Why Is My Heat Pump Tripping The Circuit Breaker?

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Tripping the circuit breaker in your Clinton Township home can be a frustrating experience. Typically, some appliance, electronic device, or home system suddenly shuts down—usually at the most inopportune time. Remember, the circuit breaker system is really designed to protect you and your family from long-term damage to your systems and appliances as well as dangerous situations like electrical fires.

Our team at Great Dane understands that your heat pump or other heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system component may sometimes trip your circuit breaker. Although heat pumps can reduce your energy consumption by up to 50 percent over conventional heating and cooling systems, according to the Department of Energy , you can lose some of that efficiency as a result of improper maintenance or equipment degradation.

One occurrence may not be anything to worry about; however, if your circuit breaker is repeatedly tripped by your heat pump, we recommend calling one of our professionals to investigate the cause. However, there are some common reasons for tripping a circuit breaker  for you to check before our professionals arrive:

Consider Heat Pump Motor Issues

As a heat pump motor ages, it may develop rust on its bearings or go out of balance. If either of these things occur, the increased friction will degrade the performance of your heat pump. If the friction becomes great enough, it can force your heat pump to work harder than when it was new, tripping the circuit breaker.

You may notice strange sounds from your heat pump motor before or around the same time the circuit breaker trips. The combination nearly always signals a motor issue that should be taken care of by one of our HVAC professionals. 

Clean Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are the part of your heat pump that carry refrigerant; your system depends on these coils to transfer heat into (or out of) your home, depending on the season. Even with a good air filter, eventually, your coils will still get dirty. This results in an overworked heat pump, which often causes the circuit breaker to trip. 

You can visually inspect the condenser coils, checking for dirt and debris which may be blocking proper airflow around the coils. Cleaning your condenser coils is best left to the professionals. It’s a good idea to schedule an annual maintenance call with us. Checking and cleaning these coils is part of our regular maintenance.

Inspect Your Air Filter

Air filters are designed to not only help you maintain good indoor air quality, but they also protect your HVAC equipment from the dust and debris that is commonly found in most Michigan homes. If this material gets into your HVAC equipment, it can do a great deal of damage.

If you haven’t changed your air filter in more than three to six months, it may be clogged with various particles that restrict the air flow through your system. This situation forces your heat pump to work harder to cool or heat your home, which can boost the electricity draw so high that you trip your circuit breaker. If this is the case, simply changing your air filter will resolve the problem.

Check Your Vents

Good air flow is critical for a heat pump to do its job effectively. Another reason for tripping a circuit breaker is blocked vents in your home. Check that your furniture, carpets, rugs, curtains or even stacked boxes are not blocking your vents. Just like a clogged air filter, blocked vents restrict air flow, putting your heat pump into overdrive, and can cause a circuit breaker to trip.

Think About Electrical Issues

If your heat pump is experiencing any frayed or faulty wiring issues, this can also trip the circuit breaker. Checking electrical connections and the condition of your wiring is often performed during an annual maintenance inspection. If you suspect faulty wiring, talk with our technician during your service call.

Another related cause to circuit breaker problems may be the circuit box itself. This issue is more common in older homes. However, if the circuit box is the problem, most likely other appliances, equipment, and home systems would frequently trip your breaker, not just your heat pump. Contact us for an electrical inspection to ensure that your circuit breaker is functioning properly. 

Contact our trained professionals at Great Dane in Metro Detroit for more details about heat pump maintenance and problems that may lead to tripped breakers. Electrical problems can be challenging to solve, so leave major repairs to our experts. Call 586.790.2604 or contact us online today.

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