A heat pump is an essential component of many HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems, providing both heating and cooling capabilities.
However, it can be frustrating when your heat pump keeps tripping the breaker, interrupting its operation, and leaving you without the desired comfort in your home.
Tripping breakers not only disrupt the functioning of the heat pump but also pose potential safety hazards.
Understanding the causes behind this issue and knowing what steps to take can help you address the problem effectively. Now, you may experience circuit breaker trips if your heat pump repeatedly trips:
- Dirty air filter,
- Problems with the wiring,
- Your outdoor fan isn’t working,
- Compressor malfunctions,
- The condenser coil is filthy,
- A heat pump that is overworked,
- Short circuits,
- There may be a leak of refrigerant.
When a professional maintains and cleans your system regularly, you can prevent all of these causes.
A reputable HVAC technician can ensure your safety and make your home comfortable, and temperature controlled.
When Your Heat Pump Constantly Trips Your Breaker
A heat pump unit usually trips the circuit breaker because it draws too much power. The cause may be one of several things:
Your Heat Pump is Low on Refrigerant
Cooling and heating your home are achieved using a liquid substance called “refrigerant.”. A leak in the system can cause the refrigerant level to be too low, preventing the heat pump from working correctly.
Your heat pump works harder to reach the temperature you have set on your thermostat. It is more likely that parts will draw more power and trip the circuit breaker because of the additional strain placed on the system.
Establishing a regular maintenance schedule for your heating system can help you prevent problems like low refrigerant levels.
Furthermore, if you notice leaks from your system’s refrigerant, you should contact an HVAC professional as soon as possible. Technicians use the proper testing method to find and repair the leak’s source.
Having said this, when your circuit breaker trips because of trouble with your heat pump, you know your breaker is working correctly, as it prevents electrical overload.
Having a broken circuit breaker can lead to an electrical fire, which can cause bodily harm, death, and property damage.
Your Heat Pump Has A Short Circuit
When you flip the switch on a short circuit, your unit’s switch will trip your breaker.
The dangers associated with short circuits make it important to contact a qualified HVAC professional right away.
It is possible that short circuits may cause a fire in addition to causing severe damage.
An analysis by the National Fire Protect Agency found that between 2012 and 2016, fire departments across the country responded to 44,880 fires caused by electrical malfunctions.
Approximately 10% of those fires were caused by cooking and heating equipment.
Your Heat Pump is Overworked
Overworked heat pumps malfunction because of clogged air filters, dirty outside units, and blocked vents.
Fortunately, these issues are preventable, making it even more important for a licensed HVAC technician to diagnose and fix them when regular maintenance is performed.
The Heat Pump Condenser Coil is Dirty
When a heat pump’s condenser gets too dirty, it will not work efficiently. In your home, heat is gathered and released by the condenser coil, which either cools or heats your living space.
Having a dirty condenser coil means that your heat pump has to work extra hard to produce the same amount of heating or cooling as before. Keep your unit checked regularly to avoid this problem.
The Heat Pump Compressor is Malfunctioning
A heat pump relies on a compressor to generate heat. A compressor pumps refrigerant throughout the system, which is essential to the heating and cooling process.
It consumes an enormous amount of electric power when it is in regular operation. However, certain problems may cause the compressor to draw too much power and trip the breaker. It is possible to encounter compressor problems for several reasons, including:
Fault With The Capacitor: The capacitor stores electrical energy as well as helps the compressor start. It will be difficult for the compressor to start if there is a malfunction with the device.
The problem is likely to be a faulty capacitor if you notice that your circuit breaker trips every time the outdoor unit starts.
Compressor That’s Grounded: The wiring touches the metal casing, thereby creating a short circuit. Tripped breakers result from this situation.
Heat Pump Compressor That’s Hard To Start: Older compressors usually fire up more slowly than newer ones. During hard starts, a compressor can draw too much current from the circuit, resulting in circuit breaker trips.
A professional maintenance schedule is a simple solution to preventing these issues. Besides detecting failing parts earlier, an HVAC technician can fix specific faults, such as malfunctioning compressors.
It can be more challenging to solve some problems, however. Repairing compressors, for example, is complicated due to their tight seals.
The only option when a compressor cannot be fixed is to replace it. You may still be covered under your manufacturer’s warranty if your compressor is still under warranty.
You can get help from an HVAC technician to determine whether you need a new compressor and if your warranty covers it.
The Outdoor Fan Needs Fixing
The circuit breaker can trip when your heat pump’s outdoor fan fails. During the refrigerant cycle, the fan blows air over the coils. An obstruction can cause the fan motor to lock up or malfunction.
Consequently, it could draw more power, tripping the circuit breaker. The importance of proper maintenance and cleaning cannot be overstated.
There are Heat Pump Wiring Problems
Heat pumps with wiring problems can also trip their circuit breakers. Electricity problems usually stem from three leading causes:
A Short Circuit In Your Motor Fan: When the electrical current does not flow along the usual path, it causes a short circuit.
It is most common for shorts to occur when the insulation around the wires degrades. Overcurrent can cause the wires to receive too much power, resulting in a breaker trip.
Wiring That’s Worn-out Or Loose: Damaged or loose wires can draw too much power and trip the circuit breaker by drawing too much power.
The Breaker Is Faulty: A malfunctioning circuit breaker, resulting in constant trips, can be caused by normal wear and tear.
An experienced electrician will need to inspect the fan heat pump and the wiring, either installing new wires or repairing damaged ones if this is the case.
A skilled HVAC technician can diagnose and repair wiring problems or refer you to an electrician when necessary.
Your Heat Pump Air Filter is Dirty
An air filter can become clogged with dust, which can impair airflow. The result is a reduction in the level of air quality in your home.
The result is that this heat pump has to work harder and for longer to circulate cooled and heated air throughout your house.
The heat pump will draw far more amps due to this type of inefficiency, triggering the circuit breaker. You may also have problems with the breaker tripping because the indoor vents are blocked or closed.
The trip of a circuit breaker indicates something is wrong with your heat pump. There’s a problem with your heat pump squeezing too much power from the circuit.
Restarting the breaker is likely safe if the trip does not occur again after resetting it. However, if it trips again, you should turn off your heat pump and have an HVAC professional diagnose the issue.