Help – My Furnace Is Tripping My Circuit Breaker!

Posted: March 4, 2019

Circuit breaker switches

Every once in a while, you may notice that your furnace trips your circuit breaker.

This is most likely happening by design: your circuit breaker exists to protect the wiring in your Maine home from overloading with current and causing a fire. The breaker may have tripped due to a temporary power surge; if you reset the breaker and it doesn’t trip again, your equipment is probably fine.

But what if the furnace continues to trip your circuit? If that’s the case, you probably have one of these four possible problems:

  1. Your furnace is overworking – An overworked furnace draws electrical current than it would under normal conditions; if your furnace turns on and works for a while before tripping the breaker, this is likely the problem.

    Several factors can cause your furnace to overwork, including:

    • A dirty air filter
    • Closed or blocked air vents
    • Restricted ductwork
    • A malfunctioning part

    Check and change your air filter, free blocked air vents, and inspect visible ductwork for obvious kinks and blockages; if doing all this does not stop your circuit breaker problem, contact us.

  2. Your circuit is overloaded – A furnace should be on its own circuit, but sometimes – especially in older homes – this is not the case. Running your furnace and another appliance on the same circuit can easily overload it; try removing the other appliance from the circuit and see if the problem stops.
  3. You have a short circuit or ground fault in your furnace – A furnace that starts up but immediately trips the breaker can be caused by an electrical short circuit or a ground fault inside of the furnace itself (both are caused by a bare hot wire somewhere in your equipment). Both problems increase the amount of electrical current drawn by your furnace, which trips the breaker. Fixing a short circuit or ground fault is a job for a heating repair professional.
  4. Your circuit breaker or panel is faulty – A fourth possibility is that the problem could be with the circuit breaker or electrical panel itself. Consult a professional electrician to make sure repairs are made and managed safely and correctly.

As with any heating equipment problem, your best bet once you have tried all your basic troubleshooting techniques is to call in the pros at Murray-Heutz. We will get to the bottom of the issue and restore your heating system quickly so you can get back to enjoying your warm, cozy Central Maine home.

Got furnace problems? Our heating pros can help. Contact Murray-Heutz Oil and Propane today to learn more, or to schedule a service call for your heating system.