Whining sound from my chargers

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  #1  
Old 11-11-11, 09:10 AM
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Whining sound from my chargers

Hello all,

I just moved into a new apartment. Upon the first night, I realized that my phone charger was making a high-pitch whining sound. It sort of has a loop to it: higher, lower, higher, lower, etc... It is very annoying at night when trying to sleep, or when on my laptop. Which bring me to my next point, my laptop charger is also making this type of sound when plugging into another outlet in the same room.

I'm fairly certain its not the fault of my chargers, because they worked fine at my former house. I am also fairly certain that this isn't a grounding issue, because I had a FIOS guy plug something in (when installing FIOS) and he said the outlet the laptop was plugged into was grounded. Also, I plugged my surge protector (which has a not-grounded light) into the same outlet my phone charge is plugged into, and it did not show up at "not grounded."

Any help would be appreciated. This is a fairly new looking apartment. If this is something that needs to be fixed, I want to tell the landlord before he thinks I had something to do with it.

Thanks alot!
Sabin
 
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  #2  
Old 11-11-11, 09:49 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Take them to s friends house and test again just to be sure they are okay. Then ask a neighbor if you can test on one of their receptacles or test them in a common area such as the laundry room. That way you will know if it is just in that building and if just your apartment. If your junk drawer has accumulated a few orphan wall warts try a couple of those in your apartment receptacles also.
 
  #3  
Old 11-11-11, 10:13 AM
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Thank you for the response Ray.

Although I do find it unlikely that both charges decided to malfunction at the same time, I will go ahead with the tests. I'm in a 2-family house (I have the top floor.) Now that I think of it, I haven't tested this out in the other rooms of the apartment. That should've been a no-brainer

I failed to mention that this only happens when something is actually connected to the charger. If I leave the charger in the wall, but disconnect the phone (same thing with the laptop), the noise stops. So I think the orphaned "wall warts," as you put it , shouldn't make any noise.

Thanks again!

Now to figure out why the oven is making a high-pitch sound. Lol.. There seems to be a theme with this apartment.
 
  #4  
Old 11-11-11, 10:51 AM
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To be sure the sound is in fact coming from these devices, get a paper towel roll, place one end of the tube to your ear, then point the other end at each device. Then away in various directions from the device.

If the device is in fact making the noise, the sound will be loudest when pointing the tube at it.
 
  #5  
Old 11-11-11, 11:42 AM
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Thank you Bill. I am almost certain it's coming from the charger. My laptop charger has the adapter box-thing in the middle of the wire. I put my ear to it and it was definitely coming from that. The cell phone charger is a different story, the adapter box is right up on the socket.

I will give the ol' paper towel roll a go. I think its loud enough for me to be able to know the source without that though.

Man, I hope whatever this is isn't affecting my electronic in a bad way. I don't know if it's placebo, but I've noticed my cell phone's battery dying alot quicker lately.
 
  #6  
Old 11-11-11, 12:01 PM
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If the sound is in fact coming from these things, then the next thing I would do is check the voltage of the outlets with a multimeter.

Use AC voltage 200 volts setting. Measure various outlets around the house where the two flat prongs go into the outlet. Should be around 120, 115, or 110 volts AC.
 
  #7  
Old 11-11-11, 12:14 PM
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It does seem unlikely that both devices would be affected at the same time, but my laptop did the exact same thing and it turned out the problem was the cord on the DC side of the power supply was developing a short.
 
  #8  
Old 11-11-11, 01:48 PM
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I don't know whether this is possible...but if you moved to a very different area it might be.

Every transformer (power supply) hums....most times very quietly. They are probably optimized for exactly 60hz. If your supply frequency is different due to a different electric supplier..it may hum.

I dunno whether a transformer issue on the power pole would cause such a thing or not.


I know...a lot of I dunnos and maybes.
 
  #9  
Old 11-11-11, 02:00 PM
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Bill - thank you, I will give that a shot once I find a multimeter. Unless they are expensive, then I might just have the landlord check this out, lol.

ibook- thanks. i'll keep that in mind if it makes this noise in other outlets. namely other people's houses.

gunguy - thanks for the info. i'll keep this in mind too if it makes the noise in other outlets in the house. I know you aren't sure, but a hypothesis is a hypothesis and may prove to be good to note.
 
  #10  
Old 11-11-11, 04:17 PM
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I'd suggest a cheap analog multimeter rather then a digital. Cheap digitals are more likely to give a false reading.
 
  #11  
Old 11-11-11, 06:58 PM
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Could this be running off an inverter supply or something? It's sure what it sounds like. Or the receptacle is controlled by a triac dimmer. That also sounds like that.
 
  #12  
Old 11-12-11, 06:04 AM
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Does the building have an alarm system? Any odd connections to the electrical system, such as a remote stereo speaker system or internet wiring?
 
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