Getting a bad buzz from household electrical noise?

February 5, 2014

Do you have the impression that electricity is just buzzing around your home? Don’t worry—that electrical noise can be fixed by a certified electrician.

Getting a bad buzz from household electrical noise?

Electrical noise is one of those annoyances that can drive the sanest among us totally crazy.

Essentially a sign of low feed quality, the buzzing is produced when electrical signals cross on circuits and create interference in places where they shouldn’t be passing.

Four kinds of electrical noise

There are four kinds of couplings, which means there are four kinds of electrical noise.

  1. Capacitive coupling, or electrostatic noise, which is the result of a current passing through resistors too close to each other.
  2. Inductive coupling, or electromagnetic noise, which arises with the intensity of the current.
  3. Noise created by conduction, or noise coupled by a direct metallic connection. Sometimes this occurs in wall outlets, materials with microprocessor internal-protection devices, or because of the protective covering on ground wires.
  4. Noise from radio frequency interference. In this instance, lengths of wire can act as transmitters or receivers.

For mere mortals, it is challenging to identify the type of electrical noise you might be hearing on your property, but an electrician will easily be able to identify the source.

Bad vibes

Sometimes unpleasant vibrations can be detected coming from pipe attachments or other connections in and around the home.

These vibrations can be caused by conductors in the electric connection or be amplified by transmission and resonance. A number of explanations exist for this phenomenon.

  1. It could be a problem with a connective bracket. The bracket should be solidly bolted to the house’s infrastructure. Unfortunately, sometimes the bracket is merely—and inappropriately—screwed into place.There also have been cases where the original wiring installed by a professional electrician has been removed or displaced temporarily and then incorrectly reinstalled. That can significantly increase the intensity of vibrations coming from the distributor. The connective post must be attached with care, especially if the exterior facing is lightweight.
  2. It could be the result of poor building construction and a resulting structure that just doesn’t have the capacity to properly dissipate vibrations. In this case the house acts as an echo chamber, which by its very nature amplifies vibrations. Such a problem might be resolved by moving the connection point, or even better, by modifying the structure of the building. Usually these types of vibrations are heard most loudly in homes constructed with lighter materials, such as aluminum, clapboard or vinyl siding.
  3. Electrical noise can also come from an exterior source, such as a clothesline stretching between an electric line post and the home.

Call an electrician to solve your electrical noise problem

Whatever its cause, electrical noise is quite bothersome. As with anything related to electricity, the problem should never be taken lightly and should be entrusted to a certified electrician.

*Not only is it dangerous, it may even be illegal in some provinces, such as Québec, to do your own electrical wiring. The solution: consider hiring a master electrician.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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