How to Solve Window Air Conditioner Electrical Problems
Window Air Conditioners and Electrical Circuit Problems
Window Air Conditioners and Electrical Circuit Problems
Electrical Question: A TV and window air conditioner were rendered inoperable after the (5,000BTU) air conditioner was turned on (15A circuit). It appeared that the CB tripped, but it had not, so I tripped the suspected CB, checked for obvious fire hazard (burnt stuff), turned on the CB and the fault manifested itself by:
- At the beginning of the problem the “electric burning” smell coming from the TV and the air conditioner going off (and now won’t turn on — “no signs of life”) ? no CB trips.
- There were malfunctioning lights and switches, including: turn one light on or off and other lights grew brighter of dimmer (no flickering) then eventually they don?t work at all ? again, no obvious CB trip (red banner visible or CB switch in ?off?). But cycling the CB off-to-on would re-establish power
- In a three bulb bathroom light unit unscrewing one light caused the other two to glow very brightly (probably would burn out if left on)
- I couldn’t isolate circuits by turning off their CB?s — turned off both CB’s in a mini 15A unit and some of the circuits still were powered (replaced the mini CB ? didn?t help)
After four days of study (with problem circuits shut down), including studying your very helpful site, I commenced procedures which you suggest, hitting pay dirt at the step (to paraphrase): [examine where the trouble began,] which was at the air conditioner (but maybe not?). This is what happened (all CB’s on — my new voltage/current tester in hand) before I even started checking anything:
Heat is coming from the electric baseboard heater unit located a foot beneath the outlet which the air conditioner is plugged into; the other baseboard units are cold; the 24v thermostat unit is off.
I turned off all CB’s to the electric heat system and everything is now normal! (except the TV and air conditioner which were cooked). The switches, lights, outlets all normal. But there will be a day of reckoning — when winter comes and I have to power up the heat.
I’m trying figure out how one heater unit can be on when the thermostat is off and the other heaters are off. I would hope that simply bypassing this one heater might solve the problem but I have a hunch it won’t be that simple.
Anyway, thanks for reading this. I hope you can help.
This electrical question came from: Jim, from Bethel, Connecticut
See more about Home Wiring for Connecticut
Thanks for your electrical question Jim
Electrical Circuit for a Window Air Conditioner
- It is best to install a dedicated circuit for window air conditioning units because they typically require a high amount of power.
- If the window air conditioner is plugged into an existing shared circuit then it this may cause an electrical short somewhere withing the circuit, most likely at an outlet or a splice in one of the outlets of the shared circuit.
Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
Electric Circuit Listing
The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.
Testers to Help Solve Electrical Problems
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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