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burnt03 12-23-2009 08:20 AM

Electric furnace blowing breaker
Have an American standard electric furnace.

Couple times over the past month I've woken up and the furnace hasn't kicked in. Further check shows that the breaker (in the box) has blown.

I'm a rook so excuse the questions, but where should I start first?

Thanks in advance!

Tator1076 12-23-2009 08:46 AM

You need to check the temp on breaker. If its hot then you may have heating elelments going bad but if not hot it can just be a bad breaker. I like to say at this time please call the pro's

yuri 12-23-2009 06:40 PM

You need to get it checked by a licensed service electrician or heating tech ASAP. You may have bad connections inside and they WILL overheat, arc/spark and the wiring can melt and smoke and if left long enough start on fire. Seen quite a few roasted electric furnaces in my career.

Yoyizit 12-23-2009 08:42 PM


Originally Posted by burnt03 (Post 371135)
I've woken up
the breaker (in the box) has blown.

If it took hours for the breaker to trip you may be looking for a very mild overload or bad breaker connections.

beenthere 12-24-2009 07:15 AM


Originally Posted by filtersupply (Post 371491)
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burnt03 01-11-2010 06:46 PM

Did it again last night, tried calling a tech today. No one available that's familiar with electric furnaces, but the guy said that the first thing they'll do is change the breaker.

As a side note, the two 60A breakers on the furnace have never tripped on me (I assume one for each stage), only the main 125A one.

I took the clamp on multimeter home from work and read approximately 80A running through the feed wires at first start-up and during regular operation. The connections at the breaker are tight and it doesn't seem to be getting very warm.

I guess I'll try changing the breaker and if that doesn't work, have to wait for a tech to check it out.

Scuba_Dave 01-11-2010 06:49 PM

If you are tripping the Main 125a breaker then it is either:

Main breaker is failing
OR You are exceeding the 125a capacity

What else in your house uses electricity ?

You have (2) 60a feeds for electric heat & only a 125a Main panel ?

burnt03 01-11-2010 09:48 PM

Hi Scuba,

Sorry I wasn't more clear.

I have a 200A service to the house. The electric furnace has a 125A breaker switch. On the furnace itself is a small hatch, behind it being (2) 60A breaker switches. It is the 125A breaker specifically for the furnace that is tripping on me.

Like I mentioned, I had a gauge on the amperage draw on startup (which I assumed to be where the most draw will occur?) and it doesn't get much higher than 85A. So unless there's a short that occurs at a different part in the cycle, it doesn't seem to be exceeding the 125A.

kennzz05 01-12-2010 01:35 AM

sounds like youre on the right track suspecting the breaker. im suprised they didnt run 2 circuits to the furnace.

beenthere 01-12-2010 05:18 AM

Did you check the amp draw at the air handler. Or at the 125 amp panel box?

burnt03 01-12-2010 08:14 AM

At the panel box. Are you thinking there might be a problem with the wiring between the 125A breaker and the (2) 60A breakers in the handler? I'll have to check that after work.

On the bright side, it didn't kick off last night :)

Yoyizit 01-12-2010 10:36 AM

Could be a bad connection to the breaker which causes heating at the connection.

plummen 01-12-2010 09:51 PM

motor making noise,filter clogged? check simple things first.

SULTINI 01-13-2010 06:59 AM


Originally Posted by plummen (Post 381848)
motor making noise,filter clogged? check simple things first.

Yeah simple things first then amp readings then solution.

Oh sorry it's back wards first open heater and look around real good and check all connections then proceed to our suggestion.

plummen 01-13-2010 08:00 AM

how about checking obvious stuff before the guy starts replacing circuit breakers? like a filter that hasnt been changed in months cusing no air flow across motor or heat exchanger,or a filter wrapped up in the motor causing an overload.definately dont check simple things first! :laughing:

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