Identifying the Causes of Electrical Noise and Interference
How to Identify the Causes of Electrical Noise and Interference with your Telephone, Stereo and Computer System: Location of the Microwave Oven and Electronic Devices.
Troubleshooting Electrical Noise and Interference
Electrical Question: My new microwave oven causes a lot of electrical noise and interference in my home with phone and wireless router that I had not experienced in my previous home.
- I called Whirlpool and they said that one cause of this might be the electrical circuit is overloaded.
- My husband didn’t really buy this. Is this something I should have checked out?
- The fridge and over range microwave oven are the only two things on the circuit.
Background: Audra, a Homeowner from Iowa City, Iowa.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Audra.
Electrical Noise and Interference with your Telephone and Stereo
- Microwave Oven Circuit
Ideally the refrigerator is on its own dedicated 15 amp 120 volt circuit, and the microwave oven is on a dedicated 20 amp 120 volt circuit.
- Electrical Noise
Electrical noise or interference can be caused by other problems as well, such as loose or deteriorating electrical splices or connections which can produce noise conditions while under an electrical load.
- Location of the Microwave Oven and Electronic Devices
Microwave ovens can produce a certain level of electronic interference that may be received by and emitted through electrical wiring in the immediate area. Be sure electronic devices are not located in close proximity near the microwave oven.
- Home Electrical Wiring
This could depend on the age of the home and electrical wiring and the type and condition of the electrical panel.
- Circuit Overload
I do not believe this is a result of an overloaded circuit because if that were the case and the circuit was properly protected then the circuit protection would allow the circuit to trip off.
- Testing the Microwave Oven
If electrical noise or interference is noticeable and extreme when the microwave oven is in use then this may be an indication that the magnetron tube is faulty, or that there may be an issue with the internal shielding of the microwave oven, however because this is a brand new microwave oven these would be remote possibilities.
- Testing the Electrical Circuit
It would be advisable to have the microwave circuit checked by a qualified electrician, especially if this is an older home and if the electrical panel is a Zinsco, Federal or Challenger brand panel which has a history of circuit breaker connection problems which could cause arcing resulting in electrical noise or interference.
Microwave Circuit Wiring
In kitchens it is common practice that if a microwave oven will be installed at a given location, such as Hood-Fan Microwave Ovens, that a Dedicated 20 Amp Circuit is always installed.
More about Home Electrical Wiring:
Outlets Wiring Diagrams
Circuit Breakers and Fuses
Electrical Codes for Outlets
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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