dangerous wiring?

Broker593October 19, 2011

I recently plugged a space heater in to my house, and i notice a buzzing noise coming from the floor boards a few feet from the outlet at which it is plugged in. Is there faulty wiring perhaps? Is this a fire risk?

What is the typical cause of this?

Added info: House was built in 1850, but with lots of renovations over the years. No knob and tube.

Thank you very much for any help you may have to offer!


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Buzzing or crackling?

Buzzing could be simply large load (like a cold space heater).

Crackling would indicate an arc from a defect in wiring or insulation.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 6:00PM
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I'm never a fan of space heaters for the obvious risks that they pose. However, "buzzing" generally means something moving, and I can't see how a wire could move enough to cause enough noise for you to hear.

I'd guess that there is something (a doorbell chime, a furnace air damper, bee's nest etc.) buried in the floor that is being affected by the current draw.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I think you need to somehow gain access to that area where the buzzing is occurring, and figure out what it is.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 6:09PM
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"However, "buzzing" generally means something moving..."

I have heard numerous folks describe an electric arc as a 'buzzing' noise.

Smaller arc welders are often referred to as 'buzz boxes.'

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:42AM
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