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Old 12-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #1
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New 200 Amp Breaker box make noise


I installed a new GE 200A electrical panel and transferred all of my circuits over from the old box. All of them were working fine in the old box. I just needed a bigger box. Anyway, after energizing the main breaker it made a sizzle sound for a second or so and then quit. Kinda freaked me out. I turned it off. I checked to make sure it was seated fully and it appeared to be. I then turned off all circuits and then turned on the main. No noise. I started turning on circuits one at a time. After the fifth or sixth breaker I heard that sound again only it was very faint. so I assumed something was wrong with that particular circuit. I rechecked the connections and tried it again. No noise. So I turned the rest of the circuits on and all was quiet.

I then turned off the main and cleaned up the work area and put the panel cover on. After energizing the main break I heard that noise again. I quickly turned it off and after checking the panel here is what I've discovered:
  • The sound comes from the 200 main breaker, not the individual circuit breakers.
  • The sound happens randomly and is not circuit dependent. After further testing any of the individual breakers can cause this to happen.
  • All hots, neutrals, and grounds as tightened securely and properly connected.

Do you think this is a bad main breaker? The service lines are newly installed by the power company and are locked. Could they possible be loose or not tightened to spec?

What would cause this?
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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New 200 Amp Breaker box make noise


Assuming your incoming power is tight at the lugs....sounds like you may have a bad main breaker....it happens....

If new, I would replace it.....
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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New 200 Amp Breaker box make noise


You can also check the bolts that attach the main breaker to the bus.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:37 AM   #4
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New 200 Amp Breaker box make noise


I checked the tightness of the lugs and the breaker and they were fine. So I replaced the main breaker with a new one and it works perfectly. Afterwards, I was inspecting the breaker that I removed and noticed a stink bug in the space between the break and the copper bracket that bolts to the bus. So I'm wondering if that sizzle could have been the stink bug being fried?
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