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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a complaint that a 20A homeline panel was humming/pulsating along with the cycles of a washing machine. The laundry breaker is brand new. Everything checked out, voltage/tightness and there is no evidence of heat or arcing at the breaker.

I didn't have a replacement on me but plan to swap it out on Monday morning or pass the buck if there is a bigger issue here....

are homeline breakers known to be noisy?


Or is there something I am missing? Perhaps normal 60 cycle resonance in the panel with the laundry circuit under load?
 

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I have noticed a noise with bolt in square d breakers and had read somewhere that a circuit with a lot of cfls on them could be a possible cause I don't remember the specifics though sorry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
nothing else on the circuit btw. Its only one cycle of the washer (when a motor /agitates first engages I believe) it hums/buzzes and then stops after a few moments.

So that what making me think its a noisy defective (but brand new) breaker or that this is normal 60 cycle hum under load?
 

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I stay away from the homeline breakers. I used them on one job I was swapping out 10 sub panels. I had somewhere around 120 breakers and 9 didn't work. That's almost 10% I swore them off ever since.
 

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Don't rule out the noise coming from the main and not the actual branch circuit breaker. And check your noodles in the loadcenter, meter pan, and service drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I asked my boss if I should be checking the service as you suggest and I was told that I was nuts.... that's its likely 'normal 60 cycle hum'... I might buy that if it was an AC or constant but this is an intermittent noise associated with a measly 10A washing machine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just realized my partner tested the washer on a different circuit and it made the same exact noise.

So could the washer itself be the culprit? ... Im hesitant to say its the main since this is on a new service so new main, can, drop everything brand new....

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
No Townes, its not a transformer or crap...

Its certainly in time with the washer kicking on. Like the washer itself is causing the resonance... I say this because everything else is brand spanking new. Im open to hear any speculation before I pass this along to the guru at work.
 

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Break out your clamp-on ammeter and set it to hold the peak current draw.

I am willing to bet that the washer is drawing a pretty heavy spike at startup on that cycle which is making the breaker hum.

I do not believe for one minute that changing breakers will do anything other than waste time.

What brand/model is that washer?
 

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I have a old Kenmore washer and it does the same thing to the breaker when it starts to agitate and the gas dryer is going at the same time.
 

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A washer making a 20amp breaker do all this? Is it a dedicated circuit or is it shared? I don't see a washer drawing that big a spike.
 

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I have a old Kenmore washer and it does the same thing to the breaker when it starts to agitate and the gas dryer is going at the same time.
The older ones with the cork screw agitator would visibly make the light pulse every half second. Every time the transmission reversed direction on agitator base it turn the cork screw. The spiral would pull so much clothes down it was a 20 fold drag on the transmission.
 

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They wouldn't close. When u would move the handle u could feel it wasn't engaging anything internally.
Sounds like a defective batch. More like something GE would pull off. QOs and home lines have the same guts minus the visi trip indicator arm.
 

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The older ones with the cork screw agitator would visibly make the light pulse every half second. Every time the transmission reversed direction on agitator base it turn the cork screw. The spiral would pull so much clothes down it was a 20 fold drag on the transmission.
makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Break out your clamp-on ammeter and set it to hold the peak current draw.

I am willing to bet that the washer is drawing a pretty heavy spike at startup on that cycle which is making the breaker hum.

I do not believe for one minute that changing breakers will do anything other than waste time.

What brand/model is that washer?
Its a new GE GLWN2800, 10A (took note to google it.) dedicated 20A.

If they send me back I will clamp it and see but surely it will be within 20A so I am not sure that will tell me much.

To confirm, its not just one breaker though. I realize we now ran it on different circuit on the opposite leg and it did the same thing. Which has me concerned that its the main buzzing.
 

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Now I am not a washer guru, but I am betting there is a lot more going on here then just an agitator in a new washer.

There is probably a drive in that new washer, and who knows what else to make it efficient, make it quiet, make it small.

I would call GE about that new washer, and run this by them. I am going to bet they have heard this before, and have a solution or an apology:laughing:.
 
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