Loud Snaping sound when branch circuit breaker is turned on.

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dmanda24

Senior Member
When the breaker is turned on there is a loud snap coming from somewhere in the attic space, the breaker does not trip and the sound only happens at the moment when the breaker is being turned on and about 90 % of the time. I'm thinking this could be an arc fault but how do I check it without a megger.
Thanks for all your help
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
Location
NE (9.06 miles @5.9 Degrees from Winged Horses)
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Could it be wired to a snapping turtle?

You need to investigate further. Put an amp meter on the circuit. What is the amp draw when the circuit is turned on? Crawl up into the attic & find out what is up there. May be a contacter pulling in for some reason. Conduit? Romex?

Keep flipping the breaker until a fire starts is another option. The smoke and flames help in a locate.
 

jrannis

Senior Member
When the breaker is turned on there is a loud snap coming from somewhere in the attic space, the breaker does not trip and the sound only happens at the moment when the breaker is being turned on and about 90 % of the time. I'm thinking this could be an arc fault but how do I check it without a megger.
Thanks for all your help

Why do you keep turning the breaker on when you know something is wrong?
Do you think it will clear itself?

Do you have a background in line work?:roll:
 

GUNNING

Senior Member
Count Choccula or ...

Count Choccula or ...

Is it on a cafci breaker? Whats the amperage and what does it go to? What kind of structure is it? What is the wiring type? Is this new wiring or something that just started happening? Is there a Vandergraaf generator in the attic? Is the place owned by Dr. Frankenstien's?
 

mivey

Senior Member
Does the service drop run through the attic? POCO here had a theft case once where the owner had set up a relay system in the attic on a tap ahead of the meter. The relay would open the tap when the meter was pulled so there would be no power draw.

Add: Is there an air handler unit or something in the attic?
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
Sounds like a ground fault or something like that. I would try and get someone up there and get more precise but a megger is the way to go.
 
My first step would be to make a visual inspection.


How did you hear the snap sound in the attic from the panel?

Are you positive the sound is in the attic?

Did you ask the property owner if they have heard this before?

Did you install any new wiring in the area of the snapping, or wiring passing through the area of the snapping?



Maybe some more info from you would help. Or maybe you have not answered, as you are trouble shooting as we post. ;)
 

satcom

Senior Member
My first step would be to make a visual inspection.


How did you hear the snap sound in the attic from the panel?

Are you positive the sound is in the attic?

Did you ask the property owner if they have heard this before?

Did you install any new wiring in the area of the snapping, or wiring passing through the area of the snapping?



Maybe some more info from you would help. Or maybe you have not answered, as you are trouble shooting as we post. ;)

Yes, I agree, the visual inspection would be the first step.
 

rich000

Senior Member
I once had a house that had low voltage lighting controls. When turning the switch on and off, I swore it was coming from the attic. When I finally found the controls, they were in an unfinished area, behind a false wall in a basement closet. Sound travels in weird ways.
 
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