Buzz Noise from Breaker

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by RiverdaleWG, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. RiverdaleWG

    RiverdaleWG New Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Sometimes when by dryer turns on, I hear a short "buzz" from the breaker panel. It has been doing this for several years. It has never tripped the breaker nor has there been any trouble.

    It may sounds like a stupid question, but is this a problem ?
  2. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Apr 2, 2008
    This can happen if the amperage used on the circuit approaches that of the circuit breaker. (Electric motors use more electricity to start up.)

    What is the amperage listed on the label of the dryer.
    What else does it say on the label?

    What amperage is listed on the circuit breaker?

    If you have the instructions for the dryer, what amperage and type of circuit does it say to use for this dryer? (Does it say "time delay fuse/breaker"?)
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  4. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    You need to look at this or have it looked at.

    It could be as simple as a bad breaker. It could be an issue with the dryer drawing too many amps.

    Check amperage, replace breaker, check connections/terminals at recep and pigtail.
  5. Lee Tanner

    Lee Tanner New Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    Are you getting good flow out of your duct? Check outside to make sure your getting strong air flow. It may not be the problem but it won't hurt to check these are easly stoped up.
  6. drick

    drick In the Trades

    May 16, 2008
    My heat pump breaker has done this from day one. It has never tripped. The heat pump seems to start up with no problems. It is the correct breaker size determined from the nameplate of the heat pump.

    Breakers are a alternating current magnetic device similar to an electronic door lock/release and will make a similar noise when energized. If you continued to draw power at the startup current your breaker would most likely trip, but since it is just at startup I would say its not a problem. BTW is it a Cutler Hammer panel???

  7. codeone

    codeone Code Enforcement

    Sep 5, 2008
    Code Enforcement, Instructor
    North Carolina
    Check you MOCP rating on your A/C your electrician could have installed a breaker than the one allowed. If so you could install a breaker up to the max overcurrent rating with no problem also you need to check if the breaker is hvac rated. could be the causes.
  8. BrianJohn

    BrianJohn DIY Senior Member

    Jun 22, 2007
    GOOD ADVICE in addition the poster should know that molded case circuit breakers trip between 6 to 10 times their rating. A 30 amp CB can trip on instantaneous current at 180-300 amps. A motor load starting current can approach this level and the CB (as noted by others) may be close to tripping this could be ok or not.

    Typically buzzing occurs in the long time portion of the CB trip curve that is a 30 amp CB may trip at overload above 30 amps 20-60 seconds at 300% of the rated current at this level of current it is not uncommon for buzzing to occur.

    Mechanical issues such as belt tension can result in motors drawing higher current.

    Short answer

    Check CB or replace as they are cheap
    If the noise is still present check for mechanical issues.
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