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Old 06-06-2012, 12:11 AM   #1
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


For about 6 months or so I have noticed on occasion my computer would randomly turn on when I flipped a light switch on the other side of the room, even though this light switch isnt suppose to control the AC outlet that computer is plugged into. This never occured before. This doesnt happen all the time, just every once in a while. Now just today I noticed some strange humming coming from one of my computer speakers. Ive tried plugging the speaker into 3 AC outlets. 2 of the outlets caused a steady humming noise to come from the speaker. On the 3rd outlet the speaker connects to a power strip first. When its connected to the power strip there is still a steady humming noise, but a bit quieter, but then the speaker picks up a very faint steady tapping noise that taps about every second or so. I tried removing one of the AC outlet plates to take a look and I noticed that the humming would completely stop when the outlet was unscrewed from its housing. Its when the screws dont touch the AC outlet housing the humming from the speakers stops. Whether those screws are used as a ground for the AC circuit or whatever I dunno, I'm not an expert on AC outlet operation.

Strangely enough, when the speaker is plugged into the AC outlet on the other side of the room, the humming doesn't occur.

Just so you know the humming only ever occurs when the speakers are connected to my computer and the computer is turned on, but this is probably because the speakers dont "power on" unless they are connected to a sound source, even though their power light is on. Probably kind or like an idle feature to save power.
Does this sound like an issue with this AC outlet or could there potentially be an issue with the wiring somewhere in the room?

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Last edited by konsole; 06-06-2012 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


It seems like whenever a device is powered on in the electrical circuit, the computer will sometimes turn on when its in the same circuit. I just had my computer off but plugged in, then I took a lamp, flipped its switch to on and plugged it into the outlet just above the outlet that the computer is hooked into. Well the computer immediately turned on.

I also have 2 sets of 2 LED lights as the overhead lights in the room. One of those sets works without issue even on a dimmer. The other set has developed a flicker when both bulbs are screwed in, but not when only one is screwed in or the dimmer is turned down. This started happening not more then 2 or 3 weeks ago and I've had these bulbs for probably 3 or 4 months. I doubt theres a problem with the LED bulbs because the other set of 2 LED bulbs on the other side of the room work fine all the time.

Strangely enough the LED lights only flicker for the first hour or so that they are on, then they work fine, as they are right this moment. Also not every time I am able to duplicate the computer mysteriously turning on when another load is introduced to the circuit.

It makes sense that the LED light flickering, the computer mysteriously turning on when a load is introduced to the same circuit, and the speakers producing a humming noise while this is all going on seem to be all related. However, what could potentially be the problem?

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Old 06-06-2012, 04:48 PM   #3
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


You probably have loose connections in the ground path (ground wires) from the receptacles back to the panel.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


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Originally Posted by konsole View Post
my computer would randomly turn on when I flipped a light switch on the other side of the room, even though this light switch isnt suppose to control the AC outlet that computer is plugged into.
The RFI filter in your computer power supply has failed?
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


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The RFI filter in your computer power supply has failed?
Is there any other symptoms to notice if this filter in the power supply has failed? Any tests I can run to see if it is the cause?

The power supply in my computer is of reputable quality and its only about 7 months old.

I just unplugged the computer and noticed the overhead LED lights flickering is still there.

Last edited by konsole; 06-06-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


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Originally Posted by konsole View Post
Is there any other symptoms to notice if this filter in the power supply has failed? Any tests I can run to see if it is the cause?

The power supply in my computer is of reputable quality and its only about 7 months old.

I just unplugged the computer and noticed the overhead LED lights flickering is still there.
Are you dimming these LED lights? Im guessing a compatibility issue with your LED drivers and the dimmers...

Last edited by stickboy1375; 06-06-2012 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


LED lights are not dimmable, and most dimmers are not compatible with LED bulbs, same as CFL's. As for the hum issue, you have a poor ground path somewhere. Are you renting, or own, or live with family? How old is the house? Are you using cheater plugs for the outlets, if not grounded, or did someone in the past "bootleg" the ground, by using the Neutral of the circuit to cheat the ground connection. Too many questions that need answers.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:03 PM   #8
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LED lights are not dimmable, and most dimmers are not compatible with LED bulbs, same as CFL's. As for the hum issue, you have a poor ground path somewhere. Are you renting, or own, or live with family? How old is the house? Are you using cheater plugs for the outlets, if not grounded, or did someone in the past "bootleg" the ground, by using the Neutral of the circuit to cheat the ground connection. Too many questions that need answers.
I'm not sure were you heard that LED bulbs arent dimmable, maybe some arent arent but I'm almost completely certain that the LED bulbs I have are designed to be dimmed or else I wouldnt have bought them in the first place and if they arent dimmable why have they been working fine with a dimmer up until a few weeks ago? Also remember I said the other 2 LED bulbs on the other side of the room are working fine on a different dimmer without flickering. Plus I said the flickering stops when I remove one of the bulbs. I think I proved that the bulbs arent the cause of the flickering.

We own the house and its somewhere between 30-50 years old. No I'm not using a cheater plug anywhere and I'm not aware of any ground "bootlegging"

If it matters, the outlets that I have noticed having the issue are all along the exterior walls of the bottom floor of a split level house and all within 20 feet of the breaker box. yes I did try resetting all the breakers.

I highly doubt that the issue is something that originated from a bad choice someone made in wiring in the past because the issue has just recently appeared.

I have heard what sounds like a mouse or other small animal running through the walls in the past. Maybe it chewed through something?

Last edited by konsole; 06-06-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #9
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


Did not say that they were not dimmable. What I stated, is that the dimmers usually do not work well with LED's, so you either choose to not use the dimmers, or find ones that will work with them. Same when it comes to CFL's. Guessing that you read too much into what I stated and made up your own assumption.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:44 PM   #10
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


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Did not say that they were not dimmable.
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LED lights are not dimmable,
I think you did... and you are incorrect in your logic.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:50 PM   #11
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


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Old 06-06-2012, 10:54 PM   #12
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


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Okay troll. Now go away.
sorry I quoted you.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:55 PM   #13
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


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Okay troll. Now go away.
You say most dimmers are not compatible with led lighting, okay, so prove that... Your opinions do not count without fact, so don't go saying what you feel with out truth behind your opinion... otherwise, just keep it to yourself.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:39 AM   #14
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


stickboy, LED's are diodes. They are either on or off. The way that manufacturers make them appear dimmed, is by building into the circuit board, but you have to have a controller to do this. The bulbs that the OP is most likely using, are the replacement LED that take the place of conventional Edison base type bulbs, and again they are not dimmable. It is not an opinion, it is a fact.

And yes, 99.99% of the dimmer switches out there are not compatible with LED or CFL bulbs. LED bulbs are so new on the market, even though they have been used in a Lab environment for over ten years to perfect them, there are no dimmers that are currently out on the market that will work with LED's, due to go see above.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:17 AM   #15
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Electrical issue causing speaker hum


Here is the link to an LED dimmer.

And a link for some really nice dimmable LED lamps.

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