Why is My Gas Furnace Tripping My Breaker?

November 12, 2014

All you want is heat to stay nice and cozy during Kansas’s cold weather. But your gas furnace keeps tripping the circuit breaker, shutting off as a result.

Why?

To help you solve this annoying problem we’ll briefly show you:

  • How a circuit breaker works
  • Why circuit breakers “trip”
  • What causes a furnace to trip a circuit breaker

Note: If your breaker continues to trip. Do NOT keep resetting it. Circuits trip when something is wrong. Call a professional heating technician or electrician to diagnose and fix the root of the problem.

How a circuit breaker works

The wires in your wall are rated to handle a certain electric current. Too much current could cause them to overheat—creating a fire.

That’s why you have circuit breakers. They’re safety devices designed to shut off or “break” the flow of electricity to your home if the current exceeds what the circuit is meant to handle.

So if you have a 15-amp circuit and suddenly 20 amps (a measure of electric current) of electricity flows through it, the circuit breaker trips, shutting off the electric current to protect your home.

Circuits usually trip for one of these reasons:

  • Short circuit or ground fault
  • Overheating appliance (causes it to pull more electricity than it should)
  • Overloaded circuit (too many things plugged into a single circuit)

Why your gas furnace can cause your breaker to trip

Even though your furnace may use gas as its fuel source to create heat, it uses electricity to run the fan that distributes the heat throughout your home.

If your furnace is tripping your breaker, it could be because:

  • There’s a short circuit inside the electronic components of the furnace
  • There’s a problem with the wiring running to the furnace
  • Your furnace isn’t on its own circuit. Ideally your furnace shouldn’t share a circuit with anything else. If it does, that could overload the circuit.
  • There’s some other malfunction causing the furnace to overheat and pull more electricity

Get help from trusted professionals

If your furnace is tripping your circuit breaker, Santa Fe Air can diagnose and repair any potential problems in the furnace.

Call us at (913) 856-5801 or schedule a time for your repair online.

Santa Fe Air provides heating and air conditioning service to homeowners in Kansas City and the surrounding areas.