When you hear noises coming from your home’s electrical system, we understand that this can be quite concerning. However, not all the sounds it makes signify that there’s something wrong with the system. Humming or buzzing in an electrical system can happen for different reasons. However, there’s no harm in getting a professional assessment if you think it’s experiencing an issue.
Read on to find out what’s causing these noises from a local electrical repair expert.
Possible Causes of Humming Noises in Electrical Systems
Wiring issues. Your home electrical system can produce buzzing or humming noises due to wiring problems. This kind of issue tends to be complex, meaning it’s best to leave it in the hands of professionals. Your electrician will locate the source of the sound. It could be improperly grounded wires or wires with improper loads. For instance, if a wire that can only handle 120 volts receives 250 volts of electricity, the excess voltage may produce a humming sound in the wire.
Keep in mind that handling electrical wires, especially if you have no experience, can be dangerous. Never try to fix electrical issues if you’re untrained or don’t have the right tools and gear to perform the task. For your home electrical and HVAC replacement needs, you can always turn to Broom Heating & Air Conditioning.
Mains hum. Mains hum pertains to the humming sound that electrical equipment or wires naturally make. This noise is the normal frequency of vibrations of an electrical system running 60 hertz, the recommended power of an AC line in the U.S. You can hear humming coming from systems operating 60 hertz and buzzing at higher frequencies such as 120 and 180 hertz. Your electrical system can produce mains hum due to large appliances like refrigerators with motors that click on and off. Mains hum can also occur when the transformer outside your house creates a magnetic field. Moreover, audio systems can generate or make mains hum more apparent when in use.
Buzzing from a circuit breaker. Another reason your electrical system may produce buzzing sounds is due to the circuit breaker. If there’s too much electricity and your circuit breaker doesn’t automatically turn off, buzzing noises will come from the overloaded current.
Should this be the case, be sure to turn off your electricity and have the issue checked by an electrical repair professional. Your electrician will replace the faulty circuit breaker to prevent further issues that can endanger your home. A circuit breaker can also create buzzing noises due to improper wire connections. It can even cause the breaker to spark, so have the issue fixed as soon as possible.
When Should You Contact a Professional?
Unplug appliances generating louder buzzing noises than usual. Are there noises coming from a certain fixture or appliance? If a fixture, such as a lamp, is producing loud buzzing noises, unplug it immediately. It’s also best not to plug anything into that socket until your technician inspects it. In some cases, the light bulb for the fixture may be an inappropriate model, or it may just need to be replaced.
Contact a professional immediately if you hear buzzing coming from your electrical panel. You should be concerned if you’re hearing buzzing noises coming from your electrical panel. Usually, this component creates a barely audible humming sound like other parts of the system. However, you shouldn’t hear much sound from it if you’re more than a few feet away. There could be an issue with one of your breakers if it’s making loud buzzing noises. It could also be that you have an old fuse box that needs to be replaced.
The first thing you may think to do is shut off your home’s electricity for safety, but this actually isn’t a good idea. This is because to shut off the power, you’ll need to touch the panel, which can cause a high-voltage shock. It’s best to call a local licensed professional in this case because a faulty electrical panel can be quite risky. At Broom Heating & Air Conditioning, you can count on our experienced electricians and HVAC specialists for a quick response and efficient service.
Quick Tips to Avoid Electrical Issues
Make sure you’re using the appropriate wattage in all fixtures and appliances. One of the most common causes of electrical problems at home is the use of incorrect wattage for fixtures and appliances. Before plugging in or purchasing electrical devices, be sure to first check the wattage. If there’s no wattage indicated in a light fixture, use a bulb with 60 watts or less. For ceiling fixtures with no labels, go for 25-watt bulbs.
Repair or replace compromised electrical cords. Damaged extension wires and power cords are safety and fire hazards. Check these wires and cords regularly for indications of cracking and fraying. If they have issues, have them repaired or replaced immediately. Electrical and HVAC specialists are strongly against stapling power cords or placing them under rugs and furnishings. They can overheat when placed under rugs and can also be a tripping hazard. Meanwhile, heavy furniture can damage cords and wires.
To keep your home safe, don’t overload outlets. Another common cause of electrical issues is the overloading of outlets. All outlets should be cool to the touch and have properly-installed faceplates. As much as possible, don’t use extension cords for appliances. You should only plug one heat-producing appliance in an outlet at a time. Smart plugs can help you monitor power loads, and can also shut off appliances that are starting to overheat.
Situate electrical devices and outlets away from water. Keep all your electrical devices in a dry location, away from any water source. Doing so will prevent damage to your appliances and keep you safe from electrocution. Don’t place electrical devices near aquariums, sinks, showers, tubs or plant pots.
If you think your home’s electrical system has problems, contact Broom Heating & Air Conditioning immediately. Our experienced electricians are trained to quickly locate the source of the problem and perform necessary repairs. We also offer quality HVAC replacement and repair services. Call us at (803) 754-5466 or fill out our contact form to request a quote.