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Why is my relay in my furnace very hot to touch? Is this…

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Why is my white rogers...
Why is my white rogers relay in my furnace very hot to touch? Is this normal? My furnace is pretty old
Submitted: 28 days ago.Category: HVAC
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Answered in 10 hours by:
5/27/2018
HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago
David Bowden
David Bowden, General Contractor
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Experience: Owner at Floridaco
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HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago

That is not normal, Relays should be warm but not hot and certainly they should not pop out. Recommend replacing the relay before it gets any worse and causes additional damage or a fire. You might also check the transformer and see if it is hot as well, if so replace it for the same reasons.

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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
I’ve replaced them and the new one does the same thing. It’s been this way for awhile. Could it just be that type of relay. It is hot to the touch
HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago

They are supposed to be warm, not hot. If the relays are not of the proper rating that will also make them hot. It is the metal inside of them that receives the electrical resistance and the higher the resistance the hotter they get.

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HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago

You might also check to see if something on the circuit board is also hot like a capacitor or resistor, if so they could be letting the resistance through to the relay. If so you might consider having the circuit board checked out and replaced if necessary.

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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
Hi if it an old furnace how can I find the specs for the ones that should be in there? The wrong one may have been replaced before I bought the house
HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago

You would need the model number of the heater and talk to a knowledgeable parts suppliers as they can look up the info and cross reference it. Most of the heaters use parts made by others. White Rodgers, Whirlpool, Robertshaw, GE, Maytag, etc. are major parts providers.

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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
I can’t call I’m at work. Can I send you my make and model number?
HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago

Sure

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HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago

Photo is fine, I would like to see photos of the inside where the relay and other controls are located, since this is an older system and not much supporting info is available.

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HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago

That was a standard type installation, however I have never been a fan of having the transformer next to the relay for the very reasons you have mentioned. You might try relocating either one a few inches away and in a metal electrical box using the proper electrical connections, and see if that gets the relay cooler. If not then the relay has model number information on it and it can be referenced to see if it is made for that type and BTU heater.

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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
Thanks I’ll check into the specs when I get home in a couple days. So it looks right to you other wise?
HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago

Yes and I suspect the relay will be the correct one for that heater. Those type of relays have large coils in them and they do produce heat, along with the transformer. Separate the 2 and I think you will be fine.

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HVAC Technician: David Bowden, General Contractor replied 27 days ago

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It has been my pleasure providing an answer for you today, however if additional service is needed, please use the reply box to let me know and I will respond back once I have the requested information.

Enjoy the rest of your day,

Dave

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