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Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Heat strips + compressor tripping breaker


Hi J Cook,

I have a heat exchange unit with an extra heat strip. I live in North Carolina so on cold winter days the heat strip is suppose to assist the heat exchanger in keeping the house warm.  This past winter I did not notice except on my electric bill but my compressor did not seem to be working.  I also noticed that my breaker was kicking out on cold days when I would suspect that the heat strips would kick in.

I did not yet get this fixed and running the unit in AC mode without heat strips it has been working find all summer.

What do you think is the reason that the engaging the heat strips may be tripping the breaker?  The system ran fine for the last 8 years or so without problems.

Side note.  It seems like when the outside unit turns on there is a loud thump at the start.  I do not seem to notice this on my neighbors unit but it seems to occur with mine.

I would appreciate any thoughts and comments.



At first it sounded as though the compressor had a problem since the breaker was tripped, but if it ran in a/c mode, the compressor should be fine. The indoor and outdoor unit are on separate circuits. Is it tripping the indoor unit off or the outdoor unit? Thanks

Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

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J Cook


With 25+ years experience, I am familiar with residential, commercial, and industrial HVAC equipment including but not limited to boilers, chillers, reciprocating and screw compressors. I am trained in all manners of control wiring.


I currently have three HVAC licenses and Refrigeration license by the State of North Carolina. I have been in this field for over twenty years. I have been a service technician for a contractor and also worked at a state college in the repair and maintenance of steam lines and equipment. I am currently the Building Maintenance Superintendent for a municipality.

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