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Why Is My Outlet Buzzing?

Electrical Outlets And Covers

There’s a Good Reason to Be Afraid of a Buzzing Outlet

Have you ever heard a buzzing sound coming from an outlet in your home? Is your outlet buzzing or making a noise it didn’t before? If so, it could be a sign of an electrical issue. This buzzing sound can occur for various reasons. As long-time electricians in Minnesota, we’ve seen it all.  In this article, we’ll discuss multiple causes of a buzzing outlet.

Regardless of what the underlying issue is, a buzzing outlet is likely going to be the result of a problem with an electrical function. If your Minnesota home’s outlets aren’t working properly, they put you, your family, and your home at risk of fires, electric shock, and other dangerous situations. Do not ignore a buzzing outlet. Do not be afraid to call a professional.

Reasons Your Outlet is Buzzing

An outlet can make a buzzing sound for several reasons, all of which could indicate a potential electrical and safety issue. Here are the reasons your outlet may be buzzing:

Loose Connections

If you hear a buzzing noise, it might be due to a loose wire or screw somewhere inside the outlet. When the connection is not secure, the electricity can create a slight arc, which produces a buzzing sound. Loose connections can cause overheating and pose a fire risk.

Failing Components

Another possible cause is the deterioration of internal components of the outlet, such as springs that hold the plug securely in place. If a plug is used consistently over the years, it will see some wear and tear. Over time, these components can wear out, causing the plug to sit loosely and vibrate, producing a buzzing sound. 

Overloaded Circuit

The outlet may be overloaded and needs attention from a qualified electrician. Overloaded circuits can cause a variety of problems, including sparking, burning odors, and even fire hazard. Too many devices connected to the circuit can cause the outlet to struggle under the load. If a circuit cannot meet the demand, it can cause a buzzing sound or trip your circuit breaker.

Improper Wiring

Incorrectly wired outlets might create a humming or buzzing sound due to electrical arcing or connections heating up. In some situations, if an outlet is damaged or old, the wiring connections in these outlets may begin to come loose, resulting in the outlet vibrating and making a buzzing sound. This problem is much more common in older homes where the outlets have been used for many years and often haven’t been repaired or replaced as time has passed.

Damaged Appliances

The buzzing sound you hear sometimes might not be because of the outlet, and it could actually be a malfunction within one of the appliances plugged into it. For example, the appliance may have a damaged power cord or an internal electrical problem that produces a buzzing sound.  Examples of devices that may have this issue include a fridge, freezer, television, or microwave.

Time To Upgrade Old Outlets

Your outlets may be outdated and make a buzzing noise. Most outlets should last up to 25 years, but some can fail in as little as a few years after installation. Signs of failure besides buzzing may be tripping, discoloration, or cracks on the outlet. It may be time to upgrade if your home has mainly two-prong outlets. Three-prong outlets are safer since they come with a grounding wire, unlike two-prong ones which don’t have one.  However, you can’t switch them out for three-prong outlets and wire them to the same wires because you will need grounding.

Buzzing Outlets are Not DIY Projects

Electrical issues in your home can be dangerous and you should not take them lightly. If you live in Minnesota and have any kind of electrical problem, it is important to contact a professional electrician who can diagnose the issue and provide a safe solution. Trying to fix any electrical issue yourself may lead to more serious problems or even cause an accident.

If you have any issues with your electrical outlets, don’t try to fix the problem alone. If you encounter any buzzing sound from an outlet, it is essential to consult with a Minnesota licensed electrician to assess and resolve the issue to mitigate the risk of potential electrical hazards or damages. Call the experienced electricians at Accredited Electric of the Twin Cities to handle the electrical problem. We can get those repairs done for you quickly and safely, so you can be sure your issue is resolved, and your home or business is secure. Contact us to get a certified electrician in your area to help you!