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?
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.
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.
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.
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.