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12v buzz coming from dimmer switch - dangerous?





Jimbobmcslob
Hi all,

Firstly, if there is another forum which answers this question please pass me on the details.

I have recently fitted a dimmer switch to one of my bedrooms and occasionally there is a humming noise coming from it. I bought a voltage tester and touched the metal behind the actual plastic switch and it read 12v.

Can anyone advise if this is dangerous and if I should do something to fix this?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ps. I live in the uk in case that makes a difference.
jajarvin
Jimbobmcslob wrote:
I bought a voltage tester and touched the metal behind the actual plastic switch and it read 12v.


Can you describe in more details your voltage tester?
There are many different voltage testers.
And is the metal behind the actual plastic switch connected to wall?
Jimbobmcslob
jajarvin wrote:
Jimbobmcslob wrote:
I bought a voltage tester and touched the metal behind the actual plastic switch and it read 12v.


Can you describe in more details your voltage tester?
There are many different voltage testers.
And is the metal behind the actual plastic switch connected to wall?




http://www.diy.com/departments/bq-pen-type-voltage-tester/177924_BQ.prd

The dimmer switch is plastic but just behind that there is a metal bolt that it is attached to. It's that where the metal is. If I put the tester in there it reads 12v. The plastic dimmer switch protects anyone from touching it directly but I'm worried incase someone does make contact.

I tried to attach a photo but couldn't via my phone.
jajarvin
Jimbobmcslob wrote:
I have recently fitted a dimmer switch to one of my bedrooms and occasionally there is a humming noise coming from it.


This humming noise is probably coused by the alternating voltage.
If you live in Europe the frequency of this buzz is 50 Hz.
And if you for example live in USA the frequency is 60 Hz.

Jimbobmcslob wrote:
The dimmer switch is plastic but just behind that there is a metal bolt that it is attached to. It's that where the metal is. If I put the tester in there it reads 12v.

This voltage is Phantom Voltage or “induced voltage”.
Phantom Voltage is the result of wire or other metal components appearing to be energized when they in fact are not.
Phantom Voltage can make the metal sides of refrigerators, metal light fixtures, metal surface conduit, and metal junction boxes appear energized.
Jimbobmcslob
Thanks for helping me understand jarjavin. So is it dangerous to touch?
jajarvin
Jimbobmcslob wrote:
So is it dangerous to touch?

Phanton voltage is not dangerous.


http://www.nema.org/Technical/Documents/Bull_88_reaffirmed_12_15_11.pdf wrote:
Since the “phantom” voltage is a physical phenomenon involving very small values of
capacitance, it cannot energize a load or cause physiological damage to a
person


But be sure it is not real voltage
http://www.nema.org/Technical/Documents/Bull_88_reaffirmed_12_15_11.pdf wrote:
Care must be taken to be sure that the voltage reading is a phantom voltage, which is
caused by improper use of high impedance multimeters, and not as a result of a cable
defect or improper installation, which may result in a shock hazard.
coolclay
Dimmer switches are notorious for making buzzing sounds but it usually has something to do with the light bulb itself. Check out this site here for more info http://www.todayshomeowner.com/how-to-fix-a-buzzing-or-humming-dimmer-switch/

I wouldn't worry about it too much but sometimes it will cause your light bulbs not to last long, and it's annoying.
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