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While most modern homes these days have breaker panels to bypass the need for fuses, you might still experience problems with your breaker panel tripping because of similar issues. However, homes that still have fuse boxes will be familiar with the headache of a blown fuse. What you may not know is that it is a very common issue that can indicate an AC unit in need of repairs. In summer, when you least want to deal with air conditioner problems, your machine is more prone to blown fuses that will require repairs. Most often, the problem lies in an issue with the unit that is causing the fuse to blow, so it’s not just about replacing the fuse.
Remember, anything electricity-related can be dangerous. AC repairs require the attention of a skilled technician due to the risk of electric shock involved, especially when it comes to fuses. One effective way to combat repairs this summer is to have your machine regularly checked by an experienced technician.
How Does a Fuse Work?
A fuse is a metal filament or wire, usually in some type of casing. It’s located in the disconnect box, connected to your AC. It is there to protect your machine, to avoid more serious problems. It does this by stopping the flow of electricity – whenever an overload of electricity occurs, the filament melts and stops the flow of electricity, in other words, it blows.
You can be sure that something has gone wrong when this happens. The fuse itself is almost never the problem, since they are really just a safety mechanism and it’s at this point that you’ll need professional repair assistance.
Fuses react very quickly to a dangerous overload, causing over-heating and, consequently, a blown fuse. They are important because they protect your sensitive electronic devices, like your air conditioner. This is why you’ll need to have a technician get to the root of the problem, prevent the cause of the overloads and save both yourself and your air conditioner from over-heating this summer!
What Causes them to Blow?
There are many possible reasons for AC fuses to blow, and sometimes they are connected. Here is a list of some of the most common reasons:
- Old or Blocked Motor
An old or blocked motor causes the capacitor to work over-time. The capacitor is important because it helps run the cooling system, known as the condenser. This small part helps to regulate the electrical current as it flows through the condenser. Get a technician’s opinion on whether or not the motor must be replaced.
- Dirty Condenser Coils
The coils on your unit’s condenser can sometimes get dirty and the result is that, once again, the capacitor has to run overtime, ultimately blowing a fuse.
- Clogged Filter
Similarly, when there is pressure on the condenser from either very extreme temperatures, a faulty motor, or dirty coils, the filter can then also get clogged and this will cause the machine to over-heat and, of course, fuses don’t like this.
- A Malfunctioning Compressor
Extremely hot weather can also cause other problems in your air conditioner. If the compressor is not working properly, the air is not being cooled enough. This could be because of too-high levels of refrigerant in the AC, or as a result of frequently turning the machine off and then back on very quickly (within a minute of turning it off).
- Wear and Tear on the Fuse
The lifespan of a fuse can be up to 20 years. AC fuses are usually what is known as ‘slo-blow’ or ‘time delay’ fuses. This means that they are at work every time you turn the machine on and off and eventually, will simply wear out due to the strain of the operation.
For help with replacing a blown fuse or repairing a unit that blows them often, contact the professionals at Art Plumbing, AC and Electric today.