warm breaker when heating is on

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-02-14, 05:20 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 27
warm breaker when heating is on

Hi,

I noticed this evening that the 50amp breaker for my heating system is warm, and the main breaker is even warmer.

Everything is working fine and nothing has tripped, and if i turn the heat breaker off, both breakers go cold again. It is only as issue when the heating is being used.

The upstairs heating does not cause this issue though, only the main floor heating.
Is this normal? What could be wrong?

Thanks, james
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-02-14, 05:36 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,277
Do you have an electric furnace ?

They do use a lot of power. It wouldn't be uncommon for the breaker to be warm..... but not hot.
 
  #3  
Old 01-02-14, 06:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 27
yes it's an electric furnace HVAC system.

The main breaker is a little hotter than the 50amp breaker, its not burning hot like a lightbulb, but its definatly very warm.
 
  #4  
Old 01-02-14, 06:04 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,277
The amount of current in amps or the circuit ampacity should be listed on the furnace. If not, you could post the make and model number and we could determine its actual current draw.
 
  #5  
Old 01-02-14, 06:22 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,288
Breakers get warm when there is current close to the rating of the breaker. The main breaker being warm concerns me more than the 50 amp does.

Loose connections also cause things heat up. You may want to open the panel and make sure all connections are tight. HOWEVER The connections of the main breaker are ALWAYS energized unless you have a disconnect on the outside of your house to shut your panel off. ALWAYS check with a meter to make sure things are off before doing any work, or call a qualified person to do it.
 
  #6  
Old 01-02-14, 06:25 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,405
The main breaker is a little hotter than the 50amp breaker, its not burning hot like a lightbulb, but its definatly very warm.
Sounds like a 10 KW furnace, the wattage should be listed on the data plate, what does it say? IF IT IS a 10 KW furnace, it should be on a 60 amp breaker.

The upstairs heating does not cause this issue though, only the main floor heating.
What kind of heat do you have upstairs? How many amps is your service?

A warm breaker could be the result of a heavy load, a loose connection at the lugs, a loose connection to the bus or a near overload.
 
  #7  
Old 01-03-14, 06:31 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 3,100
Unsnap the breaker from the panel to check the contact on its underside and the fin in the panel behind that the breaker clips onto. This is safe to do when the breaker handle is flipped off. Just be careful not to touch the metal parts in the panel behind the breaker, particularly don't touch the fin(s) sticking out.

Discoloration let alone deformation is a sign of a loose connection back there that will only get worse and hotter. The novice does not have the know how to repair any damage back there and in more than trivial cases it is impossible to repair. Then you would need to replace the breaker and find a new slot in the panel to put it.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes