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Old 11-27-2009, 06:45 AM   #1
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Humming, Buzzing, Circuit Breaker


My wife called me to the basement saying that a hum or buzz was coming from the panel. When I opened it I tapped on each breaker and when I reached the right one, the noise immediately stopped. Can anyone tell me what may cause this, and should I have the breaker replaced?
It is a GE panel and the breaker in question is 15 amps.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:58 AM   #2
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Humming, Buzzing, Circuit Breaker


Did the breaker feel warm compared with the other breakers? That would indicate a loose connection which can also be the source of humming.

You might want to open up the panel, flip that breaker off and unsnap it from the panel to check for discoloration or burning of the contact underneath.
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:29 PM   #3
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Humming, Buzzing, Circuit Breaker


I've seen this happen when a circuit is drawing very close to the rated amperage of the breaker. Not quite enough to trip the breaker, but very close.

The solution is to turn that breaker off, then see what all is connected to that breaker (what no longer works). Then move something to another circuit (anything should do!), or install a new circuit to one of the things on that circuit.

For example a kitchen circuit with refrigerator and other appliances on the same circuit, install a new 20 amp circuit (I like 20 amp circuits!) to the refrigerator (just one outlet) to off load the circuit.

Or something easy to run a new circuit to. Maybe something on an outside wall might be easier to run new wiring to. Like a window air conditioner.

Also you posted this at max electrical use time - Thanksgiving! This is when everything is on in the house and kitchen. So might just be a problem when too many things are on at once and not a problem the rest of the year...
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