Understanding Electrical Noise

Understanding Electrical Noise

Understanding Electrical Noise

Electrical noise can be a common problem in many homes and businesses. It’s often something that is less well-known, but can be just as frustrating and problematic as other electrical issues. Electrical noise can cause interference with electrical devices and reduce their performance, and even create safety hazards if not addressed properly. To help you better understand and identify electrical noise, we’ve put together a guide that explains the different types of noise, where it comes from, and how to address it.

Noise is an unwanted electrical signal that can come from an external or internal source. External electrical noise originates from generators, power plants, and other electrical equipment. Noise can also come from internal sources, such as equipment, switches, wiring, and even AC power and lighting in a facility. Common types of electrical noise include:

1. Ground Loop Noise

This type of noise occurs when there are different ground potentials between two or more devices, causing current to flow through the ground and create a hum or buzz sound that is heard in speakers or through other electrical devices.

2. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

EMI can be caused by electrical motors, fluorescent light bulbs, or high-frequency devices. It can cause buzzing, distortion, or complete signal loss in audio and video equipment.

3. Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)

This type of noise occurs when radio signals interfere with electronic or electrical equipment. It can come from sources such as nearby radios, TV sources, or cell phones.

There are a variety of ways to address electrical noise, including:

  1. Using filters – Filters can be used to reduce or eliminate noise by removing certain frequencies of electrical noise or echoes in video and audio systems.
  2. Grounding – Grounding helps balance the voltage between devices and can reduce the effects of ground loop noise.
  3. Shielding – Shielding involves adding an electrostatically dense material around electrical components to protect them from electromagnetic and radio frequency interference.
  4. Twisted Pair Wiring – Twisted pair wiring can reduce external interference and noise by twisting two insulated wires together and creating a twisted field around them.
  5. Replace or Repair Damaged Equipment – The equipment that is damaged can also significantly contribute to electrical noise. Repairing or replacing damaged equipment can help reduce noise.


While electrical noise can be a common problem, it can be addressed through proper maintenance and identifying the sources of the noise. Electrical noise can cause interference and safety hazards if ignored, so it’s important to address it right away. Whether you are a homeowner or business owner, by understanding electrical noise and knowing how to address it, you can ensure the safety and optimal performance of your electrical devices. If you are looking for a professional electrical contractor in Winter Park, FL, contact Spectrum Electric today to schedule an appointment. Our team of experienced electricians can diagnose and address any electrical noise issues in your home or business.

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