We can’t completely discount that the buzzing sound you hear coming from your wall is from supernatural or other-dimensional force. But in our long history as a Buffalo, NY electrician, we can say that most of the times we’ve received calls about buzzing coming from walls, it was an electrical problem—except the occasional wasps’ nest. We’re glad those customers called, because this buzzing sound can indicate serious electrical issues that need certified electricians to investigate and solve. (Sorry, we aren’t equipped for the wasps.)
Now you may not find the buzzing sound “scary,” but it’s irritating. Let’s look into what might be happening to cause it.
Bad outlet or switch
Try to pinpoint where in the wall you’re hearing the buzzing noise. If it seems to be coming from either an outlet or a light switch, then there are probably loose connections in them. The buzzing is not a normal sound. The wiring may come loose over time, and if you have older outlets (two-prong, non-grounded), this is likely what has happened.
There is a potential for electrical fires to break out because of loose wires, and this needs to be dealt with immediately. Turn off the circuit to the outlet and call for help. In most cases, the outlet or switch will need to be updated.
Poorly done wiring
Did you recently have some electrical work done by someone without licensing? (Please be honest with yourself.) If so, you’re hearing the errors made during the work. Something as simple as getting one wire crossed, reversing polarity, will create the buzzing sound—and an unsafe outlet. Call us to fix this. Our electricians always check on the work they do to ensure they don’t leave a house with any mistake like this.
Electrical panel trouble
The issue could be originating from the electrical panel, with loose wiring connections in the circuit breakers. We handle many electrical panel upgrades for older homes, so this is something we have seen often. If you hear buzzing in any of the rooms of the house, go to the electrical panel and listen to see if it is buzzing.
If it is, don’t open it or touch it. You need to call our electricians. If the electrical panel is more than 10 years old, we will probably advise replacing it. We definitely recommend replacing old fuse boxes or Federal Pacific electrical panels, which are faulty and dangerous.
Other, non-electrical causes
Yes, there are other sources for the buzzing that has nothing to do with the electrical system. You may have rattling coming from loose ductwork in the HVAC system. Ceiling fans sometimes make this noise, as do fluorescent lights.
The gas meter may need to be repaired. However, don’t take a chance when it comes to something that may be an electrical issue—and a hazardous one at that. Call our electricians to inspect your outlets and electrical panel. We’ll track down the source of the buzzing and if it’s an electrical issue, we’ll have it fixed.
Scherer Electric is Western New York’s Favorite Electrician. Call us for 24-hour service when you have an electrical repair emergency.