Air Conditioning Not working; breaker shows red flag when on.

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  #1  
Old 05-08-17, 07:56 PM
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Air Conditioning Not working; breaker shows red flag when on.

Air Conditioning Not working; breaker shows red flag when on. I was an electrician ages ago but just wanted to know what the red flag is on the AC breaker.

The AC stopped working and this is what I saw in the panel; a photo is attached.

Any help is appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 05-08-17, 08:28 PM
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A) It's tripped.

B) It's an illegal and dangerous install. That is a 240V circuit, and it MUST be a 2 pole common trip breaker that trips/disconnects both poles simultaneously. It was installed with two single pole breakers and an illegal handle tie. Circuit breakers are designed to trip even if the handle is wedged into the ON position. Normally when tripped, the handle will move to the center position (and Square D QO breakers will display the red trip flag). Because of the wire handle tie, when the one pole tripped out it did not generate enough force to flip the other handle to the off position. This means there is still a hot leg connected to the AC unit.

Pull those two breakers and replace them with a 2 pole QO breaker of whatever the original amp ratings are (probably 30A). Cost you about $20.

Now that doesn't mean there isn't still a problem with the AC unit that caused it to trip in the first place... But you need to resolve that issue first and see if it trips again..
 
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Old 05-09-17, 11:45 AM
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Interesting, I will try to flip it off an on again, this is my mothers home and have to wait until I can get up there.

I will let you know how this goes.
 
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Old 05-17-17, 12:25 PM
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I flipped the breaker off and then back on, the AC has been working fine for days; hopefully it won't trip again.
 
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Old 05-17-17, 02:27 PM
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It was most likely a transient overload, maybe from the first startup of the year. However that doesn't change the fact that you HAVE TO change out the breaker for the correct one. It is dangerous as-is.
 
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