Every home experiences electrical noises. From the faint buzz of the television, to that distinct hum from fluorescent lights, electrical sounds are unavoidable, and mostly harmless. But when should you be worried about an electrical noise?
Electrical Noises 101
When the alternating current, or AC flows through your electronic devices and electrical panel, it creates magnetic fields. These magnetic fields will cause your home’s electrical transformer to vibrate at a frequency around 50 to 60 Hz (hertz.) Human hearing can pick up sounds from 20 to 20,000 Hz, so it’s natural to hear electrical devices within that low 50-60 Hz range.
When you hear electrical noises outside of your property, they may be coming from high-voltage power lines, discharging energy. These stray electrical discharges can create a hissing noise as they travel through the air around nearby powerlines. This tends to happen during humid or wet weather, when the moisture in the air increases conductivity. But while these noises may sound alarming, they are generally harmless.
Occasionally, you may hear an electrical noise at a slightly greater frequency. This usually happens when appliances like power drills or hair driers interfere with other electronics, creating a burst of static. Again, these noises are mostly harmless, but to avoid them and ensure your electrical system does not get overloaded, it is still a good idea to install whole-house surge protection.
When You Should Be Concerned About Electrical Noise
The steady humming and buzzing of the average electrical appliance is nothing to worry about. When you do need to worry is the times your electrical appliances are louder than usual, and emit crackling or sizzling sounds for a sustained period. Assuming there are no sparks coming from the device in question, unplug it immediately should it stat to make one of these noises, and call a professional electrician immediately.
In the case of fluorescent lights, flickering and loud buzzing may simply be a sign that you need to have a ballast replaced. However, if your circuit breaker panel emits any noises louder than its usual hum, you may be dealing with damaged wiring, or a breaker malfunction. This is extremely dangerous, so again, call an electrician right away if this happens in your home, and keep your family away from the panel at all times.
Call Our Electrical Experts Today
At CMC Electric, our team has everything you need to take care of electrical noises and more. We offer wiring work, panel upgrades and maintenance, and a range of repairs for your entire electrical system. Call today to schedule a home electrical inspection, and remember, our skilled electricians are available 24/7 for emergency service.