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Old 09-16-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
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humming breaker


I just noticed the other day there is a faint bzzzzzzzzz noise, which is similar to the noise you get from a large transformer coming from my service panel... now if I push all my breakers in some the noise goes away, but after a day it comes back... something I should be worried about? lose breaker connection?

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Old 09-16-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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humming breaker


If you can find the break humming see if it feels hot or warmer then the rest, could be a breaker at the end of its life.

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Old 09-16-2010, 07:19 PM   #3
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If you can find the break humming see if it feels hot or warmer then the rest, could be a breaker at the end of its life.
well found the one that is humming, push it in a little it stops let go it starts again... its not hot or even warm, still something that should be replaced soon?
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:35 PM   #4
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humming breaker


I'd turn off the main, pull that breaker out, and take a look at where it clips on to the bus. See if it looks burned or pitted.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:34 PM   #5
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I'd turn off the main, pull that breaker out, and take a look at where it clips on to the bus. See if it looks burned or pitted.
ditto.



what is the panel brand?
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:12 AM   #6
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ditto.



what is the panel brand?
GE, the breakers are 13yrs old now
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:21 AM   #7
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GE, the breakers are 13yrs old now
not notorious for problems that I am aware of but I would still check the bus behind the breakers to be sure. If that all looks good, I would seriously consider replacing the breaker that appears to not know the words to the song. (it's humming, get it?)
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:51 AM   #8
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humming breaker


I would not worry about it unless anything else comes up... flickering lights/loss of power etc.

If it bugs you enough I'd just swap the breaker.

Chris
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:10 PM   #9
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I would not worry about it unless anything else comes up... flickering lights/loss of power etc.

If it bugs you enough I'd just swap the breaker.

Chris
sorry Guy. I've been doing this too long to not have a serious concern about a humming breaker and not at least investigate the issue.

along with that, the cost of replacing the breaker is minimal, especially if you compare it to what I have seen happen from a weak pinch terminal on a breaker.

The problem with waiting is by then, it may require a panel replacement. It might already but waiting surely isn't going to help things.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:13 PM   #10
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humming breaker


i've been here. had a two pole supplying to a restaraunt griddle. replaced the breaker and the new one did the same thing. no problems otherwise. suspected it to have something to do with the load at the time. pretty sure these are thermal-magnetic.

Last edited by TimPa; 09-17-2010 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:14 PM   #11
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humming breaker


Valid. Simply my opinion along with others.

Granted my pushmatic breakers are not cheap so the thought of having to replace ANYTHING on that system makes me ponder a panel upgrade


So new breaker but same thing.... is the Bus ok? ANY visual difference from the other areas of the bus?

Does it stop humming when there is no load?
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:18 PM   #12
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I think some breakers just hum. Especially under load. They generally have something resembling a solenoid coil in there, for the magnetic trip unit. Sometimes the windings or core laminations can be a little loose, just like a transformer. It may or may not mean that it'll fail sooner than a non-humming breaker.

That said, I say a humming breaker should always at least be checked to make sure it's not arcing at the buss connection. It takes 5 minutes (unless you've got pushmatic, I suppose), and could catch a problem before it gets serious.

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