Central heat is tripping main breaker?

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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:43 am

Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:08 pm

My brother in law is having some problems with his central heat tripping the main breaker when the heater starts blowing hot air. Another problem is the kitchen appliances have power but not full power. The clock works on stove but you can't turn on the burners and the refrigerator works but the light is very dim. Do you have any idea what the problem may be? We are in an ice storm right now so I'm not sure if that could have anything to do with the problems. The problems just started tonight.

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Posts: 5377
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:28 am

The problems you describe sound like there is one "leg" of power missing. The usual home circuit consists of 2 110 volt legs and 1 neutral leg. between either 110 leg & neutral you have 110 volts. When you connect the 2 110v together you have your 220v. The reason the main is tripping is that the furnace is trying to pull ALL of the power from one leg since the other is not there.

Since this started with the ice storm I would tend to think the problem is storm related. Are your neighbors having problems also? You may want to have the system checked by a qualified electrician just to be safe. I have seen problems inside the box as well, But if I had to bet I would go with the storm.

"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."