Boom in wall when I turn on circuit breaker

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  #1  
Old 07-01-02, 02:36 PM
S
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Exclamation Boom in wall when I turn on circuit breaker

I have a cabin which I go to on weekends. When I leave it Sunday evenings, I turn off all the circuit breakers except for one (the refrigerator). I have noticed that when I return the following weekend and switch on the other circuit breakers, there is a "boom" sound which comes, not from the circuit breaker panel, but from the wall of the cabin. This sound comes from different walls, dependinig on the circuit breaker I am turning on. It generally happens only when I switch on one of the circuit breakers (not each of them). It happens on different circuit breakers at different times. What the heck could this be? My outlets work fine and I have not had a circuit breaker pop. I wired this cabin myself in 1989. It is 100 amp service. Please let me know if I need a professional inspector to check this out.
Thanks! Added information: I have no plumbing or motors of any kind on my electrical system (just a refrigerator, microwave, ceiling fan, outlets and light switches). When I turn on the circuit breakers, none of the outlets or light switches is in use or turned on. It seems as though it could be a power surge, but why is it making that noise like it it hitting a deadend.. boom. Then all is normal. Is this normal??? Is this unsafe?
 

Last edited by sk81299; 07-01-02 at 06:37 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-02, 04:08 PM
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DaveB.inVa
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What exactly do these breakers control? Is anything connected and come on at the time you turn the breakers on?
The only thing that comes to my mind is a high inrush current causing the romex to kinda slap like wire in conduit does sometime.
Just a stab, Ill let others go at it!!! :-)
 
  #3  
Old 07-01-02, 05:46 PM
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Wgoodrich
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Another thought is it may be a motor relay making the sound when it pulls in to make contact.

May just be a loose water pipe banging when pressure is suddenly applied also.

Just a couple of more thoughts

Wg
 
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Old 07-01-02, 07:04 PM
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There is no plumbing or any motors in the cabin and there is nothing on the circuit when it is turned on. Should I turn the main switch off and then turn the individual circuit breakers on and then turn the main switch on instead of turning on the individual circuit breakers one at a time as I have been doing? If this is a power surge, would that eliminate it? Would such a power surge be dangerous?
 
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Old 07-01-02, 07:26 PM
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Any chance you are just startling a critter when a light comes on?
 
  #6  
Old 07-02-02, 06:25 AM
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There are a few critters in the area I would like to startle, but I am sure that is not it. This is a bang, similar to a water pipe when it is turned on quickly, but I have no water pipes. When I turn on the ceiling fan circuit breaker, the ceiling fan makes a noise (even though it is not turned on at the time). Help. This is scaring me. I don't want the place to burn down. Any wisdom anyone can share with me on the situation would be appreciated.

Thanks John and Wg!
 
  #7  
Old 07-02-02, 05:53 PM
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nano
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One remote possibility is that somewhere in the cabin you have a fluorescent light. Sometimes if the ballast inside the light is old, it has a tendancy to make that sound. Do you have a fluorescent light somewhere in the cabin?
 
  #8  
Old 07-02-02, 06:50 PM
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Wgoodrich
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Rather than us trying to think of equipment that may make that type sound, why don't you list all the electrical equipment in your cabin on your next reply including different types of lighting fixtures to all applainces etc. Then we can use that info to center into what may be causing the sound.

Wg
 
  #9  
Old 07-03-02, 11:20 AM
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I appreciate your continuing attention to my problem.

Here is what I have on my electical system: One electric stove, one refrigerator, a microwave, about 15 to 20 typical outlets, a few ceiling lights, a few typical outdoor lights, a ceiling fan, two outdoor GFIC outlets, two indoor GFIC outlets in the kitchen and one GFIC in the bathroom. Like I said, I have no plumbing, no electrical heat, no motors or pumps of any kind. It is 100 amp service. I installed the wiring myself in 1989 and it was inspected. I have no flourescent fixtures of any kind and I have no motion detectors of any kind. Just very typical simple electrical items.

Thanks again for your continued attention to this situation. Maybe I shouldn't be shutting off those circuits everyweekend(??)
 
  #10  
Old 07-03-02, 04:54 PM
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Wgoodrich
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The only things on your list that I can see might make a sound would be the fan motor having a twist capability. What I mean is that some fans are mounted with a rubber grommet that allows some twist in the support shaft. The sudden power applied bounces that shaft back against its twist limit. To confirm this to be your problem just turn off the fan, turn on your power when you get to the cabin. Then turn on the fan. If the sound disappears on energizing the cabin you found your ghost thud.

The refrig you said that you don't shut if off. I doubt this to be the source of your thud.

There is a compontent in a TV that if left de-energized for a period of time can make a thud when it suddenly loads for an instant on capacity. Just unplug it when you start up your cabin then plug it in afterwards to eliminate you TV.

A conduit that has a partial short may cause a thud when the hot conductor becomes energized then clears the short when it arcs inside the conduit.

If it were me I would enter the cabin. Turn everything off or unplug it. Then turn one breaker on at a time. If no thud then plug in one item at a time and turn on one item at a time and see if you hear you thud at a certain time.

This may help you center down on your source of sound upon energizing your cabin.

Let us know what you find

Curious

Wg
 
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