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AI4IJ
06-14-2007, 12:46 PM
As I'm writing this, I'm sitting in front of my circuit breaker panel in the shack; and, every time my crossband repeat radio keys up at 100 watts on 6M, the panel buzzes. #I've also noticed the buzzing while transmitting through my Kenwood TL-922A amp; although, the buzzing is much louder.

I realize that the buzz is 60Hz AC; but, I just can't seem to wrap my mind around why a bunch of staked down electrical connections in a circuit breaker panel would EVER buzz. #What's causing it? #What is it, exactly, that is vibrating to cause the buzzing? #What would cause the vibration?

It's not like I've never heard breaker panels buzz, before. #It's that I've never really contemplated why they buzz. #Anyone know?

Thanks, and 73
Richard
AI4IJ

WD4CHP
06-14-2007, 01:05 PM
It sounds like the breaker is starting to break down. I would replace it before it starts a fire. Have a licensed electrician check it.

N0IU
06-14-2007, 01:14 PM
You know why it hums??

It doesn't know the words!! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

AI4IJ
06-14-2007, 01:24 PM
Quote[/b] (WD4CHP @ June 14 2007,06:05)]It sounds like the breaker is starting to break down. I would replace it before it starts a fire. Have a licensed electrician check it.
So, what's happening to cause the buzzing? How does a circuit breaker "break down?" I understand why they trip. I just don't understand why they would buzz or break down.

Thanks, and 73
Richard
AI4IJ

K4MSM
06-14-2007, 02:19 PM
This may be helpful. (http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/42333)

WD4CHP
06-14-2007, 03:20 PM
Thanks K4MSM

Could not have said it any better.

K7JEM
06-14-2007, 05:19 PM
Quote[/b] (ai4ij @ June 14 2007,06:24)]
Quote[/b] (WD4CHP @ June 14 2007,06:05)]It sounds like the breaker is starting to break down. I would replace it before it starts a fire. Have a licensed electrician check it.
So, what's happening to cause the buzzing? How does a circuit breaker "break down?" I understand why they trip. I just don't understand why they would buzz or break down.

Thanks, and 73
Richard
AI4IJ
What value breaker is it? Is it the one powering the equipment?

I have seen this occur on GFCI type breakers. I had one trip every time I would key my 2 watt 2M HT within about 10 feet of it.

If it is a GFCI type breaker, it is probably RF getting into the circuitry. A normal circuit breaker is pretty impervious to RF, but the GFCI are meant to trip on just a small amount of ground fault current, hence extreme sensitivity.

Check out the type, and let us know.

Joe

KL7AJ
06-14-2007, 05:38 PM
Sounds like a GFI breaker on the verge of tripping.

Might try some R.F. filtering on the lines into and out of that breaker

K2WH
06-14-2007, 08:31 PM
What is not addressed here or in the posted link, the buzzing sound is very likely from the "Instantaneous" function of the circuit breaker.

All household breakers have (2) methods of tripping. #Long time delay and Instantaneous. #Unlike Long time delay which is for such things as a motor or appliance that is jammed and pulling too much current over a period of time, instantaneous is a secondary function of the breaker in case of a high level short circuit. #The short circuit setting is much higher than the 15 or 20 amp setting. #Typically 10 to 15 times the normal rating up to 200 amps.

This function is provided by a solenoid in the breaker that has its coil is in series with the load. #At a certain level of current, the solenoid fires tripping the breaker without any delay. #This solenoid could be and probably is the culprit that is making the buzzing sound.

Bottom line, replace the breaker.

K2WH (Engineer and Circuit Breaker Specialist)

KA0GKT
06-14-2007, 11:11 PM
Quote[/b] (K2WH @ June 14 2007,13:31)]What is not addressed here or in the posted link, the buzzing sound is very likely from the "Instantaneous" function of the circuit breaker.

All household breakers have (2) methods of tripping. #Long time delay and Instantaneous. #Unlike Long time delay which is for such things as a motor or appliance that is jammed and pulling too much current over a period of time, instantaneous is a secondary function of the breaker in case of a high level short circuit. #The short circuit setting is much higher than the 15 or 20 amp setting. #Typically 10 to 15 times the normal rating up to 200 amps.

This function is provided by a solenoid in the breaker that has its coil is in series with the load. #At a certain level of current, the solenoid fires tripping the breaker without any delay. #This solenoid could be and probably is the culprit that is making the buzzing sound.

Bottom line, replace the breaker.

K2WH (Engineer and Circuit Breaker Specialist)
Get a clamp-on ammeter or an amp-clamp for your meter (I have a Fluke i410 which works both AC and DC). Check how much you're drawing on that breaker. There is a good chance that you're pushing the limits on that breaker, and that is the reason why it is buzzing. I have seen the main breaker in a box buzz because the total draw through the other circuit breakers, although not sufficient to trip an individual breaker, combined was pulling enough to almost trip the main. You may need to shed load.

73 DE KAGKT/7

--Steve

WA9SVD
06-16-2007, 02:39 AM
Regardless of what's happening, it points to a potential fire hazard. Either you have a faulty breaker that's near the edge, but doesn't want to trip (is it stuck, or just AT the edge?) or you have a circuit that's pushing the breaker near the edge. Neither is a safe situation, and requires a breaker replacement. If you ae not experienced, call an electrician to do the job. Neither your becoming a SK nor your experiencing a fire is what we would want to hear in this forum. Don't wait.

KA4DPO
06-16-2007, 03:22 AM
Quote[/b] (wa9svd @ June 15 2007,21:39)]Regardless of what's happening, it points to a potential fire hazard. #Either you have a faulty breaker that's near the edge, but doesn't want to trip (is it stuck, or just AT the edge?) or you have a circuit that's pushing the breaker near the edge. #Neither is a safe situation, and requires a breaker replacement. #If you ae not experienced, call an electrician to do the job. #Neither your becoming a SK nor your experiencing a fire is what we would want to hear in this forum. #Don't wait.
This is good advice as I nearly had a fire due to a faulty circuit breaker.

I noticed a humming sound when I transmitted on 15 meters but I ignored it. #After a couple of days the humming got a little louder then there was a very loud pop and the unmistakable hissing sound of arcing coming from the breaker box. #As I made my way towards it flames shot out of the lower corner of the box. #At that moment the main 150 Amp breaker tripped.

After I cleaned up I called an electrician since I didn't feel comfortable trying to replace (yes it had to be replaced) the circuit breaker box. #After the box was replaced and all new circuit breakers were installed I had no more problems. #I never did find out why RF effected the breakers the way it did but if I ever hear that sound again I won't transmit untill it's fixed.

K7MH
06-16-2007, 03:57 AM
I have in the past, had a buzz or hum from a breaker panel due to a slightly loose wire connection. It may have been one of the main leads. It was quite a while ago so I do not remember the specifics. I believe it was the higher voltage that caused the wire to basically vibrate. At any rate it should be looked at!!!

WA9SVD
06-16-2007, 06:04 AM
Quote[/b] (KA4DPO @ June 15 2007,20:22)]
Quote[/b] (wa9svd @ June 15 2007,21:39)]Regardless of what's happening, it points to a potential fire hazard. Either you have a faulty breaker that's near the edge, but doesn't want to trip (is it stuck, or just AT the edge?) or you have a circuit that's pushing the breaker near the edge. Neither is a safe situation, and requires a breaker replacement. If you ae not experienced, call an electrician to do the job. Neither your becoming a SK nor your experiencing a fire is what we would want to hear in this forum. Don't wait.
This is good advice as I nearly had a fire due to a faulty circuit breaker.

I noticed a humming sound when I transmitted on 15 meters but I ignored it. After a couple of days the humming got a little louder then there was a very loud pop and the unmistakable hissing sound of arcing coming from the breaker box. As I made my way towards it flames shot out of the lower corner of the box. At that moment the main 150 Amp breaker tripped.

After I cleaned up I called an electrician since I didn't feel comfortable trying to replace (yes it had to be replaced) the circuit breaker box. After the box was replaced and all new circuit breakers were installed I had no more problems. I never did find out why RF effected the breakers the way it did but if I ever hear that sound again I won't transmit untill it's fixed.
RF was coincidental, or merely incidental to your problem; it most likely wasn't the actual cause of the breaker failure. Either your were taxing the circuit to the very edge of it's capability, or there WAS an electromechanical defect in the braeker, but regardless of the cause, the outcome was the same. In any event, "humming" from a breaker or breaker box is a sign of immediate and serious danger, and not something to be ignored.

AI4IJ
06-16-2007, 01:09 PM
Thanks, guys!

I'll take care of it right away!

73
Richard
AI4IJ

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