Given the fact that electrical systems are designed to work efficiently, noiselessly, it only makes sense to worry when you hear noises coming from the main panel. Your electrical panel controls the main power in your home and unnatural sounds could indicate problems of different varieties. Knowing and understanding these noises could not only potentially help you prevent future problems, but it could possibly save your life. Electricity is something to be taken seriously and knowing and understanding the noises coming from the main panel is more important than ever. That being said, this isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do. And, that’s where this guide comes in handy.
If you just happen to walk by your panel and hear a light buzzing for the first time, it would only naturally be right to be concerned. However, you are just being a worrywart because this is a normal sound. This is just the electricity flowing through the wires like water flowing through pipes. This is completely harmless and normal. Even if you’ve never noticed the noise before, it’s likely been there. There is no reason to start worry unless the sound gets louder and starts making a popping or clicking.
Medium Humming Noise
A medium buzzing noise would be classified as a bit louder than a light buzzing noise. While this is classified as a louder buzzing sound, it can take on several forms. It might make a sizzling noise, crackling noise, or clicking noise. If you hear something that sounds like sparking coming from the panel, you are right to be concerned as it could be just that. It could be shorting from a frayed and loose wire.
Loud And Continuous Buzzing
Loud and continuous noises coming from the panel cause even more of a concern. These noises can be concerning because they are loud and what makes them even scarier is, they are not natural. If you hear these types of noises coming from the panel it could be an indication of several things. That being said, it is more than likely the breaker not shutting off. When a breaker trips, it should shut off, killing the power to the circuit. If you hear a loud and continuous sound coming from the panel, it likely indicates that the breaker is not tripping off when it should. This is scary and should be taken seriously because it means that the panel is bypassing safety mechanisms.
How To Tell When Operating Normally
Unfortunately, your panel will make noises when it is operating normally. It’s possible that you’ve never noticed them before because they sound so natural, but they are there. You can tell when your panel is operating normally if:
- The sound doesn’t classify as any of the above
- If the buzzing starts right when your AC comes on, but stops when the appliance starts running smoothly
- A light buzzing is normal
Hearing noises coming from your main electrical panel can be disconcerting and one is right to be concerned as it is not natural and could indicate several things. It could indicate mini problems or it could indicate major problems. Either way, it’s something that should be taken seriously. Maybe you need troubleshooting. Maybe you need troubleshooting assistance. Whatever the situation is, this is an issue best left to the pros.