humming from outlet

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  #1  
Old 04-24-05, 12:45 PM
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Question humming from outlet

there is a humming that I think is coming from an outlet -
the outlet has been there for a long time & I just noticed the humming. I thought that the outlet did not work - but recently found out that it does - sort of ..
When the overhead light is turned off - the outlet works
When the overhead light is on - depending on what is plugged into the outlet determines whether it works or not - for example -
Overhead light on - stereo plugged in - stereo does not work
Overhead light on - little light plugged in - little light works

I am getting ready to cut the power to check it out - but wondering if anyone could tell me what to look for.

Thanks Valgoak
 
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  #2  
Old 04-24-05, 01:14 PM
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I don't know about the receptacle humming but it is definitely wired wrong. It sounds like some one tapped into the switch loop. It is wired in series.
Not all white wires are neutrals. They for sure are not neutrals if they are connected to a switch.
 
  #3  
Old 04-24-05, 01:16 PM
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This is a likely case of somebody trying to add a receptacle to a switch loop. It can't be done, at least not and work normally. When the switch is on, the receptacle is cut out of the circuit. When the switch is off, the receptacle is in series with the light. Just for your own amusement, conduct one more experiment: turn the light switch off, plug in your stereo, and then unscrew the bulbs from your overhead light. Does the stereo go off when you unscrew the last bulb? If the answer is yes, the do not use this receptacle for anything that you want to remain undamaged.
 
  #4  
Old 05-06-05, 08:27 PM
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Thumbs up

I think the outlet was put in between the switch and the overhead light. That explains why it does not work. I am removing it so that it does not pose a risk.

I found the humming - I feel silly - but it was coming from the fan in the kitchen below. It drove me nuts - until I said to my son about it - he said - wait a minute and tell me if it goes away. he went downstairs and turned the fan off - the humming went away.

It was definitely a weird thing and I would have never thought of that because it felt just like walking through an invisible wall - I could feel it humming.

Thank you for you replies - it definitely solved the weird outlet problem! So I did learn something!
 
  #5  
Old 05-07-05, 08:49 AM
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Funny story about humming.
Pc on my desk has a fan the hums intermitently. When I'm not there guy sitting at desk next to me hears it and sends the one of the other maintenance guys up on roof to check for AC problem. Can't figure out what's going on. They're looking all over some piece of equipment that is about blow up.
Then when I come back he asks me what's that noise see if I can figure outs wrong and tells me about looking all over the roof. I started laughing and smacked the PC. The noise stopped.
 
  #6  
Old 05-07-05, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by joed
I started laughing and smacked the PC. The noise stopped.
LOL!
 
  #7  
Old 05-07-05, 07:17 PM
WFO
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Since you've already found the source of the humming, I can post this with a clear conscience.

"The reason the outlet is humming is because it doesn't know the words".

....yes, I know......, I'm sorry but I hadda do it.......
 
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