As top electricians in the Columbus area, customers often call us about humming or buzzing electrical panels. While this sound is usually no cause for concern, there are instances where it could signal a critical problem with your home’s electrical system. We’ll explain more about this below.
YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL: A QUICK RUNDOWN
Your home’s electrical panel is the bridge between your home’s electrical system and the external power source. Your panel not only acts as a distribution center, directing power to various areas of your home via circuits, but it also protects your home by preventing circuits from overloading.
If your panel has circuit breakers, those switches should switch off when a circuit overloads, cutting off power to that circuit before a fire starts. If you own a fuse box, a fuse will blow to cut off power to an overloaded circuit.
WHAT KIND OF HUM DO YOU HEAR?
For the safety of you and your family, a professional electrician should inspect these problems and other unusual events. Circuit buzzes could indicate a fire or electrocution hazard, depending on their intensity. Ignoring electrical issues isn't a low-risk venture like delaying window replacements. As a result, having a functional breaker box is essential to the safety of your home.
Faint, Soft Humming
It’s normal to hear a soft, gentle hum or buzz coming from your electrical panel. What you’re hearing is the flow of electrical currents. Just keep an ear out to make sure this sound doesn’t increase in volume over time. If it gets louder, contact an electrician to inspect your panel. Your circuit breaker may be making a faint electrical buzzing sound. Do not be alarmed - it is perfectly normal. Flowing currents through your breaker box cause a slight hum. Nonetheless, if the hum becomes louder over time, you should have it inspected.
Medium or Loud, Continuous Buzzing
A loud, continuous hum or buzz most likely means that one of the panel’s circuit breakers is overloaded and hasn’t tripped when it should have. When a circuit breaker fails to trip, the wires can get so hot that an electrical fire can start. This is an urgent issue that requires immediate attention. Contact an electrician ASAP to inspect your panel and replace the failing circuit breaker. When they malfunction, electricians can easily identify the noise breakers make. If you hear an annoying buzzing or humming, the circuit breaker may be overloaded, which can be hazardous. Whenever you hear a loud hum coming from your circuit breaker, there's probably something wrong. You need to call an electrician immediately if your breaker box buzzes more than it normally would. Other noises and events may also indicate problems.
Sizzling Noise and Some Sparks
Sparking and sizzling sounds indicate that there is a damaged or loose wire. This poses a critical safety hazard. When wires are loose or damaged, they can create arcing faults. Arcing faults occur when electricity jumps from one old, damaged, or frayed wire to another. This phenomenon starts more than 30,000 U.S. home fires annually. Don’t wait to get this problem repaired by an electrician. If your electrical humming becomes a loud and persistent buzz, you have a problem. Normal circuit breakers should operate almost silently. There will be a loud buzz when a circuit breaker is not working correctly. You need to have your circuit breaker panel repaired if you hear loud noises coming from it. There are many reasons why circuit breakers break. You could have gotten a faulty panel to begin with, or they could have been worn out and short circuited. Because of this, you should work with an electrician with a comprehensive guarantee that will ensure your parts are covered.
At My Electric Works, we provide top-notch electrical panel upgrades and repairs in Columbus, OH. To request a quote for electrical panel services, give us a call at (614) 515-4520 or contact us online.