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Why Your Electric Furnace Tripped the Circuit Breaker

electrical-tools

You don’t run your electric furnace for long stretches during the short winters here in the Valley, but you do expect the furnace to work when you turn it on. If you turn it on one day and it soon after shuts down as if no power is going to it, one of the first things to check is the electrical panel. See if the circuit breaker for the furnace has tripped, and then reset it. An electric furnace uses a large amount of electricity to run, so a temporary power surge from it may overwhelm the circuit. 

However, if the breaker continues to trip again and again, you’re probably looking at something that requires furnace repair in Scottsdale, AZ from our professional technicians. 

Why This Might Be Happening

A furnace that continues to trip a circuit breaker could have several problems affecting it. We don’t recommend you attempt to diagnose or repair any of them on your own. Although electric furnaces do not present the same potential hazards as gas furnaces if amateurs work on them, they still can create electric fire dangers and high voltage shocks. Leave any repair service to the pros.

A common cause for a furnace overloading its circuit is a problem with the sequencer. The sequencer is a component that staggers the flow of electricity to the multiple heating elements in the furnace. When the furnace receives a request for heat from the thermostat, it doesn’t send voltage to all the heating elements at once; the sequencer instead turns them on one at a time. If the sequencer fails, electricity may go to all the heating elements, and this will be enough to overload the circuit. To repair this, technicians must replace the sequencer.

The blower fan is another component of the furnace that draws on large amounts of power. Extra strain on the blower motor can trip a circuit breaker. This could be caused by something as simple as a clogged air filter—check to see if the filter needs to be replaced. If the motor is starting to fail it may also overload the circuit. This is one reason we don’t recommend continuing to try to use the furnace if the circuit breaker trips regularly; it could drive the motor to burn out. 

The overload on the motor could also come from blocked air vents around the house, which will raise pressure in the ventilation system and overwork the motor. Leaky air ducts are another possible cause of the overheating blower motor.

There are many other electrical components in the furnace that can create shorts and arcing that will cause the voltage spike necessary to overwhelm the circuit, most of them in the control board. 

Finally, there is the possibility the furnace is fine and the problem is in the electrical panel itself. In this case, you’ll need the services of an electrician to fix the problem. 

But if the furnace is the source of the malfunction, you can trust to our team to have it fixed fast. 

Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating is your reliable HVAC Contractor in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Call us 24/7 when you need emergency repairs for your AC or heater.

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