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Why Is My Outlet Buzzing? Is It Dangerous?

Posted On: July 01, 2022
Plug plugged into an electrical outlet on a wall

Why is my outlet buzzing? Buzzing outlets are a serious cause for concern. They are not something you should ignore or try to drown out. When your outlets start to hum or make a buzzing noise, it’s important to stop using the plug socket immediately and have a certified electrician inspect the outlet as soon as possible.

At Genz-Ryan, we inspect buzzing plug sockets every week, and the following are some of the most common causes we come across.

reasons you may hear outlet Buzzing in Your Home

why is my outlet buzzing-close up to electrical wires

Loose Connections

Electrical wires come loose all the time. While this most often happens in older homes, it can also happen in homes that were built just a few months ago. As the wires come loose, this allows them to vibrate, which results in the buzzing sound you hear. The older your home, the more likely it is that the cause of the buzzing is loose wires.

Changes in the Weather

Temperature changes can cause electrical components to contract and expand. The greater the temperature change, the greater the contraction or expansion. In Minnesota, it’s a problem that homeowners often face in the spring and fall, when the temperature changes are greatest. Over time, this process can cause connections to come apart. Often, the best way to prevent a recurrence of this problem is to replace components with temperature-resistant options that won’t expand/contract.

Improper Installation

Sometimes, shoddy workmanship is the cause of a buzzing electrical outlet. When an electrician gets in a rush or fails to adhere to established installation protocols, mistakes can and do occur. If you notice the plug socket is getting louder when you plug several appliances or devices into it, you may be experiencing what’s referred to as reversed polarity. This occurs when the hot and neutral wires are flipped around within the outlet. This is a serious problem that can result in a nasty electrical shock.

Broken Breakers

It’s normal to hear a buzzing sound coming from your breaker. However, if that sound gets louder and louder, it’s a good indication that the breaker is not operating correctly. The buzzing can occur when it is putting out too few, or too many amps. Often, the best way to end the problem is to replace the malfunctioning breaker.

Contact Genz-Ryan at (612) 223-6158 to discuss your buzzing outlets with our certified electricians. We are happy to answer your questions and help you determine the best way to silence a noisy outlet once and for all.

Other Signs You should Contact an Electrician ASAP

electrician working- why is my outlet buzzing

Buzzing outlets are not the only signs your home’s electrical system needs service. The following are some other common signs your electrical system isn’t functioning properly and should be promptly serviced by a certified electrician.

Frequent Trips and Blown Fuses

It’s normal for breakers and fuses to trip in an electrical storm. However, if you are experiencing frequent tripping and regularly blown fuses, there’s a good chance you have a fault within your circuits.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights are not normal, and they can occur on their own or when appliances, lights, etc., are working again. If you notice the lights dim when you turn on an appliance or the lights flicker while an appliance is running, a certified electrical can identify the cause of the problem and perform the necessary repairs to your wires, circuits, or the appliance itself.

Sockets Don’t Work

Whether it’s a plug that won’t fit or a socket that sparks when you plug electronics into it, a busted socket is something you do not want to ignore. It could be improperly grounded or components could be damaged that make the socket a potential fire hazard.

Warm Outlets

Electrical outlets should always be cool to the touch. If your sockets are heating up, there’s a problem with the circuit that you should address immediately. It could be because the socket is overloaded, or it could be because of any number of causes. In any case, a hot socket is not something you should touch ― in fact, you shouldn’t even use it until a certified electrician inspects it and determines the precise cause for the temperature buildup.

Rusty Wires and Electrical Panels

Rusty wires and electrical panels often occur in older homes. The older the home, the more likely rust is to form on these critical components. If you notice rust, it’s advisable to take care of it quickly because it can spread quickly through the home.

Contact Genz-Ryan at (612) 223-6158 to discuss your electrical problems with our certified electricians. We have decades of electrical experience under our tool belts, and we can help you find the solutions that keep your home safe.

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