Strange noise coming from either breaker or A/C unit


Old 07-27-11, 07:10 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Strange noise coming from either breaker or A/C unit

For the past two months, I've been hearing a loud noise come from one of the bedrooms in my apartment.

Recordings of the sound can be found here:

This bedroom is directly beneath four AC units (located on the roof of the building) that provide AC for 4 different apartments (including this one). Additionally, connected to this bedroom is a bathroom. On the other side of one of the bathroom walls is my circuit breaker panel (which is located on a wall in the kitchen).

The sound can be heard best in either the bedroom or the attached bathroom. It's difficult to tell whether the sound is coming from the wall between the bathroom and the circuit breaker or from an AC unit on the roof. It has seemed like the sound happens whenever one of the AC units on the roof goes on or off, but I'm not sure if there is an actual connection between the sound and any of the AC units.

I've been complaining to the landlord about this problem for the past two months and several times they have sent out the "maintenance" crew. I've been told several times that the problem has been fixed but I can still hear the sound.

I was told that the parts in the AC units above the apartment have been replaced but I really don't have any idea whether or not this is true.

Just to be clear, I know close to nothing about these kinds of things, but the following information might be useful:

Reasons against it being A/C related:

--The sound does not occur every single time the AC goes on or off.

--One day last week, using my thermostat, I turned it off of the "Auto" option and put it onto the "Fan" option and let the apartment warm up a bit for about 45 minutes. Then, I turned the "Auto" option back on and turned the temperature down in order to get the compressor to go on. (in other words, I turned the fan on by itself and let it right for a while, then turned it off. Then turned the compressor on and let it right for a while and then turned it off. Not sure if this was a useful test or not but it didn't seem to help much.)

--If it's true that the parts in the AC units on the roof have been replaced and if it's true that this could have ever been contributing to the problem, then it seems at least unusual that the sound is still happening.

Reasons against it being electrical:

--The breaker switch for the compressor (or anything else for that matter) never switches off.

--The power has never gone out.

I'm not sure how concerned I should be about this issue (besides the fact that the loud noise frequently wakes me up in the middle of the night.. which is obnoxious to say the least). The office staff and maintenance crew certainly don't seem that concerned.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-27-11, 09:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 1,363
It's the A/C making that noise. Sounds like somethings scraping or grinding on start up. I'm leaning towards the compressor might be on its way out.
Old 07-28-11, 04:10 AM
chandler's Avatar
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Turn the breaker off to the A/C and see if it stops humming.

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