LED under-cabinet lights causing panel buzzing?

Jacki_123March 7, 2013

My DH installed MaxLite under-cabinet LED strips (from Environmental Lights) with a Lutron dimmer (BTW: the lights are great!). But, when they're turned on, I notice a buzzing sound at the panel box. Buzzing happens when they're on full strength and when they're dimmed. Is this buzzing indicating there's a problem or is it OK?

Thanks for your help!!

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randy427

Try cycling the breaker off and on, once, to see if that silences it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:25AM
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Jacki_123

Well, Randy, you're a genius! Turning the breaker off and on seems to have eliminated the buzzing! Does that mean the "problem" is solved or does it tell you that we have a serious problem that needs to be fixed?

Thanks,
Worry-Wort

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 10:51AM
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randy427

If turning the breaker off still de-energizes the circuit, as I believe it will, problem solved.
One exception - if it's an old Stab-Lok panel and breaker, they are known to be unreliable and the cause of some house fires.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Jacki_123

Uh-oh. Our panel box is a Stab-Lok. YIKES!

From your post, I'm guessing your ultimate recommendation would be to replace the panel box. But, is there something we should do right now? (Right after we make sure our fire insurance is up-to-date?! Aghh!!!)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 8:44AM
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randy427

There are still many Federal Pacific Stab-Loks that haven't been a problem, and I don't believe there has been a recall, but their pre-1990 equipment has had a number of failures with 'dramatic' results. A Google search will turn up a number of hits on the topic.

I'd make sure that, for each breaker, turning it off does indeed deenergize that circuit. Taking the cover off of the panel, if you are comfortable doing so, look for visible signs of something 'wrong' that indicates excessive heat or deterioration, i.e melted insulation or plastic.
I'd then start getting bids and budgeting for an electrician to replace the panel. JMHO

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Jacki_123

Randy, thank you so much for your help! Thankfully, we don't see any signs of melting or excessive heat. Will start making phone calls to electricians soon! Thanks, again!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 8:29AM
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brickeyee

The very old stuff is usually fine.

Quality declined and problems started occurring.

i do not remember the associated dates, and the parts have gotten expensive enough to replace the panels proactively.

Most new panels will use less expensive breakers tan trying to find a StabLock anymore.

A lot of the problems started as two pole breakers failing to trip mutually (as required).

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 5:56PM
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