Buzzing Noise in Breaker Box

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  #1  
Old 12-13-06, 05:13 PM
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Question Buzzing Noise in Breaker Box

Hi All,

Tonight I heard a buzzing noise comming from my breaker box. I turned off the two electric heaters that were running and the noise stopped. Can anyone tell me what is causing this and what I might do about it?
Thanks so much
 
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  #2  
Old 12-13-06, 05:21 PM
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Good chance that breaker is going bad. You could re-check by turning on the 2 electric heaters, and throwing the breaker - also verfying that both heaters were on that circuit.

Thinking about it - Electric heaters draw a heck of a lot of current - and you could also be overloading that circuit. One heater could be using 1500 watts = @ 15 amps. 2 would really stress the breaker, and if it's a 15 amp breaker and didn't 'pop', you'll definitely want to have it replaced. Also, try and get your heaters on different circuits to reduce the load.
 
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Old 12-13-06, 05:32 PM
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Thanks for the information. I will test the breaker tomorrow and will reply when I have it resolved. Thanks again
 
  #4  
Old 12-13-06, 05:54 PM
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There is no way proper or safe way to test a breaker. Intentionally overloading a breaker as a way to test that it will trip is not appropriate.

Make sure that your connections are tight.
 
  #5  
Old 12-14-06, 07:38 PM
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I vote the problem is with you heaters. If they are plugged in, try plugging something else in the receptacle and listen.
 
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Old 12-14-06, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Gen View Post
I vote the problem is with you heaters. If they are plugged in, try plugging something else in the receptacle and listen.

Of equal load. Thats the only sure way.
 
  #7  
Old 12-15-06, 10:43 AM
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Noise means ARCING

The buzzing noise that you heard is arcing taking place. This can happen even if your circuit is not overloaded. The arcing is taking place at an electrical connection in the panel. That can be in one of several places such as the conductor termination at the breaker, inside of the breaker itself, or at the bus connection where the breaker sits.
Don't overload the circuit on purpose just to try and find this problem! The best way is to remove the dead front cover and examine the panel. Check for loose connections at all of the conductor terminations, tighten any that are loose. Remove the breaker and inspect the stabs of the breaker itself and the bus space behind the breaker. Usually, there is visual evidence when noise is present in a panel.
If after your visual inspection, the problem is still present, I would recommend replacing the breaker.
 
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