Three Common Reasons For Circuit Breaker Noises

Circuit breaker noises can either be normal or abnormal. It pays to know the difference between the two; it can mean the difference between a serious electrical hazard and your household's safety. Here are some tips for diagnosing these noises:

How Loud Is the Noise?

This is one of the premier factors that determine the nature or origin of the noise. First, you should know that all electrical panels emit some level of noise even when they are operating optimally. Therefore, you don't have anything to worry about if the noise is just above the discernible level. This is especially true if you haven't noticed any change in the noise level. The normal noise is due to the electrical current flowing in and out of the panel and all its components. However, if the noise is loud and abnormal, then you are definitely dealing with a malfunction.

Do You Suspect a Trigger?

You should also notice the pattern of the noise. For example, does it seem to come on at a specific time or when you do something specific? If that is the case, then the two may be tied together. For example, if the loud noises only start when you switch on a heavy appliance, then the sound may indicate a circuit overload. This usually happens if a circuit is overloaded but the fuse or breaker is damaged and cannot blow up or trip respectively. In that case, that noise is due to the extra current flowing through the panel.

Is There Any Temperature Connection?

An electrical panel may start buzzing when one of its connections loosen. Electrical connections may become loose when they are subjected to repeated expansions and contractions or when they are heated. Therefore, if the buzzing starts when the temperature is particularly high, then you are probably dealing with a loose connection.

Are There Any Other Accompanying Symptoms?

Lastly, you should check if the noises are accompanied by other symptoms in your electrical wiring. For example, if you are hearing electrical noises from the panel and an outlet is also malfunctioning, then it's possible that the noises are connected to a problem in the circuit.

Whatever the cause of the noises, you should call an electrician, like one from Etheridge Electric Company Inc, if you have ruled out normal electrical humming or if you aren't sure. Otherwise, you will put your electrical appliances and household in danger; the electrical fault causing the noises may result in a short circuit or even an electrical fire.