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Old 12-21-2009, 10:09 AM   #1
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Recessed lights, wiring, breaker buzzing, etc


I'd like to get some feedback on my lighting and wiring. I am finishing my basement and installed 14 recessed lights all with 60W bulbs. I have 8 lights on one dimmer switch, with one side of heat sinks removed (480W), and then the other 6 lights on a second dimmer with both heat sinks removed (360W). The switches can handle 600W with no heat sinks removed, 500W with one side removed, and 400W with both sides removed. All of these lights are from a single feed from the breaker panel. The line is 12 gauge wire and using a 20A breaker. The lights are the only thing on the circuit, but I noticed a faint humming/buzzing noise coming from the breaker when all of the lights are on and turned up all the way.

I believe I am well under the limit for the 20A breaker (840W total). I am using a brand new breaker (Square D QO).

Should I be worried about the noise?

Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:44 AM   #2
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Recessed lights, wiring, breaker buzzing, etc


It could be the mechanical connection as part of the breaker make be wearing, and it is cheap enough to change the breaker.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:07 PM   #3
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Recessed lights, wiring, breaker buzzing, etc


Are you sure it is the breaker making the noise and not the bulb filaments humming? Change the level of the dimming and see if the hum changes.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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Recessed lights, wiring, breaker buzzing, etc


Yes. The breaker is in a separate room and I put my ear up to it. The lights buzz too, but I figure that was a result of the dimmer and wasn't worried about it. It's definitely coming from the panel. It stops when the lights are off.

I read something about only using 80% of the dimmer switch max, so with a heat sink removed, the manufacturer says it will handle 500W. Do you think I should only be using 400W? Should I replace the dimmers with 1000W dimmers?

Thanks.
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