Why Does My Circuit Breaker Panel Make a Buzzing/Humming Noise When My A/C Comes On?

2014 Jul 02
Posted in: Air Conditioning

When it comes to electricity and wires, people are skittish. 

So when you start to hear buzzing/humming noises coming from your circuit breaker panel (aka, the main electrical panel), you’re afraid to even open it for fear of being electrocuted (as you should be).

And the noise itself is probably driving you nuts at night!

In this article, we’ll cover the 3 main reasons your electric panel is making this buzzing/humming noise when your air conditioner is running.

Do you want immediate professional help and live in the Phoenix metro area? Ask one of our experts for help.

Normal vibrations

First, we want to possibly ease your concerns. If the humming or buzzing isn’t very loud, this is normal. Energy comes in and out of the panel at a rapid pace and this creates vibrations in the breaker that you can hear coming from inside the panel. 

But if the buzzing or humming is very loud, keep reading. Here are a few reasons as to why:

A circuit breaker in the panel is failing to trip

A circuit breaker’s job is to protect your family by cutting power to an electrical device when the current flow gets too high. For an air conditioner, a circuit usually trips when the A/C overheats.

But when a circuit breaker goes bad, it can fail to trip when it’s overloaded.

This could be causing the buzzing noise when the A/C runs because the breaker is taking in a large load but can’t trip like normal. That’s bad news because it could eventually lead to a fire.

You’ll need to get a professional to replace the circuit breaker if this turns out to be the issue.

A loosely connected wire

If a wire connected to a circuit breaker isn’t connected securely (or it’s damaged), it can cause a buzzing noise (and create some sparks, too).

Just like the bad breaker, this is dangerous and needs a professional’s attention ASAP.

Need help?

If you live in the Phoenix metro area and have a loud buzzing/humming noise at your circuit breaker panel, we can help.

Contact George Brazil online or call us at (602) 842-0009. We will send one of our electricians out to your home for a professional electric panel box inspection and tune-up. These are important to have done once a year.
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