February 20, 2017
By Mark Paup

Furnace Repair Issue: Tripped Circuit Breaker

Updated January 29, 2024

Although we are starting to experience warmer weather here in Des Moines, there’s a strong chance that we still have chilly days ahead. March is highly unpredictable, and the saying that the month “enters like a lamb and leaves like a lion” has proven true many times. Because your home’s heating system has already taken on a great deal of work during the previous months, right now is a time to pay special attention to any malfunction. Don’t ignore problems just because spring is coming up: you risk further damage to the system, inflated bills, and possibly even health hazards.

We’re going to look at the trouble you may see with your furnace at this time of the year. A furnace suffering from stress and other issues may begin to trip the circuit breaker as it runs. You shouldn’t simply reset the breaker and then try to move on if this keeps happening. Circuit breakers trip for a reason: to protect the electrical system from overloads—and this is a signal to you that something is wrong!

This is a trouble that can occur with both electric and natural gas furnaces. A gas furnace uses several electrical components to operate, most importantly the blower motor. As you’ll see from below, it’s the blower motor that’s the likely culprit behind tripped circuit breakers that require furnace repair from professionals.

Clogged air filter

The air filter in most furnaces is located near the blower assembly, and the blower fan draws air directly through it. The filter will collect dust, lint, and other debris over the season, requiring the filter to be changed every 1 to 3 months. If a clogged furnace remains in place, the strain on the blower can cause an electrical overload that will trip the breaker.

Damaged motor

Sometimes electrical faults in the motor will result in a voltage spike that trips a circuit breaker. If the wiring in the motor housing loses its insulation, the arcing will immediately cause a circuit overload. The motor may also have lost lubrication or picked up dust on its mechanical parts which will cause excess strain. You’ll need to have professionals either fix or replace the motor.

Leaking air ducts

Another reason that a blower motor may be overworked is leaked in the ductwork. This causes a drop in air pressure throughout the ventilation system and forces more work from the motor. Not all HVAC companies offer professional duct sealing, but we do!

There are several other possibilities, including simply a worn-down electrical panel. The best way to deal with a furnace malfunction like this is to leave it to professionals. You can contact our experts for furnace repair in Des Moines, IA, and throughout the Des Moines area.

Final note: Please never attempt to repair a gas furnace on your own or let an amateur do it. This is potentially dangerous, and, in most jurisdictions, only licensed professionals are permitted to handle the work.

Golden Rule has a team of experts you can rely on for heating service! “We Obey the Rules to Live By!”

Contact Us Today for HVAC Service!

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