Why a Breaker Panel May Buzz

Some electrical problems can be noticed quickly from the changes that you observe in the performance of your electrical system, such as a change in the sound emitted from the breaker panel. This article discusses some reasons why the breaker panel may emit a buzzing sound. Use this information to call a commercial electrician for help in case you suspect that your commercial building is at risk due to the sound you are hearing.

Vibrations of Current

The electrical current flowing through the wires inside the breaker panel can emit a low buzzing sound. That sound is the result of the vibrations of that current entering and leaving all the wires supplying current to the different sections of your commercial building. This low sound shouldn't cause you to worry because it is a normal sound that is only audible when you stand close to the breaker panel.

Loose Wiring

A wire inside the breaker panel may be loose or damaged. Such a wire will no longer be able to transmit current easily. Consequently, some of the current that reaches that wire will be lost in the form of sound energy. Loose or damaged wires inside a breaker panel may even emit a sizzling sound. Sparks may also be emitted from the damaged wires. This dangerous situation can rapidly escalate into an electrical fire.

Defective Breakers

A circuit breaker is designed to trip when an appliance or appliances are drawing more power than that specific circuit breaker was designed to withstand. The breaker may also trip when there is a short circuit within the wires connected to that breaker. However, some circuit breakers may be unable to trip when a short circuit or an overload on the system occurs. For instance, the breaker may be unable to trip due to corrosion that jams it when it is in the on position. Such a breaker will buzz loudly when it detects an overload or a short circuit. The buzzing sound may become louder as the wires continue heating up. This can easily start an electrical fire if the situation is not corrected quickly.

As you can see, some buzzing sounds may not be a cause for alarm. However, it is much better to err on the side of caution instead of regretting when your building goes up in flames. Call a commercial electrician as soon as you hear any buzzing sound that seems abnormal. That professional will inspect your breaker panel and rectify what was causing the disturbing sound that you heard.