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PTAC Unit Breaker Tripping – Why And How To Deal With It?

PTAC Unit Breaker Tripping – Why And How To Deal With It?

Have you ever wondered about the inner workings of a PTAC unit? These units are commonly found in hotels, offices, and homes. It’s essential to be aware of potential issues and know how to address them when your PTAC unit starts tripping the breaker. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you troubleshoot and prevent this problem.

When a breaker trips in a PTAC unit, the root cause can originate from the unit itself, including potential wiring problems. Excessive wear and tear or mishandling can lead to internal damage, resulting in the breaker tripping.

Another common cause of a tripping breaker is insufficient airflow through the venting system. This can occur when the vents are clogged or blocked, hampering proper heat distribution. In such cases, calling an electrician to inspect and fix any wiring issues might be necessary.

A tripping breaker in a PTAC unit is a common issue that can cause equipment damage and even pose a fire hazard. Therefore, it’s crucial to address the problem promptly and safely. If you want to learn more about PTAC units, continue reading for valuable information.

Common Causes And Solutions For PTAC Unit Breaker Tripping

When a PTAC unit repeatedly trips the breaker, it may be due to wiring problems inside the unit. Make sure the power cord matches the correct gauge for the wall socket and verify that all wires are properly installed and free of corrosion.

Excessive wear and tear or mishandling can also lead to frequent breaker tripping. While some damage is expected over time, it can negatively impact the unit if it exceeds its limits. Taking good care of your PTAC unit is crucial to prevent these issues.

Insufficient airflow through the venting system is a prevalent cause of a tripping breaker. Neglecting to clean the air filter regularly can lead to clogging, reducing airflow and causing problems with the unit. Clean the filter periodically or replace it with a new one to ensure optimal performance.

Selecting The Right PTAC Unit For Your Home

PTAC Unit Breaker Tripping – Why And How To Deal With It?

Not all PTAC units are created equal, and compatibility with your household is essential. If you’re considering purchasing or replacing a PTAC unit, here are some guidelines to determine if they are suitable based on specifications and important factors to consider while shopping.

First, consider the climate in your location and whether a PTAC unit is necessary for both cooling and heating. If you live in an area with all four seasons, look for PTAC units that offer both functionalities. On the other hand, if your location rarely experiences cold weather, a cooling-only unit may be sufficient.

When searching for PTAC units, determine the square footage of the room as it directly impacts the required BTUs (British Thermal Units) for efficient cooling or heating. Larger rooms will need more BTUs. Investing in the appropriate power capacity for your space ensures optimal comfort.

Before purchasing a PTAC unit, ensure it has a good track record for durability. Read customer reviews thoroughly and check the warranty coverage provided by the manufacturer. An Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) rating indicates how energy efficient a PTAC unit is, with higher ratings leading to lower running costs.

How PTAC Units Work

PTAC units are designed for both heating and cooling purposes. They utilize either fresh air intake or traditional refrigerant methods to cool the room. A condensing coil on the exterior and an evaporator coil facing the interior work together to cool the air inside the PTAC unit.

PTAC Unit Breaker Tripping – Why And How To Deal With It?

PTAC units require connection to the building’s water system to produce warm air. By reversing this process, refrigerant is pumped to heat the coils, drawing in cold air and pushing warm air into the room. Some PTAC units utilize a resistive electric heater, while others incorporate a reverse-cycle heat pump

The Importance Of PTAC Unit Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure a long service life and efficient performance of your PTAC unit. Even if the unit is durable, consistent upkeep is necessary to extend its lifespan and avoid potential issues.

PTAC Unit Breaker Tripping – Why And How To Deal With It?

Performing preventive maintenance on your PTAC unit is easy and highly recommended. Regularly check and clean the filter to ensure efficient operation and prevent clogging that can lead to compressor failure. Simply remove the filter, vacuum it, and reinstall it.

When cleaning the unit’s coils, use specialized coil cleaners designed for indoor and outdoor coils. Make sure to let the PTAC unit dry thoroughly after cleaning.

Monitoring the plugs and power cords is an essential part of PTAC unit maintenance. Protect the plugs from insulation breaks, as they can lead to electrical hazards or fire. Take prompt action to repair any issues with your PTAC unit to prevent further damage.

Top PTAC Brands To Consider

If you’re planning to purchase a PTAC unit, here are some top brands known for their convenience, energy efficiency, and reliable climate control.

Friedrich PTAC units offer a wide selection and various features. Customers provide positive feedback on their powerful and energy-efficient cooling and heating performance, along with quiet operation.

Amana PTAC units are renowned for their durability, quiet operation, and efficient climate control. They are popular for their energy efficiency and are commonly used in households and hotels.

LG PTAC units are a popular choice for apartments and hotels. They are known for their quiet operation, energy efficiency, reasonable prices, and minimal energy consumption.

PTAC Unit Drainage System

PTAC units are entirely self-contained, eliminating the need for drain piping. Condensed water is directed to the condenser coil’s surface, where it evaporates and is expelled through the wall vent.

How To Reset A PTAC Unit

When troubleshooting a PTAC unit, a quick reset can often resolve minor issues. Here’s how to reset a PTAC unit: Lift the front plastic cover and pull it. Ensure the PTAC unit is plugged in. Turn off the master power switch located under the control panel and leave it off for 5 minutes. Then, turn the switch back on while pressing and holding both the heat and cool buttons. The off button will have a red light next to it, indicating a successful reset of the PTAC unit.

Expected Lifespan Of A PTAC Unit

With proper maintenance, PTAC units can last over ten years. However, due to advancements in energy efficiency and technology, customers may consider replacing them every 5-7 years. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure safe operation and prevent potential hazards.


Understanding the requirements of your PTAC unit and knowing how to address issues like a tripping breaker can help you find effective solutions. If you’re considering purchasing a PTAC unit, familiarizing yourself with the important factors to consider will help you make an informed decision. By taking care of your PTAC unit and being knowledgeable about its operation, you can save money and avoid potential frustrations and problems.

PTAC Unit Breaker Tripping – Why And How To Deal With It?

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