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Finding & Fixing a Low Electrical Humming Noise

If you have ever come across a vibrating humming noise in the house and wondered what it is, you are not alone. Electrical hums are common and can make a person go berserk because of how difficult they are to track. Sometimes, it feels like your ears are hearing things because the sound is so subtle, but trust us, it is there.

There is nothing to worry about, though, because there are some tricks you can use to figure out where it is coming from. These electrical humming sounds indicate a problem in the wiring, which is why they should not be ignored. You can also consider scheduling an electrical investigation with a professional electrician to solve this issue.

Techniques To Track The Vibrating Humming Noise:

When you are having a hard time figuring out the direction of the humming sound, you can use these strategies to track it. Following these simple techniques will help you locate the source of the electrical buzzing.

1.   Ear Trumpet:

An ear trumpet dates back to the time when there was a need for a hearing aid for those who could not hear. It is a hollow and tiny device that is placed over the ear in order to extract maximum auricular clarity.

Use the hollow shape of a funnel or a traffic cone, or roll up a paper into a cone shape to find the source of the humming. Place it over your ear and walk around the house to locate where the electrical buzz is coming from.

2.   Stethoscope:

A stethoscope is especially helpful if the sound is coming from a fixture, an outlet, or even the wiring inside the walls of your house. Place a stethoscope on the surfaces of your home and listen through it to identify the source of the low humming sound in your house.

3.   Headphone And Microphone Set:

You may be able to zero in on the noise with the help of a quality condenser microphone. If you have access to good quality recording equipment, set up a microphone and connect it with a powerful headphone set. This will help you in identifying the true origin of the sound.

4.   Method Of Elimination:

You can try shutting off all the circuit breakers in the home to eliminate sound. If the sound is still persistent, it clears out the suspicion that it is coming from any element in your electrical system.  However, if the sound disappears, you should try turning on each breaker at a time to see when the sound comes back. You can then investigate each appliance, switch, outlet, and fixture operating on the humming circuit.

Where Is The Buzzing Noise Possibly Coming From:

Some humming sounds are concerning, whereas others are harmless. The former is usually associated with bad wiring or electrical failure. If you are worried that the sound you hear is a sign of danger, you should shut off the source immediately and get help from an electrician.

Some common areas where the sound may be coming from include:

1.   Light Fixtures And Bulbs:

Fluorescent light fixtures are likely to make a humming sound. In this case, you may need to change the fixture or even replace the bulb, if the sound is coming from the bulb itself. Install a high-quality LED bulb or a different type of fixture to overcome this problem.

2.   Meters:

While the latest electric and gas meters do not make any sound, older ones are infused with moving parts that are noisy. If you have figured that the sound is coming from your meters, you should contact your utility provider and have them investigate the problem. Also, ask them if there is a need for replacement or upgrades.

3.   Appliances with Electrical Motors:

Some electronics make a sound called “mains hum,” which is a noise of alternating current. The audible buzz is commonly produced by dryers, refrigerators, electric transformers, or other devices with electrical motors. As long as the hum does not convert into a loud buzzing, it is not harmful, and you do not have to worry about it.

4.   Outlet And Internal Wiring:

Most of the time, it is a sign of danger if the sound is coming from an outlet. This usually originates from an ungrounded outlet or wiring that is transferring more voltage than it is rated for. It can also turn into sparks and create fires if not fixed immediately.

5.   Circuit Breaker:

A circuit is meant to trip when too much voltage travels through it. However, in case of malfunctioning and defective settings, the circuit can go into an overloaded state, making it produce noise. This comes from the breaker box and should be investigated by an electrician as soon as possible.

So if you are constantly hearing a buzzing noise in your walls at night, it is time to address this issue. Track it down using the above-mentioned techniques, or have an electrical inspection done by the professional team at Bright Electric. We will help you locate the source of the issue, and fix it to eliminate risks.

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