose throughout the year from the weather causing them to expand and contract. Conversely, maybe you have a faulty installation affecting the wires. Or you could even have a bad circuit breaker.
Whatever the initial cause, these scenarios can create a short circuit. This is dangerous and can cause fires or other serious damage, which is why your circuit breaker trips.
If our heating and cooling professionals check out your heat pump and assess the wiring issue is not a heat pump problem, we will recommend you next contact a Texas electrician to diagnose the cause and address it.
3. Outdoor fan problems
Your heat pump’s outdoor fan could be the culprit. The outdoor unit blows air over the refrigerant coils, and if there is an obstruction or malfunction with the fan motor, it will lock up. The fan motor then attempts to draw more electricity to work harder, tripping the breaker.
Another possibility is a dirty outdoor unit. When the fan motor requires cleaning, the fan needs to work harder and will trip the circuit breaker. This is the same concept as your dirty air filter.
Schedule regular professional maintenance to keep your unit clean and inspected to prevent obstructions and malfunctions.
4. Compressor malfunction
Like everything else in your HVAC system, when a part gets older, it can begin to have problems. When your compressor, which pumps the refrigerant through your system, ages, it can malfunction.
As an older or bad compressor starts going, it attempts to pull in too much current to start itself. This is what trips the circuit breaker.
Routine professional maintenance may help avoid this issue. Regular attention from an AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning team member can help spot an aging or failing part and alert you in advance.
5. Dirty condenser coil
Similar to other heat pump components, when something gets too dirty, it can no longer operate efficiently. This is definitely true of your condenser coil, which is responsible for either releasing or gathering heat to keep your Austin home cooled or heated.
When your heat pump’s condenser coil is dirty, your unit has to run at a higher capacity to produce the same amount of cooling or heating. This causes the breaker to trip.
Regularly maintaining your heat pump can help ward off this issue.
Call Us for All Your Heat Pump Needs
At AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning, our licensed and experienced HVAC specialists are here to help you if your heat pump is tripping your circuit breaker. If you are looking to install a new system or replace your current one, we would love to discuss that with you. If you want to help prevent tripping your circuit breaker, schedule a preventative maintenance visit with us today. Call us at 512.537.1234 or request service online here in Austin, TX.