Common electrical problems with air conditioners

Electrical Problems in Your Air Conditioner Can Be Frustrating

There is not much worse than on a hot summer's day and your air conditioning system is not delivering cool air.

Either your air conditioning systems are not operating at all or inconsistent operation and temperatures.

Electrical issues are one of the most common causes for ac system failures.

How an Electrical Problem Can Affect Your Air Conditioning system

There are many electrical problems than can affect your air conditioner's operation

This can range from your home's power supply to faulty internal components in the hvac system.

Some of the most common electrical problems can include:

  • damaged wiring
  • incorrect installation
  • faulty capacitors
  • printed circuit board failure
  • loose electrical connection
  • circuit breaker issues
  • fan motor failures
  • compressor motor problems

How an Electrical Problem Can Affect Your Air Conditioning system

An electrical issue can affect all or part of your air conditioning system.

The indoor fan may operate but not deliver cool air.

The compressor may start and stop intermittently.

There may be tripped circuit breakers preventing the system from starting.

Damaged wiring will also create problems.

Your AC Is Tripping the Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is a safety device designed to protect the electrical circuit.

It will trip whenever there is over current detected in the circuit

The circuit breaker is normally installed in the electrical box along with breakers for your lights and other power circuits.

A tripped circuit breaker can be a sign of an internal fault in your air conditioning system.

Damaged electrical wiring can also cause the circuit breaker to trip.

If you find that your circuit breaker is tripped, you can reset it by simply turning the switch back to the on position.

If it stays on and the air conditioning system starts and operates normally then there may not be any further issues. Occassionally a circuit breaker may trip due to a power fluctuation.

If the circuit breaker trips instantly then there are other problems with the ac unit. Call Sun City Air Conditioning to attend, diagnose and repair the fault.

Damaged Air Conditioner Wiring

Electrical wires can be damaged in a number of ways.

Crushing or cutting the wiring during home renovations

Rodents chewing on the wiring in ceiling spaces.

Pet dogs have been known to chew wiring at the outdoor unit.

Incorrect installation

Incorrect cable size can lead to nuisance trips of the circuit breaker when the unit is operating on full load.

The cable will heat up and increase the current draw which, in turn, will trip the circuit breaker.

Incorrect circuit breaker size will also cause tripping of the breaker.

A check of the circuit breaker panel will show if the breaker has tripped.

If it trips intermittently, this may be a sign of one of the problems mentioned above.

Failed Capacitors

Capacitors are used for the starting and running of motors.

These can either be a start capacitor, run capacitor or a combination start/run.

When a capacitor fails, this tends to make the motor draw excessive current when trying to start.

This additional current will trip the circuit breaker.

Printed Circuit Board Failure

Printed circuit boards are one of the electrical components used extensively in all modern air conditioning systems.

These PCBs are used for :

  • the starting and stopping of fans and compressors
  • controlling the speed of an inverter compressor
  • control of the system

Most have a small glass fuse protecting them and should this be blown, it can be replaced.

If the glass fuse blows repeatedly, there is a problem with the PCB and it may need replacing.

Vermin such as rodents and geckos may occassionally enter the electrical area of the air conditioner. As they walk over the PCB they can short it out and destroy the PCB.

A break can also occur in the circuit of the PCB which will cause the air conditioning unit to either not operate correctly or cease operating completely.

Loose Electrical Terminals

A loose electrical terminal will cause excessive current draw and trip the circuit breaker.

In a worst case situation, a loose terminal can start a fire in the air con unit.

Avoid AC Electrical Problems in Your Unit

As seen from the above items, the circuit breaker is your best friend for the protection of your air conditioner.

Under current legislation, a residual current safety switch should also be installed with the circuit breaker.

Maintain the area around your outdoor unit so that there is no leaf litter or rubbish etc to attract vermin.

Have your air conditioner serviced regularly to ensure there are no loose connections, no damage to cables or any other issues that may lead to electrical problems with your system.

Contact us here to arrange for a service on your system.

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