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what causes a transformer to buzz
what causes a transformer to buzz
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Old 19th May 2003, 05:00 PM   #1
zx3chris is offline zx3chris
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Default what causes a transformer to buzz

the wall mount ad-dc transformer for my cordless phone started buzzing today---does this mean its on its way out?? i know why flourescents and incandescants and dimmers buzz sometimes, but why a tranny???

-chris
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Old 19th May 2003, 05:10 PM   #2
RobM is offline RobM  United States
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Usually because the windings are vibrating against each other.
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Old 19th May 2003, 05:13 PM   #3
KevinLee is offline KevinLee  Canada
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Hello ZX3Chris,

Transformers have many windings wrapped around a metal or ferrite core. During manufacturing these windings are dipped in varnish or a similiar material to stop the individual windings from buzzing/humming/ringing.

It is possible that the varnish like material is breaking down on the windings, a shorted transformer is likely in your future.

Thanks

KevinLee
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Old 19th May 2003, 06:17 PM   #4
zx3chris is offline zx3chris
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makes sense now--thank u

-chris
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Old 19th May 2003, 06:20 PM   #5
KevinLee is offline KevinLee  Canada
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ZX3Chris,

I have stopped buzzing in transformers by spreading some silicone on the loose windings with my finger and letting it set up for 24 hours.

This will not always work but it will work most of the time. Oh yeah, make sure it is unplugged first.

KevinLee
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Old 19th May 2003, 06:46 PM   #6
PMiczek is offline PMiczek  United States
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Default Safety

If this is a sealed wall-wart type, and if it did not buzz before, I suggest checking for overheating before attempting any kind of fix. In other words, it could be buzzing because heat may have broken down the basic construction of the transformer, and you could be running a chance of a fire, small as it is. (wall-supplies are cheaper to replace than houses).
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Old 19th May 2003, 07:33 PM   #7
KevinLee is offline KevinLee  Canada
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PMiczek,

Very good point on the safety issue.

I would not suggest the above fix unless the diy-er is sure it is only loose windings not another problem.

KevinLee
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Old 19th May 2003, 08:27 PM   #8
Fred Dieckmann is offline Fred Dieckmann  United States
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Lightbulb The buzz on transformers......

Maybe a bee or some other flying bug crawled into the housing. As likely an explantion as some I have read here.
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Old 19th May 2003, 08:32 PM   #9
RobM is offline RobM  United States
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The three reasons I can think of for a transformer to emit noise:

1) Loose windings vibrating
2) Core delamination, causing laminations to vibrate together
3) Magnetostriction in the core (the metal of the core deforming under the magnetic forces)
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Old 19th May 2003, 08:51 PM   #10
PMiczek is offline PMiczek  United States
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Default Transformer hum

Fred,

Have any other explanations that would apply to a small wall transformer & DC converter?

PM
(I've heard "it hums because it does not know the words already")
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