faint circuit panel hum

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  #1  
Old 03-24-13, 06:44 PM
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faint circuit panel hum

I hooked up a new hot water heater 23 amps. When the hot water heater is on, there is the faintest hum coming from the panel box. By faintest I mean I have to put my ear up against the panel and only then can I hear a faint hum. You definitely can not hear it without pressing you ear up against the panel. I know its the hot water heater as its in a sub panel with only one other circuit and if I flip that breaker the noise stops.

I'm inclined to think this is normal for a high load. Opinions?
 
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Old 03-24-13, 06:51 PM
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if I had to guess, the breaker needs to be replaced.

The last breaker I had to change was on a dryer. Same thing. Buzzing.
 
  #3  
Old 03-24-13, 06:56 PM
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Does the breaker fit tightly? Any sign of pitting on the bus bars? Is the breaker warm to touch when in use? What size breaker.
 
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Old 03-24-13, 06:58 PM
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The breaker is brand new as well as the circuit panel. Its a 30 amp breaker. No it is not warm.
 
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Old 03-24-13, 07:48 PM
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It is probably normal. Circuit breakers use two technologies to cause them to "trip"; one is thermal for long time period minor overloads and the other is magnetic for quick action in the case of short circuits. The magnetic uses an electromagnet and a faint buzzing is indicative of the laminations in the magnetic core vibrating.
 
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