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How to Reset AC Circuit Breaker?

As a homeowner, one of the most common issues you might face is your air conditioning (AC) system not working properly. This can be frustrating, especially during hot summer days. Often, the root cause of this problem is a tripped AC circuit breaker. Thankfully, resetting the breaker is a simple task that can be done without requiring professional help.

In this article, our team of expert technicians will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to reset your AC circuit breaker. We will also discuss common reasons for a tripped breaker and tips for preventing future issues. By following our guidance, you can confidently and safely restore your home’s cooling system without incurring any additional costs.

Why Do AC Circuit Breakers Trip?

Before we delve into the process of resetting your AC circuit breaker, it’s important to understand why it may have tripped in the first place. Some common reasons include:

  1. Overloaded Circuit: When too many appliances are running simultaneously on the same circuit, it can cause an overload and trip the breaker.
  2. Short Circuit: A short circuit occurs when two wires come into contact with each other, resulting in a sudden surge of electrical current that the breaker cannot handle.
  3. Ground Fault: A ground fault happens when a live wire touches a grounded object, causing an electrical current to flow through an unintended path, leading to the breaker tripping.
  4. Faulty Breaker or Wiring: Sometimes, the issue could be a result of a worn-out breaker or damaged wiring within the electrical system.

Warning: Safety First

Resetting an AC circuit breaker is a relatively simple task, but it is crucial to prioritize safety while working with electrical components. Always follow these safety guidelines:

  1. Turn off all electrical appliances connected to the circuit before resetting the breaker.
  2. Never touch any exposed wires or electrical connections with your bare hands.
  3. If you are unsure about any part of the process or suspect a more serious electrical issue, contact a professional electrician.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reset Your AC Circuit Breaker

Now that you understand the importance of safety and the common reasons for a tripped breaker, let’s walk through the process of resetting your AC circuit breaker.

Step 1: Locate Your Electrical Panel

The first step is to find your home’s electrical panel. This is usually located in the basement, garage, or a utility room. The panel houses all the circuit breakers for your home, including the one for your AC system.

Step 2: Identify the Tripped Breaker

Once you’ve located the electrical panel, look for the tripped breaker. It will typically be in the “off” or “middle” position, slightly away from the rest of the breakers that are in the “on” position. The AC circuit breaker should be labeled with a description like “Air Conditioner” or “HVAC.”

Step 3: Turn Off the Breaker

Before resetting the breaker, ensure it is completely turned off. Firmly push the switch to the “off” position. This step is crucial to prevent any electrical surges from occurring when you reset the breaker.

Step 4: Wait for a Few Minutes

Allow a few minutes for the system to cool down and any residual electrical charge to dissipate. This will help prevent any immediate retripping of the breaker when it is reset.

Step 5: Reset the Breaker

Now that you have waited a few minutes, firmly push the breaker switch back to the “on” position. You should hear a clicking sound as it locks into place.

Step 6: Check Your AC System

With the breaker reset, turn on your AC system to ensure it is functioning correctly. If the breaker trips again, there may be a more severe issue that requires the assistance of a professional electrician or HVAC technician.

Read detailed article on Other most common issues with air conditioners:


Resetting your AC circuit breaker is a simple and effective solution for many common air conditioning problems. By following the step-by-step guide provided by our team of experts, you can safely and confidently restore your home’s cooling system. Remember to always prioritize safety, and do not hesitate to contact a professional if you are unsure about any part of the process or suspect a more serious issue.

Helpful FAQs on Resetting AC Circuit Breakers

What can cause an AC circuit breaker to trip repeatedly?

If your AC circuit breaker trips repeatedly, it could indicate a more serious issue, such as a short circuit, ground fault, or a problem with the AC unit itself, like a malfunctioning compressor or capacitor. In these cases, it is best to consult a professional electrician or HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

How often should I expect my AC circuit breaker to trip?

Circuit breakers are designed to trip as a safety precaution when there is an issue with the electrical system. Ideally, this should not happen frequently. If your AC breaker is tripping regularly, it may indicate an underlying problem that needs to be addressed by a professional.

Can a dirty air filter cause my AC circuit breaker to trip?

A dirty air filter can cause your AC system to work harder, as it struggles to pull air through the filter. This increased strain on the system can lead to overheating, which in turn may cause the circuit breaker to trip. Regularly changing or cleaning your air filter can help prevent this issue.

Should I replace my AC circuit breaker if it keeps tripping?

If your AC circuit breaker continues to trip after you have addressed any potential issues with your AC system, it may be time to replace the breaker itself. Over time, circuit breakers can wear out and become less effective at protecting your electrical system. Consult a professional electrician to inspect and replace the breaker if necessary.

Is it dangerous to reset my AC circuit breaker on my own?

Resetting an AC circuit breaker is generally safe as long as you follow the proper safety precautions outlined in our step-by-step guide. However, if you are uncomfortable or unsure about any aspect of the process, it is always best to consult a professional electrician to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of your electrical system.