electrical panel humming

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  #1  
Old 10-19-04, 05:31 PM
ker
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electrical panel humming

Every once in awhile, there is a slight humming to our electrical panel. I didn't know if this is normal. It seems like the humming starts when the hot water tank is on. This is a very slight humming and you have to listen carefully to here it.?
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Old 10-19-04, 05:34 PM
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Something is clearly vibrating. If the humming is very slight, I probably would not worry about it. Next time you hear it, put your finger on each breaker and see if you can feel one vibrating, or hear the humming stop when you put your finger it.
 
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Old 10-20-04, 07:19 AM
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I don't know if it's normal or not, but it isn't unusual. There's often a momentary hum or buzz in my panel when the downstairs A/C unit starts up. I assume it's the breaker vibrating with the sudden movement of ac current. It startled me the first time I heard it, but after 5 years it hasn't gotten any worse.

That reminds me: I read on another forum that it's a good idea to have an electrician come and tighten all the connections in the main panel about every 5 years. Maybe with aluminum wiring, but with copper that sounds somewhat ridiculous to me. And if it really needs to be done, why stop with the panel? Shouldn't all the switches and receptacles in the house be done as well? Any comments? I'm figuring about 5 hours would do my whole house. At around $100 per hour that comes down to $100 per year for wiring maint. I wonder if I need a plumber to come out and tighten all my water and drain connections too... Digressing quickly...

Doug M.
 
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Old 10-20-04, 01:33 PM
Jom
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Ker,

Our panel does this when it's nearing capacity... We have a room that's about tapped out and the panel will hum when it's ready to kick off. If we hear it humming we usually turn something else off and the humming stops

Jom
 
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Old 10-20-04, 02:58 PM
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Maybe it just doesn't know the words....

Seriously, it could be a harmonic caused by two heavy loads operating simultaneously (say, a hot water heater and an air conditioner compressor). This is common in office buildings, but I guess it can happen in residences too.
 
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Old 10-23-04, 03:31 PM
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I have also hear "humming" with loose connections. See if all of your connections are tight.
 
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Old 10-24-04, 05:01 PM
Savant
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Originally Posted by dougm
That reminds me: I read on another forum that it's a good idea to have an electrician come and tighten all the connections in the main panel about every 5 years. Maybe with aluminum wiring, but with copper that sounds somewhat ridiculous to me.
The only times I have run into loose copper connections was if they weren't made tight enough to begin with. Most breaker manufacturers have recommended torque, which should make it easy to know when they are tightened correctly. While most people won't buy a torque screwdriver, for professionals I suugest it so they can get a feel for how tight it needs to be. With the main lugs especially I find that some professionals tend to undertighten, even though it may seem tight.

Regards,

Savant
 
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