Annapolis Electrician
Written by John Mullen

Humming That Isn’t A Song

If you’ve ever been exposed to humming or buzzing noises for any length of time, you know how annoying it can be. These little noises can be irritating, but they can also be a sign that you need to check your home’s wiring of a home.

Search For The Source

The first step is tracking down the source of the humming. It can be tricky, but with some determination and patience, you may locate it. Start by turning off televisions, radios, computers, and any other devices that can create noise. 

Your kitchen appliances may emit a hum which is normal. It’s caused by the unit’s motor coming on and off causing vibrations. If the hum you hear from an appliance is unusual or very loud, it’s important to get it checked out.

Possible Causes

Here are some common culprits responsible for humming or buzzing noises around your home.

1. Light fixtures, switches, and dimmers: Fluorescent lights often hum and to eliminate the noise, you may have to change the fixture. A humming sound can come from a light bulb itself when it’s a cheap bulb or if it’s attached to a dimmer switch. A dimmer doesn’t decrease the amount of light from a bulb, it cycles the power on and off at such a fast rate that your eyes can’t detect it. If a dimmer is the source of the noise, try switching to higher-quality bulbs or consider upgrading the fixture.

2. Gas or Electric Meters: The newer meters are digital and are almost silent, but if you have older meters, the moving parts may give off a hum or other noise. If this is the problem, check with your local utility to determine if it’s possible to upgrade your meter.

3. Circuit Breakers: Circuit breakers are designed to shut off power when the circuit is overloaded. If there’s a malfunction or manufacturing defect, it may prevent this from happening. The result is the circuit will stay in an overloaded mode, which is dangerous. To check the circuit breakers, turn them all off, then turn them back on one at a time.

An electrical hum can be caused by a number of factors. If you’re unable to find the source, or if it needs immediate attention, contact the experts at JM Mullen. We can help you solve any electrical problems and maintain your home’s systems.