I have this buzzing noise in my house electrical system.
I can hear it in a stereo I have in my Office and I bought my wife a
new clock radio for Christmas and that is up stairs in the bedroom and
it comes through that radio also. These are the only two things I hear
it in. It is a short buzz that last about a second and happens about
every 10-15 seconds.
Any body have an idea what it could be and how to get rid of it.
The house is a new house that is only 3 years old.
Is it only on the tuner section of the stereo? If so, it's likely RF
intereference. One common source of that type of pulsing is electrical
fencing used to keep animals in/out.
You could rule out everything in your house by turning off all the
breakers but one for the stereo and see if you still hear it. If so,
move the stereo to another circuit that was off, then repeat the test.
You could also see if you hear it on a battery opperated radio, which
would eliminate it coming via the AC line.
I have the problem with the new refrigerator temperature adjustment. When
the compressor just about to kick on it will drown out my TV and almost pop
out the speakers with the 60 cycle hum. Believe or not, it does this even
with the TV off! It doesn't do it all the time and took me a while to trace
it to the source.
AM or FM? FM is immune to pulse type noise. Any new appliance gone into
service? Or was it always like that? With potable radio move around the
house listening to the noise level, when near the source the noise
volume will increase. I'd start from the main breaker panel. It could be
as simple as loose connection or light dimmer. It could be coming from
outside your house too.
I've traced radio noise to a number of sources. One of my computers
is awful even though the skins are all on and tight (A-bit MB). The
ASUS MB system is right on top of it but generates no noise.
Various dimmers are a source if not 0 or 100% on/off.
The twisty fluorescent light bulbs can be bad.
A trickle charger on my tractor battery was a source.
I found a portable battery and plug-in radio is helpful at tracking down
If this was me, I would try and isolate what is causing the noise. If
the noise sounds over a portable radio, sweet. I would turn off
evertying, and then turn off the Service panel. If the noise is still
present, then I guess it's not my house. If the noise disappears, I
would turn on breaker by breaker till the noise happened again. then
start operating individual items, lights, tv's, etc.
But this is what I would do. Or I would say forget it, and listen to
my MP3 Player instead. Rock On!
tom @ www.MedJobSite.com
the audio sound we cant here, the electronics can be heard by other
devices like radios.
the FCC says its the responsiblity of the evice receiving the noise to
yeah sure just TRY getting anyone to look into interference these days
Me Too, on the pulsing buzzing. Started around when I got the new
high-efficency furnace. Comes through on low end of AM band radio. No idea
if it is really the furnace, or something in a neighbors house on same
transformer can. Barely hear it on a battery-power radio, unless I plug it
in to a wall wart, so pretty sure it is noise on the mains. Other than trial
and error, no way to track it down.
Sounds like RFI (Radio Frequency Interference).
Sorry but you'll have to track it down as recommended by others.
The type of noise, whether it happens all the time or at certain times
may give you a clue.
Please advise when you find what it is.
But it could be almost anything these days; what with cheap light
dimmers, electric toothbrushes and the whole plethora of electric
gadgets around most homes.
What does irk is that our regulatory authorities especially the FCC
(Federal Communications Commission in the USA) and other similar bodies
in other countries do not seem to be testing, preventing, prosecuting
and thereby weeding out the so many devices, some of which are falsely
labelled, that emit RFI (Radio Frequency Interference).
It is not an exaggeration that one of these days something such as an
air crash or a major collision at a traffic light intersection will be
attributed to something as ridiculous as someone shaving with an
'Electronic razor' picked up cheap from some almost third world
country. Something along these lines occurred in Austria, when a Civil
Defence exercise had to be cancelled when some newly authorized
Internet equipment (used on electric power lines) interfered with
Even devices marked ULL (Underwriters Lab.) Approved are not free of
RFI. It almost seems that if it does not catch fire easily and/or
doesn't give you a shock it's OK to make/import it? Mexico, Taiwan,
China etc. please note!
My particular surprise, in this all electric house with all kinds of
stuff; came one day when I happened to take a portable radio into the
bathroom to finish listening to a radio programme. Putting it down
near my older plugged in razor (not the one I use mostly and not even a
rechargeable, just a plain old electric face razor less than $35 at
Wal-Mart) there was this infernal ticking noise I'd been wondering
about as radio interference, for weeks.
So get a portable radio and go looking for it; also gradually turning
of circuit breakers until you find or disprove it's in your house. If
it's outside go to the FCC.
A final suggestion; especially if you or a neighbour have added
anything that has rechargeable batteries or a charger associated with
it. Some newer types of batteries use 'Pulse chargers'. These unlike,
say, an old fashioned lead acid car battery charger, put out bigger but
short pulses in order to charge some modern types of batteries more
quickly or correctly. Regardless, as per the comment about the FCC,
products 'SHOULD NOT' interfere with other radio devices.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
I eliminated Fluorescent bulbs, my Electric dog fence which is
wireless, and the one motion sensor I have on an out side light. Also
two battery tenders plugged into the garage.
Still have noise.
On my receiver in my office I do not have a radio hooked up to it only
an amp to power speakers to my computer. It comes through with just
the amp on. The clock radio does it on both AM and FM.
I was wondering if Smoke alarms would cause this. I have hard wired
smokes throughout the house all in series,(If one goes off they all
I am going to try the breaker shut off next.
Has anybody heard of a filter that could be placed
Keep shutting things off momentarily, even the smoke alarms. Sooner
or later you'll find it.
By chance is your house connected to the same pole transformer as a
business that has a neon sign? They can cause noise.
One other thing. Shut off your computer, I know my computer causes
tv interference. My computer is only a couple feet away from the tv,
and when it's on, one tv channel can not be watched, while others are
fine. Of course, I'll admit my computer never has the cover on it. I
am always swapping drives and stuff, so I never put the cover on.
Someday I might put it on to see if the problem stops, but it's not a
priority since the affected channel is one that I rarely watch. That
channel is channel 19 uhf, so for some reason my computer is doing
something to interfere on that channel, and that one only. (my tv is
on an antenna, not cable or sattelite).
Without hearing the sound, this is just a guess. There were many
other good suggestions on here, and dimmers and CF bulbs come to mind
for me too. But I did not see anyone say anything about a noisy small
transformer. There are usually two in most homes. One is for the
doorbell, the other is for the furnace controls and thermostat. They
can be quite annoying if they contain a loose winding / core. I'd
start by shutting off every breaker except the one for the stereo.
See if you still hear the noise. If yes, it's on THAT circuit, if
not, turn on one more breaker. Keep doing that till the noise starts.
Once you find which circuit is causing it, trace that entire circuit
till you find the cause. Another thing to do is shut off the furnace
completely and see if that stops it. If you follow your doorbell
wires, you will find the transformer. Listen for it to buzz.
The only way to find something like this is by process of elimination.
Therefore find which circuit is causing the problem first, then
disable everyting on that circuit one by one. If it's the doorbell
transformer, they are real easy to change. They are a common source
of buzzing sounds. Not that they are prone to problems, but when one
is noisy, it will always be noisy.
The thing that tends to rule out transformers, dimmers, CFI, etc is
that he says the noise is intermittent and comes on about every 10-15
secs and lasts a sec. I've never seen any of these types of devices
do that. Dimmers for example are well known to create a hum, but it's
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