Why Is My Furnace Tripping My Circuit Breaker?

Posted on: September 6, 2017

Not many issues rival the frustration or concern associated with the repeated tripping of a breaker, especially when it occurs during furnace operation. In the case of a one-time occurrence where the breaker was tripped, you can reset the breaker and furnace operation should continue as normal, without cause for immediate alarm. Chances are, the issue was caused by a surge or spike in power from storm activity or problem with the electrical grid. If it doesn’t happen again and you notice no other issues or concerns with your furnace you’re not likely to experience any further problems. However, if the breaker continues to trip again and again, you’ll need to resolve the issue as soon as possible. The most common causes of a furnace tripping a breaker are listed below.

Your Furnace Is Overloaded

If your furnace is working overtime to keep up with demand, it can place a strain on the circuit as it utilizes more electrical current than normal. This is likely the problem if you find that your furnace powers on for just a short while before tripping the breaker. Causes of an overload can include:

  • Dirty or clogged air filter
  • Blocked or closed supply or return vents
  • Restricted airflow through ductwork
  • Malfunctioning system component

Before calling Air Experts for furnace repair, inspect and change your air filter if needed, and check each vent throughout your home to ensure there is proper airflow.

Your Shared Circuit Is Overloaded

Most furnaces will be on a dedicated circuit, but if yours is on a shared circuit, it may be underrated for furnace use in combination with one or more additional appliances, outlets, or lights. You can provide a temporary solution by unplugging or avoiding use of the secondary item, but if possible, consider moving your furnace’s power source to a dedicated circuit.

There Is a Short Circuit or Ground Fault in Your Furnace

If your furnace trips the circuit breaker immediately upon startup, the issue likely lies within the furnace itself. An exposed bare wire inside the furnace can cause a short circuit when it comes in contact with a neutral wire, or it could cause a ground fault if it comes in contact with a grounded wire or metal object, either of which can create an excessive draw on the electric current. Call Air Experts for efficient diagnosis and repair of the problem.

There Is an Issue at the Panel

If the electrical panel is outdated, damaged, or was incorrectly installed some of the connections may be loose, or the breaker itself or panel may need to be replaced.

Furnace Troubleshooting & Repair in Raleigh-Durham, NC

Most furnace issues are best resolved by a skilled, knowledgeable professional to avoid further damage or personal injury. If your furnace trips the breaker one or more times after it has been reset, leave the unit off and call Air Experts for repair. We offer superior furnace repair services so you’re never left out in the cold, and our Super 7 Guarantees promise our customers the best possible service using the best possible products.

Call Air Experts today at 919-480-2727, or contact us online to schedule an appointment for service in Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill! 

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