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1) Does the garage have a single 120 volt circuit controlled by (1) one breaker or is the garage fed by a sub-panel with multiple circuit beakers?
2) What electrical loads do you have in the garage? Just basic receptacles and lighting? Anything else?
3) Where do you hear the noise originating from? At or nearby your main electrical panel?
4) Are there any smoke and/or carbon monoxide alarms wired to the breaker?
1. The garage has one breaker as far as I can tell.
2. There are two outside lights, one receptacle and a garage door opener.
3. The noise is coming from the main electrical panel. It didn't last -- just one beep when I turned the breaker off. Then I turned it back on, but no noise then.
There are no alarms of either type wired to the breaker.
1) Is this breaker dedicated strictly to the detached garage or is it possibly also shared within the house?
2) Have you turned the breaker ON/OFF a few times? Does the noise still remain or has it stopped?
3) Any chance that you have a 2-prong AC voltage tester or an AC voltmeter handy?
4) Do you have any recent GFCI receptacles that were installed?
1. The breaker is just for the garage except for a timer switch inside the house that controls the garage outside lights.
2. I only turned the breaker on/off once. The noise stopped only lasted a second when I turned the breaker off, then stopped. It did not repeat when I turned the breaker back on.
3. I don't have a voltage tester.
4. No new GFCI receptacles have recently been installed.
1) Thank you for the replies
2) Circuit breakers do not emit any beeping sound when either turned ON or OFF. Smokes and Carbons will emit a noise upon powering back up, thus the reason I asked that question. It is possible that the noise you heard was an electrical arc.
3) Check inside the garage if you have any GFCI receptacles that have possibly tripped or if the breaker on the panel for the garage is a GFCI breaker? A GFCI breaker or GFCI receptacle will have a TEST and a RE-SET button.
4) If the garage is still without power, you will need a 2 -prong AC voltage tester or an AC voltmeter to troubleshoot the problem. I assume the garage is still without power?
5) If any recent electrical work has been performed, we will need to check those areas as well.
1. You're welcome.
2. If the noise was an electrical arc, is this dangerous? Could it cause a fire?
3. I checked for GFCI receptacles and the only ones I found are in the bathroom and kitchen- none in the garage.
4. Yes, the garage is still without power and I still don't have a voltage tester.
My main concern is that whatever is wrong could cause a fire.
1) Yes, if you possibly have a loose wire connection either inside the main electrical panel or a nearby splice box that feeds the garage and a hot wire shorts out, then an audible arc is usually heard. The sound of an arc is really more of a very quick popping noise and not really a beeping sound. If an arc was present within the main panel or any branch circuit junction box, wall switch or receptacle boxes, yes, this presents a possible safety fire hazard and it should be checked ASAP. Another possibility if the noise was an electrical arc is the circuit breaker contact may have become loose and not making proper contact with the hot bus bar or possibly a loose hot wire connection at the breaker. If an arc, usually you will see some of the insulation on the electrical wires or devices may have become burnt. As you can see, there are many possibilities that can cause an electrical arcing effect.
2) In the interim, I would recommend to leave that circuit breaker in the OFF position until the entire circuit can be checked.
3) If you feel comfortable in doing some electrical troubleshooting and can have access to a 2-prong (contact type) of voltage tester or an AC voltmeter, I can walk you thru the process. Otherwise, I would recommend that a licensed electrician look into the problem.
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