What happens when your extension cord starts making noise? Is this a good thing or a sign of trouble? It depends on the type of noise and how loud it is. As the guide below will soon explain, some noises are perfectly innocent. Others are a sign of trouble, and you should replace your extension cord the moment you hear them.
Do Extension Cords Make Noise?
Electricity is not silent. When an alternating current passes through a device, it creates magnetic fields that cause some of the internal components to vibrate. This is the reason why high-voltage power lines hum.
It is reasonable to assume that an active extension cord with a current running through it will produce some sound. But some people have never heard any sounds from their extension cords. Others hear them all the time. This isn’t necessarily a contradiction. Some people have sharper hearing than others. Their ears are sensitive to higher frequencies.
Others can only hear the sounds coming from an extension cord if they shut all the sources of noise in the vicinity off before lowering their ear to the extension cord. You also have those individuals that cannot hear a thing from their extension cord. As far as they are concerned, extension cords should be silent.
Why Is My Extension Cord Making Noises?
Extension cords can produce buzzing, crackling, popping, and sizzling noises to mention but a few. They can manifest as a result of frayed wires, loose connections, overloading, overheating, surges, spikes, and so much more. Noises can also occur as a result of the appliances you have attached to the extension cord.
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Extension Cord Crackling – Why?
You can hear cracking noises on arcing. Arcing happens when electricity escapes the wires that are supposed to keep it contained. Rather than travelling inside the conductor, it is jumping from one wire to another, hence the crackling sounds.
Arcing can occur as a result of loose, frayed, or damaged wires. Sometimes, the internal components of an extension cord are simply old and worn out. Arcing is dangerous because it can start a fire. You have to disconnect the extension cord immediately. Do not reconnect the extension cord until you fix the loose, frayed, or damaged wires.
Why Is My Extension Cord Buzzing?
Like ordinary outlets, the outlets on your extension cord have contact blades that hold the plug once it is attached. If the blades cannot hold the plug securely because they are loose (or damaged), hence a buzzing sound follows.
- Loose or damaged blades will result in arcing. You can either throw the extension cord away or hire a professional to solve the problem.
- Most people would encourage you to replace the extension cord because they are inexpensive. It is the safest option.
Why Is My Extension Cord Ringing?
Ringing is an uncommon extension cord sound. At the very least, it is unlikely to occur naturally as a result of a malfunction in the electrical components of the extension cord.
- If your extension cord is ringing, check the manual that came with the device.
- Some extension cords (especially the smart extension cords) have special alarms that will sound to alert the user about an issue.
- You may see this in extension cords with surge protection mechanisms. Such extension cords may produce a ringing sound as a response to a surge or spike. If your extension cord has a ringing alarm, you can check the manual or the manufacturer’s website to find out what it means.
Extension Cord Making High-Pitched Noise?
This can happen in extension cords that have USB chargers. The high-pitched whining normally comes from the coils. A malfunction in a device attached to the extension cord, such as a speaker or microphone, can also produce a high-pitched noise.
Extension Cord Popping Sound Reasons
Popping is a sign of arcing. It means that the extension cord has a loose connection somewhere, possibly even worn-out insulation.
Sparking (or arcing) is dangerous because it can start a fire. You should call an electrician to investigate the extension cord. They will determine whether or not it can be repaired.
If you notice burn marks inside the extension cord after opening it, you should just get a new one. It doesn’t matter if the popping is continuous or occasional. It can still start a fire. You won’t feel secure until you get a replacement.
Why Is My Extension Cord Beeping?
Like ringing, the beeping is rare. Ordinary extension cords do not beep. However, some models have backup batteries, in which case, they will beep to alert you that your appliance has started using the battery power. They may also beep to warn you about a depleted battery.
If the extension cord has surge protection, I expect the device to beep when it wants to alert the user about a specific development, such as the occurrence of a surge. You can attribute continuous beeping to poor wiring, grounding issues, and internal faults. Check the manual to find out what the beeping means.
Why Does My Extension Cord Hum?
Humming is similar to buzzing. It will occur as a result of a loose connection between the plug and the blades in the outlet as well as loose wiring, resulting in arcing. You should call an electrician to resolve this issue before the arcing starts a fire.
Extension Cord Hissing – Why?
Hissing can occur when the connectors in an extension cord’s outlets have become so loose that they can no longer grip the plug effectively. This allows electricity to arc whenever you plug a device into the extension cord.
Hissing can also occur as a result of a broken wire. This produces arcing as well. Either way, this is a fire hazard. You should resolve it before it starts a fire. It should be noted that the extension cord isn’t always at fault.
Sometimes, the appliance is the problem. Try plugging different items into the extension cord. If you only hear the hissing when you plug a particular appliance into the extension cord, that appliance is at fault, not the extension cord.