The circuit breaker is not supposed to make noise.
It might have a gentle hum, but anything noticeable will have to be checked. There is no reason for a circuit breaker to start buzzing under load.
If a circuit breaker is buzzing under load, the most common reason is an unseated magnet within the panel. This can happen when a breaker is tipped and doesn’t reset correctly. To fix the issue, turn off the power, toggle the tabs, and re-test it. If the breaker doesn’t work or buzzes, it’s time to replace it.
The main reason this has to be replaced comes down to foreshadowing.
The breaker box is likely on its last legs and reseating the magnet is difficult. You can try to tap on the breaker to get the magnet to go back into place but it is likely not going to work.
Due to this, the average property owner would rather prefer replacing a circuit breaker that’s buzzing under load.
This article will explain what to do with a circuit breaker that’s buzzing under load.
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How To Fix Circuit Breaker Buzzing Under Load
1. Turn Off The Power
Circuit breakers that make a lot of noise will be indicating underlying damage.
With a new breaker, this can be a serious concern as the installation might be incorrect. This can become a fire hazard depending on what’s wrong with the installation.
However, if it is an aged circuit breaker, this means it has to be replaced. The unseated magnet is a common occurrence when the circuit breaker begins to show signs of aging.
Just turn off the power and see what can be done to fix it.
You might have the chance to pursue a short-term solution until you replace the circuit breaker.
Don’t attempt to repair or replace the circuit breaker without turning off the power. This is a must.
2. Toggle The Tabs Back & Forth
You are now going to attempt to toggle the tabs back and forth.
The reason for doing this is to see whether or not something got unseated during the resetting phase after a breaker tripped.
You might assume everything is good to go, but sometimes the tabs are not fully to one side.
This is why toggling them back and forth is a good test.
It might not fix the issue, but it’s still something to look into first. This is a simple fix and one that is only going to take a few seconds to implement.
3. Re-Check The Electrical Panel
Now you are going to re-check the electrical panel.
The goal here is to make sure the circuit breaker is not buzzing under load any longer. This can only be tested if the electrical panel has power running through it, which means the power has to be turned on first.
Once the power is on, go ahead and add load to the circuit.
This will let you see if it buzzes or not.
If the circuit breaker is still buzzing, this means it is damaged from the inside and has to be replaced. Any other solution is going to pose a risk to your well-being and can start up a fire.
4. Replace If Buzzing Continues
If the buzzing is still there, look for an alternative circuit breaker.
You will want to take out the old one and replace it with the newer part. This will ensure everything resets and the magnet remains seated inside.
This is a must if you want to stay safe and ensure the circuit breaker works as designed.
5. Reduce The Load Moving Forward
You will have to cut the load when moving forward.
This is a common mistake that’s made by property owners. Don’t assume a circuit breaker can continue to handle the same load all the time.
You will have to focus on overloading as a potential issue too.
Start taking devices off of the circuit. This will help cut down the load that is put on the circuit and let it function properly.
Why is the circuit breaker buzzing under load?
If a circuit breaker is buzzing under load, this means the magnet has become unseated. It’s a common concern with aging circuit breakers. To fix the issue, turn off the power, toggle the tabs on/off, and re-test the circuit. If it’s still buzzing, this means the circuit breaker is on its last legs and has to be replaced.
Don’t attempt to keep using the circuit breaker in its current condition. It’s a symptom of a much bigger issue that has to be corrected before the load is increased.
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