Air Conditioner and Tripping Circuit

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

a dedicated 220 volt line for a new 22,000btu in wall air conditioner, the breaker trips occasionally, is it as simple as a bad breaker?

20 Amp 220 Volt AC Circuit is Tripping

Question: I live in a 60 year old co-op condo with a dedicated 220 volt line for a new 22,000 btu in wall air conditioner. There is an outlet with a 20amp breaker wired to it approx 18 inches off the floor. A new single 220 volt outlet was tapped off the outlet from the floor and put underneath the a/c which is approx 5 feet off the floor. The breaker trips occasionally. The voltage ranges around 210 volts and 12.2 amps taking a reading from the outlet near the floor. Only the a/c is on this line, and I’ve tried plugging the a/c in the top and bottom outlet at different times, and the breaker trips with both.   #12 wire was used to feed the new (top) outlet. Is it as simple as a bad breaker?
I appreciate any help in this manner. Thanks, Rob.
Air Conditioner Load and Tripping Circuit Breaker
Rob, if the original outlet is still in place is there a possibility that it is being used as well by another device? If so this may be contributing to the problem and it would be best if the original outlet was removed, then splice the circuit through and install a blank cover. If the 12.2 amp reading is correct then there may be a bad circuit breaker, however the air conditioner may be loading up and creating an overloaded condition as well. If the amperage load shows 12.2 at the time when the circuit breaker trips off then the circuit breaker will need to be replaced.

This electrical question came from: Rob, from Whitestone, New York

See more about Home Wiring for New York

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Rob

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