We’ll start off by saying that a quiet, humming noise coming from your circuit breaker or electrical panel is totally normal. A low humming is likely just the natural vibration of the electrical currents flowing through the panel. If this is the case, you likely have nothing to worry about.
However, you’ll want to hire an electrician to come and take a look at your panel if you hear:
Let’s look at these three situations in more detail.
Rather have a professional electrician diagnose the issue? We’d be happy to help! Regardless of what the issue is, we’ll get to the bottom of it and provide you with the right solution. Learn more about the electrical panel services we offer or reach out to us!
If your panel is making a consistent, loud humming noise…
...your circuit breaker has probably gone bad.
If your breaker is bad, you need to call a licensed electrician as soon as possible.
Circuit breakers are designed to trip when there is too much electricity running through them. BUT, if your circuit breaker is bad, it won’t trip, which can heat the wires and cause an electrical fire.
So, if you notice a consistent, loud humming noise, it’s not something you should wait on. Reach out to a professional, especially if you smell burning or notice that your circuit breaker is hot to the touch.
If your panel is making a loud humming noise only when your AC kicks on…
...you probably have a bad AC capacitor.
The capacitor is like a giant battery for your outdoor AC unit, and can release an electrical charge to help your AC get started. However, if your capacitor is bad, your AC may struggle to turn on, which can draw on your electrical panel, creating a buzzing or humming noise.
If you notice that your electrical panel is only making a buzzing or humming noise when your AC is trying to turn on, this is likely your issue. You’ll need to enlist an HVAC professional to assess your current capacitor and replace it if necessary.
If your panel is making more of a buzzing or sizzling noise…
...you probably have loose wiring or wiring that has been damaged.
Loose wires can discharge current as electricity tries to jump across the wires (called an electrical arc).
These arcs can be dangerous, potentially electrocuting you if you come into contact with them. Loose or damaged wiring also has the potential to spark, which is a fire hazard.
That being said, if you hear a sizzling noise or see any kind of sparking, you’ll want to reach out to a professional as soon as possible.
Need the help of a professional? Reach out to Michael & Son
If you’re dealing with one of the issues listed above or you’re just not confident that the noise you’re hearing is safe, reach out to us. All of our experienced electricians are licensed and certified, and will ensure that whatever is going on with your electrical panel is either normal or fixed appropriately.