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Why Is My Heat Pump Tripping the Circuit Breaker?

Posted 09-16-15 in Air Conditioning, Heating

Let us guess.

You noticed your heat pump isn't warming your home. So you decided to check the circuit breaker and saw that the heat pump's breaker is tripped. You flipped it back on and everything was good for awhile. 

But then the breaker tripped again.

What’s going on?

First, turn off the heat pump immediately and call a heating repair professional to find the problem. 

The circuit breaker is doing its job by tripping and cutting the power before something worse (like an electrical fire) happens. There’s a problem that’s causing your heat pump to pull more power than it should.

Let’s look at some of the most common problems that can cause your heat pump to trip the breaker.

6 common reasons a heat pump trips your breaker

Dirty air filter
A dirty air filter restricts airflow in your air duct system, forcing the heat pump’s blower to work long and harder to circulate air around your home. Working this way causes the blower to trip the breaker. 

Check the air filter at least once a month to see if it needs changing.  

Dirty outside unitThe outside heat pump unit (the one with the fan) gets dirty over time.  Long story short, this forces the heat pump to work harder and longer to heat your home (much like a dirty air filter). Again, this trips the breaker.

Solution: get the yearly maintenance your heat pump needs.

Old/weak compressorThe compressor is the part in your outdoor unit that pumps the refrigerant through your system. If the compressor is going bad it may pull in too much power when starting up, causing your circuit breaker to trip occasionally.

If this is the problem, then a professional can possibly install a hard start kit to help the heat pump start without tripping the breaker.

Loose electrical connectionsWeather conditions throughout the year causes wires in your heat pump to expand and contract, eventually working loose. Once loose, they can cause a short circuit, which will trip your breaker.

Locked up fan motorTo absorb heat from the outdoors, the heat pump’s outdoor unit’s fan circulates air over refrigerant coils. But, if the fan motor locks up (either from an obstruction or malfunction), it can pull extra electricity, which will trip your breaker.

Bad circuit breaker
Breakers wear out over time, especially when they’ve been tripped frequently. So the circuit breaker itself could be bad and needs replacing. 

Bad wiring
If everything in the heat pump checks out (it’s not actually pulling more electricity than it should) and the breaker is fine, the problem is likely in the wiring between the heat pump and the breaker. In this case, get an electrician to run new wires to your heat pump.

Get help with your heat pump problem in Atlanta

As we said before, do not let your heat pump continue to trip your breaker. Doing so can put you in danger of an electrical fire.

Call a heating professional like Coolray to diagnose and fix the problem. We provide heating service to the entire Atlanta metro area. 

Save 10% when you book service online

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