Noise in House electrical ?


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.
Thanks,
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tc88 wrote:

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.
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I have also had trouble with light dimmers and fan controllers, which contain a triac. I think there are ones made that are "RF interference free," that contain filters.
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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.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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.
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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 problems.
tc88 wrote:

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imho:
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
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Do you have one of those electronic rodent or insect repellers? Or does one of your neighbors?
Al
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motion sensor lights can o this too
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I thought those where inaudiable to humans?
tom @ www.YourMoneyMakingIdeas.com
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Sure, but that doesn't mean they can't cause interference with radios...
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Tom The Great wrote:

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 elminate it.
yeah sure just TRY getting anyone to look into interference these days
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Not true.

Certain politicians cut the FCC's budget to the point where they don't have the personnel to enforce the regulations.
I wonder if the original poster lives anywhere near a radar site.
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tc88 wrote:

I have heard of compact fluorescent bulbs interfering with stuff, but don't understand how or why? Mostly with remote controls?
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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.
aem sends...
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tc88 wrote:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- . 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 ambulance radios!
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.
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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 do)
I am going to try the breaker shut off next.
Has anybody heard of a filter that could be placed
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Keep shutting things off momentarily, even the smoke alarms. Sooner or later you'll find it.
Another thought...... 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).
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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.

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Mike Ryan wrote:

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 continous.
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