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Old 05-06-2007, 07:54 AM   #1
ampersat
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Default Buzzing breaker box???

I happened to be out next to the breaker box while I had my breakfast burrito nuking in the microwave and noticed a buzzing noise coming from the panel. Dangerous or normal? It only happens when the microwave is going.

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Old 05-06-2007, 07:59 AM   #2
STGRule
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

I don't think normal. Mine doesn't make any noise.
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

Amp does the buzzng stop after the microwave is turned off? Or only when it is on? Does the buzzing occur when say the Refrig. or some other load not in the kitchen is on? Does the buzzing happen all the time?

It may be a breaker connection. First it is next to impossible to tell you what exactly it would be from my desk ...but it might be the point of contact between the breaker and the metal energized portion of your panel. The bars that conduct the electricity into the breaker. If this connection is going bad, i.e. corrosion due to a poor connection it would start to breakdown the surface metal, similiar to the carbon and pitting caused from arcing on the points of the distributor in a car.

The "buzzing " you are hearing are the electrons "jumping/ bridging" the gaps between the poor connection.

You might REALLY want to address this problem because it can generate high temps and little sparks and well......you know the rest.

If your panel has space you may be able to just (get -a-new) or move the offending breaker to a new location ,keeping it on the same "Phase".

I would buy a new breaker and move the location to clean metal and see if that doesn't help.

The question of why should come up also. If everything looks tight and was put in correctly, is there some other problem....load, loose connection in the branch circuit, the appliance is going out...etc.

Stay at a Holiday Inn Express tonight and check it out tomorrow morning.

Good Luck, and Tight Electrical Lines
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Old 05-06-2007, 09:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

I second the info. Replace the breaker ASAP. Buzzing is arcing is BAD!
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Last edited by BigSkyHunter; 05-06-2007 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Inflammatory Content
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

if you listen closely you can hear the lyrics to "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC.

Home electrical work is best left to the professionals. I learned this in high school when I "thought" i had learned something in one of my classes.

Dad wasnt too happy when we had to call in a real electrician.
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Old 05-06-2007, 04:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

Amp, didn't you already have some pretty wacky electrical things going on at that house?
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

I just so happened to have the microwave going and ended up next to the panel in order to notice it. Since all of the lighting in the garage is fluorescent, I grabbed a flashlight and turned out the lights thinking that was maybe the cause. By the time I got back to the panel it was gone, but the breakfast burrito had finished its cycle by then. Turned the lights back on and things were just fine so I'm pretty certain it's the nuke box circuit.

The oddball electrical stuff I had when I first moved in was due to the connections at the mast. PGE came out post haste on a Friday night (on a tip from a fellow ifisher) and fixed the problem with a smile. Things have been fine since then.

Overall, sounds like the problem does need immediate attention and I'll be getting that done sometime this week.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:50 PM   #8
IDWITHELD
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

I bet that breaker is running hotter than the others. This is an indication the resistivity of the unit is higher resulting in more heat. This will ultimately result in a hard failure.
Replace asap.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDWITHELD View Post
I bet that breaker is running hotter than the others. This is an indication the conductivity of the unit is higher resulting in more heat. This will ultimately result in a hard failure.
Replace asap.

My breakers tend to do that at Xmas time when I plug in too many lights to any one circuit.

Last edited by Jaws; 05-06-2007 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:28 PM   #10
iwanttofish
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

What kind of panel do you have?
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:27 AM   #11
BigSkyHunter
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

I would suggest a professional to do the work with any home electrical because it is not worth injury or a life to make a mistake. Being unexperienced and uneducated in certain areas of home projects is dangerous. People get killed or sustain lifelong injuries because of this. Just a note to keep in mind with topics of this nature.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: Buzzing breaker box???

I have even found buzzing breakers in new homes.
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