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Is your circuit breaker buzzing or making some weird noises? Electrical components in a home should generally function smoothly and quietly. Still, there may be the occasional noise.

Light buzzing sounds from your circuit breaker are normal, but clicking and humming noises are a sure sign of trouble. If there is an issue, the culprit is usually the circuit breaker. 

A circuit breaker is an electrical safety device designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage if overloaded. It functions similarly to a fuse box but trips instead of burning a filament, so it has no maintenance costs.

Finding the cause of the buzzing sound in a circuit breaker is vital so that you remain safe in your home and avoid any electrical hazards. Read on to learn more about these causes.

Circuit Breaker Buzzing Levels & What’s Causing Them

There are three buzzing levels.

Light Buzzing

Close-up of a circuit breaker with multiple color labels

If your circuit breaker appears to have a low hum, don’t worry. There is no cause for alarm. When energized, most electrical devices produce a light buzz, so the noise indicates the circuit breaker is working as it should.

Potential Cause

The circuit breaker’s slight hum comes from the flow of currents in the breaker box. 

What To Do

There’s no need for repairs. If you’re still unsure and want extra assurance, you may call an electrician to confirm. For your safety, only call licensed electricians to electrical components in your home.

When To Worry

The humming should be of concern if it gets louder or turns into clicking and other strange sounds.

Medium Volume Buzzing

An electrician working on a circuit breaker with multicolored wires pulled out from the panel

If the buzzing gets louder, do not ignore the sound. An expert should check the circuit breaker to evaluate the problem. 

Potential Cause

It may either indicate loose wires or an overloaded circuit in the panel.

What To Do

You should call an electrician to:

  • Assess the situation
  • Check the circuit capacity and confirm if it’s overloaded 
  • Find and repair or replace the loose or frayed wire

When To Worry

You should only worry if:

  • The noise you hear is louder than a slight hum
  • You notice any sparks
  • Your outlet timer is making a noise
  • You hear popping sounds from the panel


Any sound louder than a hum might be a problem and requires immediate action. You can never be too cautious about the electrical components in your home.

Loud, Constant Buzzing

An older circuit breaker with sparks and smoke coming from multiple switches

Loud, constant buzzing indicates a big problem with a higher risk of danger. 

Potential Cause

The loud, consistent buzzing may indicate:

  • Wear and tear of the circuit breaker causing it to overload and short circuit
  • Faulty or sub-standard panel

What To Do

At this point, call an electrician to replace the circuit breaker because it no longer works as it should. There is no other option.

When To Worry

Contact an electrician when you hear:

  • A loud and persistent circuit buzz
  • A sizzling noise 


A properly functioning circuit breaker should run nearly silently with a low hum. When left unresolved, loud and constant buzzing can lead to permanent electrical damage.

What happens is that the breaker won’t trip when there is current overloading, causing the wires to heat up. Eventually, this may lead to an electrical fire.

Once replaced, the licensed electrician should thoroughly inspect the circuit breaker with its connections and outlets. Failure to do so could damage the entire panel and the building’s electrical components.

Buzzing Circuit Breakers? We’re Happy to Help!

As you can see, circuit breakers are critical safety components in the electrical wiring of your home. Nobody can afford to ignore any issues with the device.

Whatever is causing your circuit breaker to buzz, the best step to take is to call a professional electrician to solve the problem. 

Doing the inspection yourself or getting an unlicensed technician to inspect the component puts you at risk of electrocution and exposes your house to the dangers of electrical fires.

Call the pros at U.S Electric today if you have any concerns about your circuit breakers. We have over 30 years of experience in the industry and guarantee all services.