Why Does Your Furnace Keep Tripping The Breaker Switch?

If you're like most homeowners, you probably don't even notice that the circuit breakers are there until something is wrong with your house. Acting as the nerve center for your home's electrical system, the circuit breaker is designed to prevent a fire in your home by automatically switching off the circuits when there's a problem.

Your furnace can be a major source of these problems. If you notice that your breaker has been tripped and keeps switching off when you reset it, the last thing you want to do is keep turning it back on. Call an HVAC contractor and schedule heating services to figure what the issue is, otherwise you could be enabling a potentially dangerous situation.

Overloaded Circuit

The most common cause of breaker flips of any kind in the home is an overloaded circuit. The different areas in your home are rated for different amounts of voltage, so if one area is trying to draw more power than it's rated for, the breaker will flip and will cut the power off to prevent a fire.

Almost all newer homes have the furnace on its own individual circuit, but many older homes placed the furnace on a shared circuit. In this scenario, even something as small as plugging in a power tool can overload that specific circuit and cause the breaker to switch. Fortunately, the solution is very simple: just unplug the extra appliance and plug it in elsewhere.

Overworked Furnace

When operating at peak efficiency, your furnace will draw in a nominal amount of electricity; when it's overworked, it'll try to draw in more than it's rated for and the breaker will flip. There many things that can cause your furnace to work harder than it should, such as a clogged air filter, clogged air ducts, or a part of the furnace itself that is not working properly. Most of these are taken care of through regular maintenance — either by the homeowner or by a professional during routine heating services — but left untreated, it can cause major damage to your furnace.

Furnace Shorting

If your furnace kicks on and then almost immediately trips the breaker, chances are you have a short circuit or ground fault inside the unit itself. Both of these are caused when a hot wire touches something else and sends a shot of high voltage through the furnace, triggering the breaker to turn off. It's not always an expensive fix, but it is imperative to get it taken care of as soon as possible by a professional to prevent further issues.

For more information, contact a local heating service.