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Old 08-23-2012, 12:12 PM   #1
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Humming electric panel?


Why do I hear humming from electric panel inside house when hot water heater is running?

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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Humming electric panel?


Water heater draw a lot of current. The magnetic field around the wires must be making some loose parts vibrate.

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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Humming electric panel?


I've seen/heard this happen when a breaker is very close to tripping. That is close to the maximum amperage for that breaker being used.

Also they will "buzz".

If you have the installation instructions for the water heater, see what size circuit they recommend for that model. Or find the manual on the internet at the manufacturer's web site or call them.

Also a heating element for the water heater may have been replaced with a higher wattage heating element. Check amperage draw for that circuit with an amp meter.

And home water heaters with dual elements are designed for ONLY one heating element to be on at a time. If all cold water, the top element goes on first, then when the water reaches the set temperature, it turns off and then allows power to pass to the lower heating element. That runs until the temperature in the lower part of the tank reaches the set temperature.

Commercial water heaters will run both elements at the same time. So might want to check that only one element is on at a time (or have that checked).
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:49 PM   #4
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Humming electric panel?


Usually means youve got a breaker about to fail. Turn it off. Does it go away? If so you should swap the breaker for a new one.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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Humming electric panel?


Does the sound seem to come from the branch circuit breaker?

OR from the main?

You could have one or more breakers on the brink of failure here ...
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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Humming electric panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky
Does the sound seem to come from the branch circuit breaker?

OR from the main?

You could have one or more breakers on the brink of failure here ...
Agreed. Buzzing can be a strong sign the breaker isn't making correct contact with the bus and is arcing.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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Humming electric panel?


I did change element out few years back but I would have only got exact replacement. I'm anal like that.
It is coming from the breaker box. When I heard the humming/buzzing I also heard hot water heater running as there across from each other in utility room. I flipped breaker off and that's what it was. Figure just replace breaker? Breakers hardly ever go bad though I always believed?
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeVila
I did change element out few years back but I would have only got exact replacement. I'm anal like that.
It is coming from the breaker box. When I heard the humming/buzzing I also heard hot water heater running as there across from each other in utility room. I flipped breaker off and that's what it was. Figure just replace breaker? Breakers hardly ever go bad though I always believed?
Which brand? I see it mostly in murray, siemens and ge breakers

Last edited by Dierte; 08-23-2012 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:12 PM   #9
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Humming electric panel?


Quote:
Which brand? I see it mostly in murray, siemens and ge breakers
I've had to replace two GE breakers in my panel. The one for my dryer would hum when it was running. The other was a GFI that sounded like a nest of angry bees, and it was unloaded at the time!

It happens. Easy fix.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:07 AM   #10
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Humming electric panel?


It is Siemens. I'll have to add to my to-do list! Thx. - Mike

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