Circuit breakers are safety devices designed to keep an overload of electricity from occurring to a single device. If a circuit breaker trips, it can be due to a number of things, ranging from a small power surge to a serious electrical problem in the device on that breaker. That’s why, if your circuit breakers starts to trip repeatedly when your heat pump is on, you should act immediately because there might be something wrong with the device.
Troubleshooting the Problem
Keep in mind that your circuit breakers are safety devices. They are there to protect the equipment and your home from shorts. If you continuously ignore the problem, it can eventually become much worse and put you and your family in danger. Too many trips and you could be dealing with melted lines and eventual electrical fires. To help in troubleshooting your breaker tripping issues, here are some common problems homeowners run into:
- Loose Connections – Because you have electrical lines going outside, they can expand and contract over time as the weather changes and eventually come loose. In this case, they just need to be tightened. Don’t check or attempt to repair this problem without turning off the electricity to those wires, however. It is EXTREMELY dangerous.
- Electrical Short – A short in the wiring or the equipment will also cause the circuit breaker to trip repeatedly. If your breaker trips immediately whenever you turn on the device, this is probably the culprit. Leave the breaker off and call for service right away.
- Compressor Problems – If your compressor is aged and starting to work harder than it did before, it might be drawing extra electricity when the heat pump is turned on. If this happens, the circuit breaker will trip occasionally. Sometimes a capacitor needs to be replaced or the compressor serviced.
These are just three common reasons your circuit breaker might trip repeatedly when you turn on your heat pump. Other issues include a bad breaker, locked up motor, under sized wiring or breaker and more. If you cannot find and fix the problem safely, you should call an HVAC contractor to take a look and fix it for you. The risk of fire or damage to your heat pump is too great to ignore this kind of problem.