Electrical Hum: Causes & Solutions

“Do you hear that buzzing? What is that?” Is this something you’ve said while in your home about an electrical hum sound? Here are a few explanations for where that electrical hum could be originating from and if it needs professional attention:

1. Lights on dimmers

Most dimmers don’t actually dim the amount of light emanating from your light bulbs; they just cut the light on and off at a rate too fast for your eye to notice so it looks like the light is dimmer. This constant on/off cycle is what causes the electrical hum sound. If you’ve tracked the buzzing sound to lights that are set on dimmers, this is likely the cause of the problem. Try switching your light bulbs to rough service bulbs, which are sturdier and vibrate less.

2. Mains hum

If you get the electrical hum from electrical wiring or equipment, this can be known as mains hum. This is normal, and usually occurs from the vibration of these appliances with motors switching on and off. Sometimes audio equipment can create and amplify a mains hum.

3. Wiring

If you’ve tracked the buzzing to an outlet or wiring, there might be a problem. Sometimes improperly grounded wires or wires are carrying too many volts buzz and an electrician must come out to repair it. Never try to fix your electrical wiring yourself!

4. Circuit breaker

An electrical hum can come out of a circuit breaker if it is overloaded with current and not shutting off as it’s meant to. If your breaker isn’t always buzzing, it may have something to do with the circuitry or is just a certain wire or circuit. Try turning off all your breakers and bringing them back on one by one to find the source. Please contact an electrician to then investigate and repair the cause of the buzzing; do not try to fix electrical problems yourself!

There can be many other causes to an electrical humming in your home. Please contact us today about any electrical problems you may encounter; we even have same-day emergency services!

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