Major Reasons Why Your Furnace Tripping The Circuit Breaker

Your furnace should run without tripping the circuit breaker all the time. You can reset the circuit breaker once if it trips after you turn on the furnace. You know something is wrong if the breaker trips again. Read on to know more about the reasons why your furnace tripping the circuit breaker in detail and find out what you can do to fix the problems.

When your circuit breaker keeps tripping, you should troubleshoot and fix the problem before resetting the furnace again.

Why The Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping When The Furnace Is Running?

It isn’t normal situation to have a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. Below are the major reasons a circuit breaker keeps tripping when the furnace is running.

Restricted Airflow

The main function of the furnace is to heat air and circulate it around the house. The furnace cannot do this if it has to deal with restricted airflow in the house.

Here are the classic examples of airflow issues in a heating system:

  • Something is blocking the air ducts, and warm air cannot reach some parts of the house
  • Furnace filter is clogged. Debris is clogging the air filter and restricting airflow
  • Something is blocking the air vents, and air cannot flow out
  • The furnace fan motor is damaged and cannot facilitate airflow

In short, anything that prevents the flow of warm air to different rooms and cool air back to the furnace interferes with airflow.

Restricted airflow means the furnace has to work harder than usual to keep the house warm. An overloaded furnace is likely to overheat, malfunction, and trip the circuit breaker.

Furnace Electrical Fault

A typical furnace, even a gas-powered furnace, uses electricity. Your gas furnace needs electricity to run the thermostat, ignite the burners (unless you have an older furnace with a pilot light), and drive the blower motor. An electrical malfunction in any of these parts can trip the circuit breaker.

Consider the example of a worn motor whose windings have lost their insulation. A short circuit ensures if two or more naked windings get into contact. Damage from a short circuit is one of the things the circuit breaker prevents. Thus, the circuit breaker will trip to prevent electrical damage.

House Electrical Fault

Lastly, the circuit breaker can also keep tripping due to other problems unrelated to the furnace. The problems might be with the circuit breaker itself or in your home electrical panel. A circuit breaker can go bad if there are loose electrical connections or a direct electrical short in the wiring.

In these case, you should call an electrician to check your electrical panel to ensure there are no insufficiencies there.

Here are examples of such problems:

  • A corroded and damaged electrical panel or malfunctioning circuit breaker
  • An overloaded electrical circuit
  • A temporary drop in the electrical supply to your house

What To Do When Your Furnace Tripping The Circuit Breaker

  1. Check Your Air Filter
    Make sure your air filter and vents is clean and clear of obstructions particles.
  2. Check Your Circuit Breaker
    Check the wiring connection. Depending on the problem, the solution could be tightening the wiring connections or replacing the breaker. This is best left to a professional techniacian.

Conclusion

Anything that prevents your furnace from getting the electrical power it needs can keep tripping the breaker. Furnace electrical problems are not good candidates for DIY repair. The risk of damage or injury is just too big. Instead, consult a professional technician to diagnose and fix the issue(s).

About Mas Broto

Have been in the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry for over 20 years. He is person that will grow and thrive to learn more about the HVAC industry throughout his career. Mas Broto is also a blogger, who's dedicated to bringing you the best knowledge to get ahead in the game of life.