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Marty
Marty, professional remodeler
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 122
Experience:  30 years of home remodeling
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household noise

Customer Question

I have a high-pithced noise coming from what seems like the kitchen ceiling in my home. It never stopps. We have tried turning off all the electricity one circut at a time. Even with no electricity tio the house, the noise doesn't stop. Any ideas? We have recessed lights around where the noise seems to be coming from, but have taken the fixture out, and apart, and it hasn't stopped. Please help?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Lindie replied 11 years ago.

The only thing that pops into my mind on this. Do you have an attic fan of any kind? Suggestion, you say it sounds like it is coming from the kitchen lights. Is there any way you can get into the attic to see what is going on up there in that area?

Expert:  Andy Lambert replied 11 years ago.

I am not sure but did you say you turned off all the power from the main and you still get the noise or just one circuit at a time? You should turn the main breaker off and see if the buzzing stops. If you turn off the main and you are still getting noise you can be pretty confident that it's not the electricity.


Did you check for carpenter bees? They make a noise such as you describe. They nest between walls normally but in your case (if you have them) they may be in your attic or in the space between your ceiling and attic floor (if there is one). I have seen them under the insulation. If you can get into the attic check for hornets or bees. Be carefull when you investigate as hornets will chase you and sting. Carpenter bees (look like fat bumble bees) can be aggressive but will turn away rather than attack. One long shot: Do you live under high tension power lines? They buzz too.


Hope I helped :)

Expert:  Marty replied 11 years ago.
If you are using a "halogen" bulb in the recessed fixture, this
could be the problem. Halogen bulbs have a tendency to "whine". This is
caused by the vibraton of the filament in the bulb. Normally, you do
not hear it because of "background noise (ie cars, kids, tv,etc) but if
it's quiet or you listen hard, you can hear it. There is no solution
other than to change the bulb.

If you are using a flourescent bulb, this too can hum, because in the
base of a flourescent bulb is a little "ballast"... a type of
transformer.

Try putting a regular bulb in and see if this "does the trick"

If it does, you can get then buy an indoor flood (NOT HALOGEN) of the proper size and wattage.

Also, if you have a dimmer in the vicinity, this can also "hum"

Turn it up "full" and see if it lessens the noise, then turn it down
"low" and see if the noise increases. If it does, you may want to
replace the switch with a dimmer that is "RF"(radio frequency) rated.

I know you said you turned off power, but it also sounds like you think it is coming from the light(s)

Try the above steps and see if solves your problem.. if not, please return to this site so we can explore other possibilities

 









Expert:  Joseph Barcus replied 11 years ago.
I agree with Andy. turn off main breaker tp the whole house than see if you still hear it. if it goes away than of course its electrical. ballast will make a noice like that when they are getting ready to quit. also I had a fan on a refig one time make a noice like that it sounded like it was coming from somewhere else in the room. again turn that main breaker off. but oh no there goes that 12:00 flash all over the place. I hate re-setting all those clocks lol
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Lindie's Post: wE DO NOT HAVE AN ATTIC, AND THUS NO FAN. wE HAVE A CAPE, 2 ROOMS UPSTAIRS WITH A CRAWL CPACE(NOT OVER THE NOISE. tHANKS ANYWAY.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joseph Barcus's Post: tHANKS, XXXXX XXXXX THE FRIDGE, AND UNPLUGGED IT, THE NOISE WAS STILL THERE. tHANKS FOR ANSWERING.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Andy Lambert's Post: wE DID TURN OFF THE MAIN BREAKER, QUITE A FEW TIMES, NO CHANGE IN THE NOISE. hOW WOULD i CHECK FOR BEES? NO VISIBLE SIGNS. wE HAVE A SPACE ON THE SECOND FLOOR FOR STORING, YOU KNOW, THE EVES, AND i AM IN IT OFTEN, PUTTING AWAY CLOTHS, i HAVE SEEN NO BEES. tHERE ARE NO BEES IN THE HOUSE.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Marty's Post: wE ARE USING FLOOD HALOGEN LIGHTS. HAVE TAKEN ALL THE LIGHT BULBS OUT OF THE FIXTURES, AND THE NOISE REMAINS.
Expert:  Joseph Barcus replied 11 years ago.
ok this may seem a little far fetched, maybe just maybe the city is working on the sewer lines, water lines, and so on. and using pumps or what ever and for some reason it has found a way into your home. again a little far fetched, call the city and ask if they are doing any work close to your home. has to be a reason for the noice, and it seems that electric has been rulled out,
Expert:  Andy Lambert replied 11 years ago.
The bees nest in the wall cavities between the outside siding and the inside walls, so you wouldn't see them. The best way to check for them is outside the house. Check for holes at the eaves/jetts/soffits/siding on the outside and/or look for wood shavings on the ground around the perimeter of the house where the sound appears to be coming from. I don't think you have them though judging from your response. At this time, I am as baffled as you are but I will keep the thinking cap on.
Expert:  Lindie replied 11 years ago.

Since we all know it's not the electrical nor your lights. If the noise is a bother (which I'm sure it is) one of 2 choices I would guess. 1) Call pest control to rule out any type of bugs.. 2) Could even call a home inspector in and let them check it all out. Not sure where you live. But here in FL they usually run around 100.00



Good luck in your venture.

Expert:  Marty replied 11 years ago.



O-K..... It seems we have ruled out anything electrical.

Next stop.... PLUMBING!

Check for noise at the toilet(s). I have seen (or more correctly,
heard) toilets that will "whine" when the "fill valve" has a bad seal.

What happens is that the valve does not shut off completely and remains
'open' just a bit. As the water runs through the valve, the rubber seal
vibrates causing a "whine". To test, remove the tank cover and lift up
on the "float" It will usually be either a ball on a rod, or a cylinder
on a tower (it is usually obvious). You can also turn the water off to
the toilet, but I would still lift the float in case the shut off isn't
working properly.

If this is the fill valve is the problem it is fairly easy to replace.

DIY would be about $7. Plumbers vary, but $75 should do it.

To clarify, this "sound" is ALWAYS occuring ???

Let us know how you make out.

PS... check near the water meter and make sure the valves are fully open. Check outdoor faucets for drips / leaks as well.

We'll find this "critter"!!