Breaker Box Making A Hissing Noise! - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 02-25-2010, 02:07 PM   #1
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Breaker Box making a hissing noise!

What would cause my breaker box to hiss, when i turn on my dryer?
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:13 PM   #2
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Probably a loose connection under the dryer's breakers or under the main breaker.

This needs quick fixing or esle you could damage the panel.

Turn off the dryer and don't use it until this is fixed.

While you are at it, you might as well tighten up all the connections (leave the big lugs above the main breaker for an electrician). Loosen a quarter turn and then retighten but not with tremendous strength. Include the set screws holding the neutrals and grounds onto their terminal strips (bus bars).

A screw head should not have two or three wires under it. For two hot wires connected to one breaker, cut a short length of black or red wire of the same thickness, wire nutthe two wires that used to be under one screw to this piece, and connect the other end (now just one wire end) to the breaker.

You might unsnap the dryer's breakers from the panel and look underneath to check for signs of blackening or burning or deformation. With the power off you can sand the fins to clean them off but if the breaker does not slide on the fins tightly you will still not get a good connection.
Stick to your lawn watering schedule until it really starts to pour. After the storm you have only the same number of rest days you always had and then you need to start watering again.

Last edited by AllanJ; 02-25-2010 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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Ok Thanks, should i turn off main breaker or just dryer breaker?
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
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ABSOLUTELY turn off main breaker when working inside the panel box and probably before taking the cover off. Have a couple of good flashlights handy.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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there could be a poor connection between the breaker and the bus as well.

while you have the main breaker turned off, pull the breaker free from the bus and the panel and look at where the breaker makes contact with the bus. If it is anything other than clean copper or aluminum colored, you have a problem.

the remedy is often to replace the panel but it you have room to move the breaker to an unused spot, then that can be done. You would then need a breaker blank to close off the space the breaker was in.

If you do not see a burned spot either where the breaker connects to the bus or the wire connects to the breaker, I would simple replace the breaker. It it's contacts internally are burned, you just will not be able to see that.
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