Gas Furnace Fan Trips Breaker

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by plumbtired, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. plumbtired

    plumbtired New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Portland, OR metro
    I have a Rheem 90% efficiency gas furnace that has just started acting up. I've had this scenario happen twice in the past four days:
    The furnace comes on in the morning for the first heating cycle per my programmable thermostat = all is well. A half hour later, for the second heating cycle set on the thermostat, the burner kicks on (I can hear it) but the fan doesn't start. I checked the thermostat...it indicates that the heating cycle is on...and the fan is set on "automatic." However, I found the circuit breaker tripped. Once I reset the breaker, the fan immediately came on...and all was well for the duration (until the next time this happened, that is). In re-checking the thermostat, I see nothing amiss there. Since this has happened on only two mornings out of four, I am stymied...

    Anyone have a clue what my problem may be? Thanks!
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    The blower motor is in its early stages of death.
  3. plumbtired

    plumbtired New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Portland, OR metro
    Thanks, Peter Griffin, for your informative reply. I was afraid of that...figured it might be a fan motor issue.
  4. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    Might also be the start capacitor or the circuit breaker itself.
  5. burleymike

    burleymike New Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Idaho
    Are we talking about the breaker in your main panel or an internal breaker in the furnace? Either way I would bet the cap on the blower to be faulty.
  6. plumbtired

    plumbtired New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Portland, OR metro
    Thanks for all your responses, forum members.

    To BurleyMike: I'm talking about my electrical panel's circuit breaker for "furnace" (as labeled)...it has tripped twice.

    I'm visualizing $$$ in repairs! The furnace dude is due here tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 8) so I'll get the "good" news then. Since this is Appliance Death Month (oh, yes, this is an established event in my family!), I am not surprised that this year it's our furnace. The furnace is now 12 years old and has been regularly maintained but, in this day and age of throw-away appliances, it has probably lived a good, long life without any major repairs...until now! Weep for me, please!! :(
  7. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    It sounds like a very mild overload, but if you can pull your breaker's trip curve off the internet it can be checked easily.

    If my HVAC replacement age samples are representative of the whole 100 million units out there, only 1/4th fail this soon.
  8. plumbtired

    plumbtired New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Portland, OR metro
    Seems to be fixed now

    The Furnace Dude showed up Tuesday (the 8th) and immediately discovered the problem...actually there were two. The flame sensor was dirty, as well as one burner's sensor. After cleaning them, he re-installed them, telling us all is fine now (no more warning lights showing on the furnace's control panel). We probably will replace our electrical service's furnace breaker, though, since breakers tend to weaken each time they are tripped.

    Thanks for all the input from you forum members!:D
  9. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    neither one of those things would pop the breaker.
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