Why Does My Circuit Breaker Trip on Hot Days?

Why Does My Circuit Breaker Trip on Hot Days?

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Circuit breakers in Atlanta area homes can trip for a number of different reasons. Some homeowners notice this problem tends to occur when the temperature outdoors is very hot and wonder if the heat has something to do with it. In our most recent blog, the licensed electricians of Estes Services explain what could be making your circuit breaker trip on hot days.

High Air Temperatures

Usually when a circuit breaker trips due to heat, it’s because it has become overloaded as various devices plugged into the circuit attempt to draw more electricity than the circuit is designed to handle. The heat causes the bimetallic strip inside the circuit breaker to flex, eventually touching a contact to trip the breaker.

This same issue can occur when hot weather causes the breaker’s bimetallic strip to flex. Ambient heat in the air surrounding the breaker can impact the components, too. When outdoor heat causes the strip to flex and hit a contact, the circuit breaker will trip even though there is no excess electricity causing the heat. 

When circuit breakers trip due to air temperatures, it may just be due to a heat wave and high air temperature outdoors. If your electric panel sits in an area exposed to sunlight, thermal energy could be heating up the air inside the breaker box, causing the air within to be much warmer than the air outside. This could also impact the bimetallic strip and cause circuit breaker tripping.

Cooling System Issues

If you notice circuit breakers tripping on days where the outdoor temperature is quite hot, the issue could be related to your home’s air conditioning system or heat pump. There may be an issue or malfunction somewhere within your air conditioner that is causing the breaker to trip for whatever reason. While the day’s heat doesn’t have a direct effect on circuit breakers tripping in this case, tripped breakers are more likely to occur due to air conditioner issues on hot days as the cooling system runs more frequently.

The following HVAC system malfunctions can force components to strain and draw more electricity than they should on account of the stress they are under. The excess electricity draw will cause circuit breakers to trip.

  • Dirty air filter
  • Dirty condenser coil
  • Malfunctioning fan motor
  • Frozen evaporator coil
  • Refrigerant leak
  • Bad compressor

Within the cooling equipment, there are many electrical connections and components. Loose wiring connections, a short circuit in the wiring, or a faulty capacitor could cause the breaker to trip.

To assess if your air conditioner may be the cause of circuit breakers tripping, pay close attention to what happens in your home around the time the circuit breakers trip. If you heard the air conditioner turn on right before the breaker tripped, causing it to stop, an issue with the cooling system is likely the cause.

In many cases, regular air conditioner maintenance will help prevent these issues. Air conditioner repairs can also identify cooling system issues that are causing an overloaded circuit or other electrical issue.

Contact Estes Services for Circuit Breaker Repairs in Atlanta

When your Atlanta circuit breakers keep on tripping, don’t put off the problem. Call the licensed Georgia electricians at Estes Services to inspect your home and equipment to find faults and make repairs safely.