+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Transformer buzz vibrating my walls to death.

    My wife and I bought this house in June. We had some electrical work done, some of which involved relocating where the lines came to the house. The work that was done is great except for one thing. The cold has been causing a hum in the transformer on the pole across the road which vibrates along the wires and into the pipe that holds them. It is louder than the heater, louder sometimes than the alarm radio even and it keeps us up late and wakes us in the middle of the night. Is there something I can do without calling the electrician back to mute this noise? Some insulation I can fill the pipe with or foam I can put around where it is mounted?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Transformer buzz vibrating my walls to death.

    Have you tried calling your power company? If the buzz is on the pole, it's their issue.
    It's this old house, not this built after your dad was born house.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,436

    Default Re: Transformer buzz vibrating my walls to death.

    That's right, report it to your power company.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,321

    Default Re: Transformer buzz vibrating my walls to death.

    If the transformer is buzzing, it may be because of an overload so the power company will want to know about it.

    On your side of things, the lines coming to your house are supported by the 'traveler' , or the bare ground, so the current-carrying wires are not strained. How and where it's attached will matter, and you may need to relocate where that force is being applied, or reinforce that part to dampen or eliminate wall vibrations which are amplifying it. Technically, the power company is responsible for the lines up to the output side of the meter, but they're not responsible for the parts which are carrying those lines. They may or may not want to do anything for you inre the noise but you can ask them anyway.

    Without being there to see I can offer no more than that save to say that this is not something I've heard of before, nor can I see how anyone could have anticipated it when changing the service entrance. I learn new things here on these forums all the time myself too!

    Phil

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Transformer buzz vibrating my walls to death.

    I don't have anything to add to the great answers so far. I too can't understand why a wire would transmit mechanical vibrations all the way across a street.

    I have seen many noisy street lights.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Transformer buzz vibrating my walls to death.

    Have you ever made a telephone out of two tin cans and a string?

    If the transformer is buzzing or vibrating at an audio rate, then it has to be replaced. There are regulations on the allowable noise level a transformer can make.

    But the hum may not be coming from the transformer and I suspect that it isn't. You didn't have the noise before the electrical work but you do now. I always suspect the last thing done when a problem shows up right after. You could have a bad connection on the buss bar in your distribution panel.

    I had this happen to me, turned out the main breaker was not making good contact with the buss bar and it eventually caught fire. The fire was limited to the main breaker and a couple breakers next to it so no structural damage. I replaced the buss bar and the affected circuit breakers and all has been quiet since.

    edit: one more thing, if the noise corresponds to local wind velocity, then the wires could be just too taunt. This would happen if the new location was a little further from the pole and the electrician just pulled the wires a little tighter instead of running new wires.
    Last edited by keith3267; 01-24-2014 at 12:48 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Transformer buzz vibrating my walls to death.

    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    Have you ever made a telephone out of two tin cans and a string?

    If the transformer is buzzing or vibrating at an audio rate, then it has to be replaced. There are regulations on the allowable noise level a transformer can make.

    But the hum may not be coming from the transformer and I suspect that it isn't. You didn't have the noise before the electrical work but you do now. I always suspect the last thing done when a problem shows up right after. You could have a bad connection on the buss bar in your distribution panel.

    I had this happen to me, turned out the main breaker was not making good contact with the buss bar and it eventually caught fire. The fire was limited to the main breaker and a couple breakers next to it so no structural damage. I replaced the buss bar and the affected circuit breakers and all has been quiet since.

    edit: one more thing, if the noise corresponds to local wind velocity, then the wires could be just too taunt. This would happen if the new location was a little further from the pole and the electrician just pulled the wires a little tighter instead of running new wires.
    Keith, yes I've done the string phone thing but it won't work with any ole string or can. So the size wire , length, mounting at each end etc. are all important.

    Some questions: 1) is the noise a steady 60 Hz hum or erratic noise like rock being thrown in a drum? 2) does the sound only occur during high winds or wet or dry weather? 3) does it happen only at certain times or electrical usage?

    Transformers do indeed come in low noise types which may or may not be the problem.

    It could be as simple as loose mounting hardware.
    http://www.ece.mtu.edu/faculty/bamor...DuganPanel.pdf

    Or a burned out power company (POCO) fuse on the three phase line. Which could create a serious transformer ferroresonance condition that the POCO would love to avoid.
    http://www.dstar.org/research/projec...erroresonance/


    In any event a call to the POCO is my recommendation, same as everybody else.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Transformer buzz vibrating my walls to death.

    A faulty core ground inside a transformer will make it hum very loudly. You'd hear it standing near the pole.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •