At some point, your power strip must have made some humming or buzzing noise. These noises become increasingly annoying as more electrical devices are plugged into them.
But is the noise an indication of a potential power failure? Is it safe to use a crackling power strip?
Regardless, you would agree that enjoying your devices is challenging if the power strip keeps scaring you with its incessant buzzing noise.
This begs the question, “Why is my power strip making a buzzing noise.”
Luckily, the post contains all the information you need:
- The underlying cause of a noisy power strip
- Step-by-step guide on how to fix this uncomfortable issue
- Simple but effective tips on how to avoid a crackling power strip
What Is A Power Strip?
A power strip is a hub of electrical sockets to increase your wall outlet’s capacity. This device brings mobility and flexibility, which your immovable wall sockets can’t promise.
They come in handy when you can’t reach the wall socket because they are placed in tight, obscure corners. These gadgets come with an extension cord ranging from 1 – 30 feet. This ensures you can have sockets at your convenience points in the house.
Also, the number of sockets varies, from two to more than a dozen. Hence, this device offers plenty of space to plug in all your appliances. And it can help organize the wires for a neat wire connection to avoid tripping over wires.
Why Is My Power Strip Making A Buzzing Noise?
A power strip making noise is a result of one of the following:
- Overload ーthis is one of the common causes of buzzing power strips. When plugging in too many powerful appliances, you might overload the power strips causing them to make disturbing humming/buzzing sounds.
- Overheating ーthis is another common underlying cause for a crackling power strip. When it’s overloaded, this device tends to get heated up. Once it’s overheated, it might start making a buzzing noise. Even worse, it might stop working.
- Bad connection ー this is the primary cause of crackling noise from a power strip. Using this device with a faulty wall socket can lead to short circuits. This results in terrifying electric sparks and white smoke, which can pose fire hazards to your home and household.
- Low-quality product ー another reason your power strip might be making annoying noise is its quality. Low-end connections of these debased products are responsible for not just the noise but abrupt power outages. So, if you own a cheap, low-quality power strip, it might be best to replace it, especially if you need to plug in powerful appliances.
- Old power strips – if you have been using yours for a long time, it’s possible it has become damaged. Most appliances don’t last forever and need to be replaced at some point. In some cases, replacing this obsolete device is unavoidable.
How to AVOID a Buzzing Power Strip Situation
Choose a secure device
As said earlier, one of the reasons your power strip is making noise is its low quality. It’s essential to purchase a power strip that meets strict safety standards. I recommend buying a product that is NF-certified. These devices have a couple of safety and protection features. Hence, eliminating the major cause of buzzing extension sockets.
Avoid overloading your power strip
Multiple socket devices have the maximum power they can handle. Manufacturers usually provide this information in Watts. You can get this vital information at the back of the extension socket. It’s essential that you stay within the recommended maximum wattage.
More importantly, you want to ensure the power strip can handle several power-consuming appliances simultaneously. In most cases, it’s best not to use a fridge and iron on the same device. I recommend plugging these power-sucking devices into the electric wall outlet.
Avoid using it with a faulty wall socket
If a power strip is plugged into a damaged wall outlet, there’s a high chance of the device overheating and making a buzzing noise. Also, it can lead to a short circuit and electrification. It’s best to use your power strip outlet on a faultless wall socket to avoid any potential troubles.
Unroll the extension cord
Keeping the power strip’s cord wound reduces its power, which often spells trouble when you add more appliances. So, it’s essential to keep the extension cord fully unwound.
A couple of things can signal that your power strip is bad and needs to be replaced immediately. Here are some of the common signs of a bad power strip:
● If the device feels too hot to touch or has this pungent melting plastic smell
● Discolored, damaged, or frayed extension cord, especially if the wires are exposed
● If the switch, outlet, or fuse is broken
● Ozone smell and annoying crackling noise
● The power strip keeps turning on and off
Most power strips last about three years before they go bad and need a replacement. However, how long they last depends on your watts consumption, the number of appliances powered, where you live, and much more. In addition, using a surge protector can help extend its lifespan. Remember that power strips are a short-term solution and won’t outlast your wall socket.
If you have an old power strip, you don’t have to toss it away as long as it’s not giving any signs of a bad one. It’s safe to use, provided it’s not malfunctioning and the components are. Sometimes, these older models are more durable than these new cheaper power strips. But it’s essential to stop using it immediately if you notice sparks or crackling noises.
Above all, pay attention to a buzzing power strip. Immediately, figure out why it’s making a noise and resolve the problem. If it’s sparking or creating smoke, removing the device is best to avoid damaging your pricey appliances or starting a fire.
Remember that it’s not always your power strip at fault; it might be your wall socket, or you overload the device.