Reasons Why Heat Pumps Trip Breakers
Your home’s heating and cooling system is a complex network that requires regular maintenance and care to maintain a comfortable environment. Unfortunately, there are times when you might experience frequent breaker trips with your heat pump. There isn’t a single root cause for this problem; however, by taking a step-by-step approach, you can successfully identify and fix the source. This post will outline some common reasons why heat pumps trip breakers.
Dirty Air Filter
A dirty air filter is one of the most common reasons a heat pump trips the breaker. The air filter is responsible for keeping dirt, dust, and other airborne particles from entering the system. Over time, the filter becomes clogged with debris, which reduces airflow and puts strain on the system. If the air filter is not cleaned or replaced regularly, it can eventually cause the heat pump to overheat and trip the breaker because the heat pump is working harder and longer than usual.
Loose Electrical Wiring
Over time, the vibrations from the heat pump can loosen the connections between the wires and the terminals. This prevents the electrical current from flowing properly within the system, causing the breaker to trip.
Another possibility is that the wires themselves are loose. This can occur if the wire’s insulation has become damaged or if they were not installed correctly, allowing the wires to move around freely.
In some cases, loose electrical connections can also happen due to corrosion. Corrosion can build up on the terminals and cause them to become less conductive. These scenarios are dangerous and can lead to electrical fires and explosions, resulting in severe damage to your home. The circuit breaker trips to avoid a catastrophic situation.
Outdoor Fan Problems
A heat pump can frequently trip the breaker because of problems with the outdoor fan. The fan is responsible for circulating air over the condenser coils. If there is a malfunction or obstruction of the airflow to the fan motor, the heat pump will try to draw in more electricity to maintain the flow balance. This might cause the heat pump to overheat and trip the breaker. A few things can cause problems with the fan, including dirt and debris build-up, broken blades, or a faulty motor. If your heat pump causes your breaker to trip, consider checking your outdoor fan for any build-up on the coils and blades. In addition, schedule a professional maintenance visit to ensure the system is clean and free from obstructions and malfunctions.
If your heat pump keeps tripping the breaker, the problem might be in the compressor. The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant through the system and can malfunction for various reasons. Overheating is one of the most common causes of compressor failure. An overloaded compressor may trip the breaker because it will overheat over a short period of time. You can check for overload by feeling excessive heat around the compressor or by checking the amperage draw with a multimeter.
If your compressor is old, it might attempt to draw too much current, which will trip the breaker. In addition, a compressor that is not adequately lubricated might result in frequent breaker tripping.
A Bad Circuit Breaker
If your heat pump continues to trip the breaker, the circuit breaker might be defective. A circuit breaker is an electrical switch that automatically turns off when there is an overload of current. When too much current flows through the circuit breaker, it trips and shuts off the power to the heat pump. If the circuit breaker is defective, it may not be able to handle the normal amount of current passing through it, causing it to trip. In such cases, you should source a qualified electrician to replace the circuit breaker. Once the new circuit breaker is installed, your heat pump should operate without any issues.
It is essential to take care of your heat pump to maintain its maximum performance and avoid putting you and your family in danger of explosions and electrical fires. We have a team of experts in Anaheim, CA who can help you troubleshoot and fix the issues in no time. To help you identify why your heat pump might be tripping your breaker, or if you need central air conditioning, indoor air quality, attic insulation, or water heater services, contact us at Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today.