What is the sound of electricity? Have you ever heard an indistinct humming sound coming from an electrical appliance and you start wondering? Is it possible to hear electricity when it is flowing? Anyway, many people report that they can actually “hear” or “feel” electricity in devices when a small survey was carried out. Some said when the sound the TV is muted, the still hear that it’s on, some said the noticed an overhead florescent lights or high-voltage power lines emitting a faint buzz. Indeed they are people who are highly sensitive to these sounds.
You may not have paid attention to such thing before now, but if you listen closely, you will notice that humming electricity sounds are almost every around us especially where electricity is flowing. This phrase mains hum is even used when referring to incessant buzzing noise. While it is annoying to some people, others find it to be soothing, like white noise which comes from a fan.
What Does Electricity Sound Like in Household Appliances?
Why does electricity make noise? That hum sound we hear is a by-product of electricity. It is observed that varying magnetic fields occurs as the alternating current (AC) flows through an appliance or electrical panel, These magnetic fields created causes internal components of the transformer to vibrate. And because they are often at a frequency of 50 to 60 Hz, which is within the frequency range (20 to 20,000 Hz.) humans can hear. Generally, electrical appliances or devices that function at a high voltage will generate more audible sound, while low-voltage devices may only be heard by a select few.
It is also true that the “sounds of electricity” are more apparent at other times. Have you ever sat at the front of your television, watching intently your favorite show, only to have the sound from your TV interrupted by a burst of static? Sometimes heavy-duty appliances may interfere with your television when both are being used at the same time. Always ensure that your sensitive electronic devices are connected to functional surge protectors and power conditioners which can greatly reduce this phenomenon and keep your devices working properly.
High-Voltage Power Lines Noise or Buzzing
Corona discharge usually cause the typical noise that comes from overhead power lines, this happens when the air around the power line is ionized. The present of IEEE Power Engineering Society Robert Dent, explains:
“The audible noise emitted from high-voltage lines is as a result of the discharge of energy that occurs when the electrical field strength on the conductor surface is more than the ‘breakdown strength’ (the field intensity necessary to start a flow of electric current) of the air surrounding the conductor.”
Therefore, as stray electrical discharges move through the air surrounding the power lines, a hissing sound is produced. This happens more often at high voltage levels and during humid or wet weather when moisture in the air turns to increases conductivity. Though this sound may be unnerving, but it does not pose a hazard to nearby people so don’t be afraid when you hear it. But when should you be concern about electrical noise?
When Electrical Noise should concern you
when low, steady humming or buzzing is heard in household appliances or devices there is nothing to worry about it. But if the sounds you notice are louder than the usual, or you hear sizzling, crackling, or other unusual noises, there is a need to unplug the device immediately and have it inspected by an electrical professional near you before further using it. If your florescent lighting has started buzzing loudly or flickering, the ballast in the light may need to be replaced.
Always pay special attention to your consumer unit panel or circuit breaker panel. A quiet, steady hum that can only be noticed when you are in close proximity to it is normal, but when a loud buzzing, sizzling, or sparking sound is heard it likely means there’s a wire or circuit breaker that has partial contact or there is a damaged wire or circuit breaker in the panel. In this case, trying to resolve the problem yourself may be very risky if you don’t have knowledge about the electrical wiring system. Therefore, it is best you call a professional electrician near you to investigate the issue and fix the problem for you
When you notice Electrical Noise around you Seek Professional Help
It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to electricity and expensive electrical devices. Any damaged electrical wires or components in your home electrical wiring system can cause electrocution or fire, and attempting to fix faulty appliances on your own when you don’t have a fair knowledge about electricity and electronics may void your warranty in your electrical and electronics system. If you have any concerns regarding your electrical wiring, panels, or electrical devices, contact us for help.