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How to Reset AC Circuit Breaker in Only 3 Simple Steps

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how to reset ac circuit breaker

A recent thunderstorm tripped your circuit breaker for the air conditioner. Now, the appliance is giving you problems, so you’re wondering how to reset AC circuit breaker.

The steps to resetting the AC circuit breaker are typically a DIY-friendly job. In many cases, you only need to find the location of the service panel and troubleshoot the correct device.

Still, you need to pay attention to some particulars to avoid making costly mistakes. Continue reading to learn the correct step-by-step procedure to reset the air conditioner breaker.

Step-by-Step Guide


What to Prepare

  • Replacement circuit breaker: This item might not be necessary unless the AC unit breaker continues to trip or short-circuit after being reset. Make sure to replace the old unit with the same make and model to avoid problems.
  • Gloves: Use protective gear when touching circuit branches. Doing so will limit danger from electrical malfunctions.

Step #1: Locate The Service Panel

Before you ask, ‘where is my AC breaker,’ you’ll generally find the main service panel on the opposite side of the property’s electrical meter.

In some cases, the electrical service panel is located in the basement or garage. But you might need to ask your landlord if you’re living in an apartment.

Take note that the location of the AC breaker box often varies per establishment. You may need to consult your property’s electrical diagram if you can’t locate it.

Step #2: Turn Off The AC Thermostat

Shut down the AC thermostat and the AC itself.

Failure to do these steps before tinkering with the AC breaker switch may result in issues like damage to the CB. If the thermostat is already on when the breaker is reset, the air conditioner will start running right away and interfere with the reboot.

Step #3: Locate And Reset The AC Breaker Switch

Take a look at your property’s wiring diagram to know which of the circuit breakers in the panel is linked to the AC. There may also be labels on the panel itself for each appliance. Once found, turn off AC circuit breaker.

Wait for a few seconds before switching the HVAC circuit breaker back into the on position. You should hear an audible ‘click’ if the breaker’s switch is secure.

Then, check if the problems persist with your air conditioner. Wait at least half an hour before starting the AC.

If you still encounter issues with the appliance, you may need to replace it. Follow through with this option, mainly if the AC won’t turn on after flipping the breaker.

Helpful Tips


Take note that you may not need to reset the AC’s circuit breaker to restore the appliance’s proper functionality. For instance, you might only need to find and push a reset button on the cooling unit.

Also, here are some safety tips to reduce the risks of additional concerns while working with your AC’s circuit breaker:

  • Don’t attempt troubleshooting or repairing the circuit breaker if the electrical panel is wet. Only reset AC breaker outside during relatively dry weather to avoid getting electrocuted.
  • Use a flashlight. Some circuit breaker panels are in locations with little to no light. Having a flashlight or torch nearby can help prevent mishandling the breakers.
  • Label the circuit breakers. After finishing your repairs with the AC’s circuit breaker, it’s a good idea to place a label on it. That way, you won’t need to fiddle with the service panel more than needed during future repairs.
  • Replace the circuit breaker if necessary. Change the air conditioner’s breaker instead of resetting it if it’s hot, has apparent signs of damage, or emits a burning smell.


Now that you’re at the end of this post, you should have a general idea of how to reset AC circuit breaker. Take note that you should go about this process carefully. One wrong move can put you or the property’s electrical equipment in harm’s way.

Remember, you can still replace your air conditioner’s circuit breaker if it gives you problems frequently. For example, if the breaker trips more often than usual, think about changing it instead of spending additional time trying to repair it.

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