Hunting down hidden buzzing sound

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Old 06-30-18, 03:10 PM
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Hunting down hidden buzzing sound

So, I started hearing a faint high-pitched buzzing sound in the basement a week or two ago. Around that time a lightbulb in the ceiling was acting funny, and replacing it didn't help.

While I assumed it was a problem with that junction box, I am not sure anymore. It seems the sound is coming elsewhere.

The weird thing is I can not get any directional input on where the sound is coming from, only the intensity of it. I guess I am getting older than I thought. I had always assumed tweeter audio was directional and woofer was hard to ascertain direction from. But this does not seem to be the case!

Definitely a tuff nut to crack this one. I have had all the lights off, and even unscrewed all the bulbs from the ceiling in the basement, and I still hear it. Gets annoying.

I now suspect it could be coming from my water heater or furnace. Both of these are gas-powered though.

I did find an electrical power switch to the furnace, turned it off, no change. I will continue to tinker around a bit, and probably later on play with the fuse box again.

Hope this doesn't turn into another 5-year long mystery for me again. lol
 
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Old 06-30-18, 03:33 PM
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something with a very low battery in storage.
 
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Old 06-30-18, 03:58 PM
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You could turn off all the breakers and see if it's still present.
 
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Old 06-30-18, 04:04 PM
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Many times when people ask about an odd sound (hum or buzz) it turns out to be a doorbell transformer or some other small wall wart transformer that causes the sound.
 
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Old 06-30-18, 08:09 PM
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That is ironic. I was trying to fix our 7-year dead doorbell and never could find the transformer. Eventually discovered the old unit was actually stripped out and replaced with a wireless system. So I fixed our doorbell by having to just change batteries.

That said, I took EVERY fuse out of the box today, and the buzzing still happened. I also played with the furnace on and off.

I guess the next thing for me to do tomorrow is fiddle around with the water-heater. Just got it about a year ago or so...

I'll go over the manual today or tomorrow. Not sure turning off a water heater is the best thing to do, but I have no choice in order to hunt down this issue. lol I already released the water pressure value a bit, and no change.

So, I will be back with an update on this mystery hopefully by tomorrow...
 
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Old 07-01-18, 01:41 PM
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Update!

So, I lowered my head down to the burner plate/electronics and sure enough the buzzing increased in intensity.

I turned the heater off, and a couple seconds later all went quiet. I turned it back on a few minutes later and (crossing fingers) it's still quiet the next morning.

I'm not going to say I FIXED the issue, as I have no clue if it will return. But for now it's stopped so I can just hope it stays that way. Thing is a new unit barely over a year old, so I hope this was a fluke and not a bad sign.
 
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Old 07-01-18, 02:45 PM
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So you're saying the noise came from the water heater ?
Can't recall I've ever heard any buzzing sound coming from a water heater before.
If it's only a year old it should probably be checked out.
 
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Old 07-01-18, 05:33 PM
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New NG WH will have low voltage electronics within, to manage burner starts, and throw codes/blink lamps if things go wrong. There may be a little transformer in there.

The only reason I know this is I make every effort to get one to light up in my bathrobe early one morning. And, I failed. The flame detector broke, and there was no easy way to convince the thing to stay lit.
 
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Old 07-02-18, 12:27 AM
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Yup, 99.99% sure it was the water heater. It's a gas powered one, but made by WhirlPool, which have quite a bit of electronics on it (powered by the flame I think?).

The noise is still gone, so I'm happy.
 
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Old 07-02-18, 08:01 AM
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There should be a line cord for a 120 V wall receptacle??

Is there an induction fan to allow reduced flue temperature and allow PVC vent pipe?
 
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Old 07-02-18, 08:44 AM
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It's a gas powered one, but made by WhirlPool, which have quite a bit of electronics on it (powered by the flame I think?).

Rut roh......Whirlpool branded gas water heaters manufactured by American Water Heater are bad news. There are some very good reasons Lowes dropped them. Your paperwork that came with the unit should have a number to call the manufacturer when you have problems. I'd call them right away. You obviously got a great deal on an old new unit because it's been well over a year since Lowes started selling AO Smith water heaters.
 
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Old 07-05-18, 09:09 PM
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Ao smith bought amw..same units
 
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Old 07-06-18, 11:44 AM
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Ao smith bought amw..same units
True, AO Smith eventually bought American Water Heater, but the American units manufactured today are not the same as the AO Smith units.
 
 

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