Just moved in to a new place and I've noticed during the quiet of the night when trying to sleep that there is this periodic electrical sounding buzz, sort of like the hum of my subwoofer if I leave it on with no audio input.

I've timed its frequency, and the sound persists for 1 min 25 seconds every time, and then switches off for about 1 min 15 seconds.

It isn't only at night either; it's just that noises of the day usually drown it out. It seems to persist all day.

Anyone had experience with something like this and could help me identify the source? I can't quite locate the exact source of it, but it sounds like it may be coming from the place above me.


  • 1
    Are there any transformers in the house? Candidates would be wired doorbells, DC lighting, some security systems, etc.
    – Comintern
    Jan 31 '16 at 23:32
  • 1
    It could also be two sources that are resonating with each other at that period. So two things that should be identical but are maybe 1/120th of a Hz off and therefore hit a resonance every 2 minutes.
    – BMitch
    Feb 1 '16 at 14:18
  • 1
    You might try turning off the power in your housing unit (apartment or flat) to help you find out if the source is yours or belongs to the people who live above you.
    – Yehuda_NYC
    Feb 1 '16 at 20:09

My only experience with unknown buzzing sounds was when a tenant complained of similar sounds. Upon investigating I discovered a honey bee colony had made a nest inside the board and batten wall. I was fortunate enough to find an apiarist (bee keeper) that relocated the bees to his orchard for free.

  • 1
    Haha, I wish! I don't know if bees are this regular... That would be a nice fix. Feb 1 '16 at 1:10
  • I was going to suggest the bee issue until I read the question closer and noted the regular timing of the buzzing! May 31 '16 at 13:46

I had a buzzing in the house at one point and it ended up being the HVAC was vibrating the ductwork enough when it was running to have a harmonic vibration.

  • Thermostat or timer?
    – hookenz
    Jun 30 '16 at 5:45
  • Thermostat, when it clicked on
    – Aaron
    Jul 5 '16 at 20:24

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