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What Are Low Frequency Electrical Hums?

A low frequency electrical hum can make it hard to relax in your own home. You are stuck hearing a noise that seems to come from out of nowhere, and is difficult to pinpoint. The problem can drive you crazy if you are stuck dealing with it for too long. Buzzing and humming are a quite common phenomenon and can occur for numerous reasons.

Low frequency electrical hums can be caused by a number of issues. Lots of fluorescent light fixtures are known to make a humming noise, so to eliminate the sound you would have to switch to a different type of fixture. Lightbulbs that are cheaper or on a dimmer can be the source of the disturbance. To resolve the problem, upgrade to an LED bulb and see if things quiet down.

Older electric or gas meters rely on several moving parts to function, so it is easily possible that they may emit a noise loud enough to hear in your home. If this is the reason, speak with your utility provider to inquire about upgrading your meter or getting a replacement. Fortunately newer meters are digital so they very rarely create a hum.

A general term to describe the audible sound from an alternating current is “mains hum.” Electrical transformers on the exterior of your home and appliances powered by electric motors, including refrigerators and dryers, are known sources of mains hum. This sound is completely harmless and happens normally; however, it can be a bad sign if the hum escalates to a loud buzzing.

Electrical elements like outlets and wiring can hum for various reasons, most of which can indicate a dangerous issue. An improperly grounded outlet or wiring that transfers voltage at a level that exceeds its rating can be the culprit and overtime can spark a fire.

If circuit breakers are defective or failing, they may not function properly. Instead of tripping when a circuit has too much voltage, it can leave the circuit in an overloaded state. This can cause the breaker box to produce a noise.

The annoyance of low frequency electrical hum has led to several techniques to be developed to help locate the source. You can roll up a piece of paper into a horn shape to hold up to your ear. You should then stand in the middle of the room, and see which direction has the loudest sound. If this doesn’t pinpoint the source, you can rely on a metal soundhead stethoscope. The stethoscope should never make contact with electricity, so this option can only help you see if nonelectrical components are the problem.

If you are suffering with a low frequency electrical hum, contact a professional electrician to find and correct the problem. At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we are a trusted family owned electrical contractor and here to help you. We prioritize the safety of our customers which is why we always solve the root of the issue right away. We are located in Walton, KY to provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Contact us today.

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