Looks Like Mama Needs a New A/C Condenser

I think I told you that in the last month or so the breaker for one of the three a/c condensers keeps tripping. Tripping, then sparking to reset it. Not one to play with electrical panels ever, the electrician came out today and we talked at length about why it is tripping and what needs to be done.

His first question: How old IS the condenser on this breaker?

Counting on fingers of both hands and toes on both feet, I responded, I guess roughly 20 years old. 

Ours isn’t QUITE this old! 🙂

I had to try and revive him….


He said as condensers get old, and lady, yours IS old, they take more power to kick on (humans do too!) and it causes the breaker to be overloaded so it does what a breaker should do, and shuts down.

He put in a new breaker anyway (because why not, he was here) so next discussion comes at replacing the condenser. Alas, if it were only so simple. The house has three and when we did the master bedroom wing over last year, we got all new HVAC system at that end of the house. The other end of the house needs work some of which we hoped to do when we did the master wing. We just couldn’t swing it so the upstairs condenser and the downstairs kitchen/LR wing one are holding on for dear life. I’m surprised they’ve made it this long.

In a perfect world, we’d do the upstairs work and upgrade both AC systems and call it a day. In our not so perfect world, we either (a) bite the bullet for one new condenser that is the one tripping and hold off on the one upstairs until we can do that whole reno or (b) do nothing with either, grab a beer, and have a great weekend!

I Vote B!!



17 thoughts on “Looks Like Mama Needs a New A/C Condenser

  1. Another vote for b. Do you know how many cases of beer you can buy for the cost of a new condenser?
    This is the first house I’ve ever lived in that has central air. Three condensers. I turned them on once this summer and that was only because we had overnight guests- and it was pretty hot.

    1. Mr. EOS comes from the “I don’t need no stinking air conditioning” camp. I, in the other hand, prefer it, unless of course there’s a fine ocean breeze. But on long stretches of high humidity beach days when the sheets feel damp, the ac goes on.
      The B’s have it!!

  2. One of the many reasons we sold our old house in Bedford was the breakdowns of important appliances and infrastructure. We were struggling financially to begin with and found it impossible to repair and replace things like condensers. We got appreciably less $ for the years we let the house go.

    B, all the way.

  3. Condensers wear out with old age. They do not need “more power” to start with old age.

  4. Didn’t you mention that you had another sweet, sweet job interview in the works? How about getting a raise from that current job – or is the boss just a slave driver?

    1. I had one interview for a new job that came to me via my architect. Didn’t get a second call back. It’s that ageism in play. My first interview I was asked if I had any problem with taking orders from people younger. I said no. I guess they didn’t believe me.

      Oh wait, you mean getting a salary hike from Mr. EOS?

  5. The heating and cooling system of our 1937 2-1/2 story brick house (expanded by the owners before us, who blew out the back and increased sf by 1/3) can be described in seven words:

    Decades Worth of Reworked Rube Goldberg Contraption.

    I hope your situation is less $ dire!

    1. Here too. The problem is that in order to make the house systems really the way we’d like, we’d have to tear down the 3/4 of the house we haven’t renovated!!!! 😁
      What’s happening in LR for the fourth? Hillary and Bill house hunting? 😀😀😀

Comments are closed.