Forced Air Electric Furnace Not Working

I woke up this morning to a chilly environment. My programmable thermostat told me that the furnace was running for some 8 hours overnight. But the furnace wasn’t running at all.

I went downstairs and looked dumbly at the furnace. I toggled the furnace breaker.

The light that is supposed to indicate that the thermostat is connected was out. I changed the batteries in the programmable thermostat. I replaced the programmable thermostat with the old 20 year old mercury switch.

I turned the fan from automatic to continuous and the fan works fine. So, somehow the furnace is not responding to the thermostat. I pulled off the front panel to the furnace and was somewhat surprised by the number of components therein.

I’m assuming that one of the thermisters is blown, but what the heck do I know?

It’s a Norton electric furnace.

Yeah, I know it’s a long shot, but some dopers have come through in exceptional circumstances before.

Any thoughts, or links to schematics that I can’t seem to find?

Do you have a model number? My work has only been on gas furnaces, but I reckon I can hunt down a problem here as well.
If it was a gas furnace (until I get a model number), I’d pull the panel off the blower and find the circuit board and see if it’s blinking, then I’d check the legend, usually nearby, and see what the blink code means.

Also, do you have a multimeter and, if so, how comfortable are you with using it and poking around in there while everything is live?

Well, you won’t believe this, but I went down to the furnace and jiggled the wires inside the panel and suddenly it’s working.

Obviously I have an intermittent connection somewhere. I’ll deal with that later.

How often does something like this end up with a simple no-cost fix?


Might have been some loose wires, might have been a relay that you jostled around enough to turn something on, who knows.

You might not want to play with it too much more right now. You don’t want to break it on a Sunday.

Thanks for your help Joey. I hope this thing doesn’t die in January.

They usually do. Reasonably – that’s when they’re most stressed, so most likely for problems to occur.

(Mine died in the 3rd week of a Minnesota January. On a weekend. It was Tuesday noon before the new one was installed & started working. By then I had been doing a lot of baking with the kitchen stove, had searched out the old electric blanket to put on my bed, and welcomed all the cats, who decided to sleep on the bed with me. It got down to 48°F (8°C) before the new furnace kicked in.)