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Intermittent Buzzing Sound in the Wall: 7 Reasons & Solutions

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

It’s normal to panic when you hear unusual sounds you’ve never heard before. Even I got worried when I heard the buzzing sound myself. But you must investigate the root reasons for the problem. Otherwise, you may wind up putting yourself at risk.

Why exactly do you hear an intermittent buzzing sound in the wall? 

The first reason is faulty electrical wiring or screws holding the wires to the outlet are loose. The gas or electric meter misplacement also creates a buzzing sound. Sometimes a half-opened air vent on the wall or ceiling fan may be buzzing too. If none of the above is the issue, bees or wasps dwelling might be the reason.

You’ll need to learn more to fix the buzzing sound. That’s why I’ve broken down each cause and its solution. 

Check out my piece to know more!

Why Do You Hear An Intermittent Buzzing Sound In The Wall

Buzzing in the wall might be pretty severe. You shouldn’t take this lightly. Because it can result in a dangerous electrical issue. 

I’ve listed some common causes along with their solutions from my previous experience. Take a look-

Cause 1: Faulty Electrical Wiring

Your circuit breaker might look ok or hasn’t tripped doesn’t mean your wiring is fine. A buzzing sound is a sign of old or faulty wiring. 

Suppose your lights buzz or make a buzzing sound when you turn them on. Or they flicker or dim when you use several appliances. It’s a sign that your home’s wiring needs to upgrade.

Solution

Damaged electrical wiring will not perform as intended. But you can fix that shattered electric wire. 

Just turn off the device’s power. Disconnect the cables afterward and strip the excess wire until the right amount is revealed.

The wires should then reconnect to their screw termination or wire nut. 

This is a must for safety, whether via a breaker box or a battery.

To prevent bad scenarios, you must choose the correct one, such as the neutral wire.

Cause 2: Wires to The Outlet or Switch May Be Loose

The plugs that retain the outlet’s wire grow free with time, resulting in a loose connection. 

You might reside in an older home and believe you have a loose connection. In that scenario, the outlet will need to be replaced. 

Contact points that have been damaged are the most common cause of open outlets. These develop over time. 

Heat and sparks from faulty wiring, on the other hand, might cause harm.

Solution

Turn off the outlet’s electricity. Use the circuit breaker for that room on your electric panel. Check the outlet.

Before you begin, insert your wire tester. Make sure the power turns off. 

Disconnect the outlet. Remove the outlet cover as well as the outlet screws. 

Remove the outlet from the box and hang it from the ceiling. Add shims to the outlets. 

Shim the outlet screws with outlet shims. Any gaps between the screws and the recessed box will be filled with these shims. 

Depending on how far back your box is, you may require more than one shim per screw. Tighten the screws and replace the outlet in the housing box. Add more shims if it still feels loose. 

Replace the outlet cover, turn on the power, and enjoy your new, safe outlet.

Cause 3: Gas Or Electric Meter is Outside The Buzzing Wall

The minimum distance between your electric outlet and gas line should be maintained. 

Otherwise, gas and electricity are highly flammable and must be treated cautiously. Any mishap involving them may be disastrous.

Solution

A defective gas meter can cause severe damage to your system. Only if it is not maintained correctly.

As a result, the distance between these two must be considered. This way your electric circuits are well-settled and well protected. 

You must keep a minimum length of at least 150mm between them. 

These standards apply to electric control, switchboards, sockets, and consumer appliances.

Cause 4: Half-Opened Air Vent On The Wall 

Your air conditioner might not be getting enough airflow through the return vents and ductwork. A high-pitched whistling or buzzing sound usually indicates that. 

A motor in need of lubrication will make a buzzing sound at first. But if you keep running it without resolving the problem, it will become a loud grinding noise. 

When a contactor in your air conditioner fails, it produces humming noises. Because the air conditioner receives power but cannot switch on. 

It could quickly become a loud buzzing sound if you ignore the problem. If the fin coils become bent, they may make humming noises.

Solution

It’s not unusual to hear a buzzing sound coming from an AC motor.

If you’ve done it before, you can lubricate the motor yourself. But it’s best to leave it to the specialists.  

You can remedy this problem by straightening the bent coil fins using a metal comb. Your fin coils will stay in the optimum form if you maintain your HVAC system regularly.

Cause 5: Ceiling Fan Buzzing Sound

When dimmer controls are used to control fan speed, you’ll have a buzzing ceiling fan. This happens because it’s not the right approach to set fan speed. Or this could be due the ceiling fan-tripped breaker.

Solution

You can remedy this by applying oil to your motor’s bearings. That should help lubricate it and give it a pleasant, smooth sound. 

Your ceiling fan blades may be out of balance at other times. 

You might want to try balancing them. Tighten them up as well to see if that’s the problem.

Cause 6: Fluorescent Bulbs Buzzing Sound

A ballast is required for the operation of all fluorescent lights. 

To some extent, both magnetic and electrical fluorescent ballasts emit a slight humming noise. A loose magnetic ballast can cause a ballast buzzing.

Buzzing can be caused by another reason. That’s by the defective connection between the ballast and the mounting plate. This is at the top of the bulb’s base.

Solution

Make sure the ballast mounting screws are secure. 

Your solution is to replace the magnetic ballast. Do it with an electronic ballast that runs at a constant frequency of 20,000 to 40,000 hertz.

Ballasts can wear over time. That’s why the ballast may need to be replaced if the hum is louder than typical. 

If you decide to return a magnetic ballast, opt for an electronic version.

Cause 7: Bees or Wasps Nest Inside The Wall

It’s shocking how common it is to have a bee or wasp nest in your home’s walls. 

This happens if your home’s wall cavities are dry, warm, and predator-free. This situation makes the wall cavities an excellent spot for bees and wasps to make a nest.

These bees or wasps make a buzzing sound. You might confuse this sound with an electrical hazard if you aren’t aware of it.

Solution

Finding a perfect solution is nearly impossible. Because bees and wasps will always infiltrate through cracks in the roofing material. 

But you can try using repellent to get rid of them. Here are the ones I’ve used before-

Product 1
Product 2

After they are gone, try taking some preventive methods. 

Regular roof void checks for bees and wasps is the first step to take. Because this will allow you to identify their nests and remove them before they become too large. 

Wasps will not develop nests on surfaces if pesticides apply regularly. 

A pest control treatment with a long-lasting surface insecticide is another good prevention. This will prevent wasps from constructing nests in the first place. 

Ensure that the treatment takes place in the early spring. Because during that time the queen wasps are looking for a place to build a nest. 

Any gaps surrounding windows and doors, as well as holes in the mortar, should be filled. Weep holes can easily protect holes with stainless steel. This will keep bees and wasps out.

FAQs

Question: What does electrical buzzing sound like?

Answer: The buzzing sound produced by an electrical device is known as mains hum. An alternating current at the frequency of the mains causes this.

Question: What to do if a faulty wire gets detected? 

Answer: Turn off the device’s power as soon as possible. If you think you do not understand the situation, consult a professional.

Question: What does a buzzing outlet mean?

Answer: Loose wires within the connections are the most common source of a humming or buzzing sound originating from an outlet. Inside your outlet, the wires may become loose, causing them to vibrate and generate a buzzing sound.

Bottom Line

That was all we knew about the intermittent buzzing sound in the wall. We hope this clarifies the situation for you.

If the problem remains after troubleshooting, seek professional help.

Best of luck in solving the problem!