Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Subject: brief buzz as AC kicks on

Name: Tim Moore

Question: Hi Bill,

I have read several posts here about breakers that buzz briefly once the AC unit kicks on. Mine is doing the same. My home is about 12 years old. The breaker has no signs of arching. I replace it anyway and cleaned the connector bars. I still get a 1 to 2 second buzz with a corresponding dimming all the lights in the house (for the same duration). When I touch the AC breaker and one other (with a different hand), the AC breaker does have a slight vibration for the 1 – 2 seconds. I get the sense (after reading other posts here) that I could easily spend several hundred dollars going through a series of electricians telling me that they can’t figure out how to make it stop. Is this something about which I should be concerned?

Answer: Hi Tim,
You problem could be a power factor problem.

Not all the electricity delivered to everyone's home is in the correct form when your appliances call for it. That buzzing could be wasted power. The link above is for a power factor corrector. This is a device with a compactor that store wasted electricity and delivers it when motor driven appliance like your AC call for it. It could stop that buzzing and it will reduce your electric bill.

Bill Lutz
Generation 3 Electric, Inc.
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