We have a 1995 Rheem 3-ton unit cooling the upstairs of our recently purchased home. It has been running frequently, averaging about five hours a day in June. Unfortunately, it has now tripped the breaker two days in a row. An HVAC guy came yesterday and said it was drawing only 22A. He also said the R22 level was fine, and he just reset the breaker. The breaker is 40A. I have put the name plate in the image below. Any ideas or things worth checking? Do I need a new unit?
Well, from the name plate the max breaker size is 35 so that is the size breaker it should be on.
It is possible the breaker is going bad. Especially if it only trips occasionally and not immediately every time the compressor starts.
It is also possible the unit is going bad and only occasionally draws more than its rating. When the technician was there it just happened to be acting normally.
The cheapest fix is to try a new 35 amp breaker. If it continues to trip then you need to call the HVAC contractor back out for a more thorough examination.