My air conditioner unit outside keeps on turning off and the fan in the house keeps on running.

When I switch the circuit breaker off, then on the outside unit works again.

Do you know what might be going on?

  • Including the make and model of the equipment would be useful.
    – Tester101
    Aug 3 '14 at 3:01
  • Does the whole unit shut off, or just the fan shuts off? When the unit is "off", does it make any noise at all? How long does the unit run before it turns off? What is the outside air temperature, set temperature on the thermostat, indoor temperature when the unit shuts off, and the temperature of the air coming out of the condensing unit? Is there any visible frost or icbe on the unit or pipes connected to the unit?
    – Tester101
    Aug 3 '14 at 3:07
  • is the circuit breaker in the tripped state when you switch it off and on again?
    – Paul
    Aug 3 '14 at 3:27
  • Include pictures and equipment information to help with diagnosis. It may be a bad contractor inside of the air conditioner, or any other number of issues.
    – Mnc123
    Aug 3 '14 at 5:12
  • Do you have the fan set to an always on option so it runs even when the rest of the system is not? Or is your AC unit turning off before your house has reached the set temperature?
    – Doresoom
    Aug 6 '14 at 16:50

Here are some things that you can do:

  • check the air filter, could be frozen or dirty
  • check for any possible ice build-up
  • shut down the system from the breaker for 30 minutes: this will reset the system and allow time to melt any ice build-up. Power back on and see if the temperature holds and the system stays on.

Here is what I would recommend to have a professional do

  • Verify that the thermostat is working correctly, a bad thermostat would give the results you are getting.
  • Have the pressure checked. Too much or too little refrigerant can affect the efficiency of the unit and may cause it to cycle too much and shut down.

In my experience, I would tend to lean towards the thermostat since the system works properly after you've powered it off and back on. If the system cannot determine the temperature after a certain period of time (varies by manufacturer) it will shut itself down as a safety feature since it could run indefinitely and cause damage to the system.

  • If the thermostat was bad, I would expect that the air handler would shut down too.
    – Tester101
    Aug 3 '14 at 15:29

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