Circuit breaker for 1 HP – 2.5 HP air conditioner

The aircon circuit breaker is the main safety switch for your air conditioner. If the breaker should trip, this means the air conditioner is drawing too much current and it may be damaged.

In the last few years, people have been moving to more energy-efficient air conditioners, but many have forgotten something, if you don’t install an aircon breaker you may need to replace your aircon unit when tripping the circuit breaker or worse the house breaker.

Do I need a separate circuit breaker for an AC?

You’ve decided to install air conditioning in your home, but there’s one thing that’s been bothering you since you started shopping for an air conditioner: do I need a separate circuit breaker for an AC?

The question of whether or not to run your air conditioner off a separate circuit breaker is a vital one if you want to protect your home and family from a potentially life-threatening situation.

It’s important to know which circuit breaker to use, how many circuits you’ll need to be able to handle your cooling needs, and how to safely install a circuit breaker for your air conditioner.

What breaker is used for air conditioner?

A circuit breaker is a device that is designed to protect a circuit from being overloaded. There are different types of breakers, but in this case, we are only going to be looking at the air conditioner breaker.

The best way to know what breaker size to use in your air conditioner is by consulting a licensed electrician in your area. You can also check with your AC’s user manual as they provide those details properly.

Installing/Repairing an air conditioner breaker requires a licensed electrician

Installing a new air conditioner can be a big job. This is especially true if you live in an older home that requires a 20 amp or larger service.

Installing an AC breaker requires a licensed electrician because it involves an electrical circuit and running wires to the unit. For safety reasons, you usually need to hire an electrician to take care of the installation and to make sure that the unit is wired correctly.

But if you’re confident and a solid DIY-er then please proceed with caution. We are not responsible for any damage or loss caused by incorrect circuit breaker installation.

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Circuit breaker for air conditioner table

Here’s a sample computation for a 1HP aircon.

  • 1 HP = 746 Watts
  • 746 Watts / 230 Volts = 3.24 Amp
  • 3.24 Amp * 125% = 4.05 Amp 125% is the required % of Philippine Electrical Code (PEC).
  • 3.24 Amp * 250% = 8.1 Amp PEC said that a motor with continuous load will increase by 250%.
  • Answer: 20 Amp circuit breaker is enough for a 1 HP motor air conditioner. Why 20 Amp? Because 8.1 AMP is far from the 80% demand factor of a 15 Amp circuit breaker.
  • It is better to go 20 Amp for 1 HP air conditioner.

But in the real world application, it is better to have a higher circuit breaker just to make sure. It is better to spend more on electrical materials than risking everyone in your home.

The table below lists the possible circuit breaker compatible with your AC’s horsepower rating.

Circuit breaker for 0.5 HP Air Conditioner 15 Amp or higher
Circuit breaker for 0.6 HP air conditioner 15 Amp or higher
Circuit breaker for 0.75 HP air conditioner 20 Amp or higher
Circuit breaker for 1.0 HP air conditioner 20 Amp or higher
Circuit breaker for 1.5 HP air conditioner 30 Amp or higher
Circuit breaker for 1.75 HP air conditioner 40 Amp or higher
Circuit breaker for 2.0 HP air conditioner 40 Amp or higher
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Reasons why air conditioner keeps tripping the circuit breaker

Air conditioners are extremely useful in the summer for cooling the air indoors. But they can also be a real nuisance if they keep tripping the circuit breaker. You don’t want to ditch your air conditioner, because the heat is still oppressive, but you need help.

It is also important to know why your AC breaker keeps tripping.

Sudden current surge

The circuit breaker trips because of the sudden current surge. The problem is that modern air conditioners are so powerful that when they’re first installed, they send a large surge of electricity through the circuit breaker.

Dirty air filter

The air filters should be replaced regularly.

Dirty air conditioner condenser coils

Condenser coils are designed to cool the refrigerant gas inside the air conditioner. They do this by removing the heat from the gas. But the condenser coils also get hot.

In fact, some of the hottest parts of your air conditioner are the condenser coils. So, you can imagine that they get dirty. They can get dirty for a couple of reasons.

Loose wires, bad electrical connections or electrical component failure

A loose wire, a bad electrical connection, or an electrical component failure are the most common causes for a circuit breaker to trip.

If you ask an electrician to fix an air conditioner circuit breaker that trips, they will begin by checking each wire in your electrical system to make sure it is attached to the correct terminal on the circuit breaker.

(You can check this for yourself by measuring the resistance between the wire and the terminal with a multimeter.) If the electrician finds a loose wire, they will tighten the wire and replace any damaged terminals.

Faulty fan motor

In most cases, the problem is the fan motor, so the first thing you need to do is turn off the circuit breaker that controls the unit, wait a few minutes, then turn it back on to see if the circuit breaker trips again. If it doesn’t trip again, the problem is the fan motor.

Frozen evaporator coil

When the coil gets too cold, it freezes. This causes a lot of pressure to build up inside the unit. When the pressure gets too high, the circuit breaker or fuse trips to stop the power from reaching the air conditioner.

This protects your air conditioner and stops it from being damaged. To fix the problem, you need to call aircon professional immediately.

Failing compressor

If your air conditioner has started tripping the circuit breaker, that’s a sure sign that the compressor is on the way out. This means that your air conditioner is no longer capable of cooling your home to a comfortable temperature.

Another thing you need to ask yourself is, how many times did the breaker tips? Is the AC’s breaker the only one that trips? If your main breaker also trips, then this means a bigger problem and it is the best time to call the professional electricians in your area.

3 thoughts on “Circuit breaker for 1 HP – 2.5 HP air conditioner”

  1. Master pano nmn po sa Province Site yong kuryente po kasi doon Dalawa lng isang Ground at isang Live… pano po mag lalagay ng Ground??

    • Sir, isn’t a 15A cb sufficient for an appliance rated with 8.1A? 15*.80 = 12A which is closer to 8.1A compared to a 16A of a 20A cb. Aren’t we supposed to select thr next higjer rating?


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