First IR picture for a buzzing breaker

Found 2 breakers buzzing and took an infrared picture of it.

First picture with the two wires is a double pole breaker going to the electric stove with one wire being 131 degrees and the other 86 degrees.

The second picture with four wires is one of two double pole breakers going to the electric furnace. One wire is 128 degrees and the the other wires are around 97 degrees.

Thought you might be interested.



Good Job Kevin!!!
Put that on the back of your Cube.

Hi Kevin,

I think if you ran that info by a Licensed Electrician he may shake his head…in case you think this might be significant issue.

Circuit Breakers making noise is not uncommon, and the temperature difference is certainly nothing I would make an issue about.

Many times a loose breaker and loose connection could cause the issue, I think I would have turned the breaker off and checked the connection at the bus and conductor before having someone come to the property especially for this item.

But you may have done that…nice find though.

Never hurts to check them, that’s for sure.

Dale, its not our job to turn anything off and check. Kevin did the right thing.

You do what you feel is right, and I’ll do what I feel is right.

It might be the reason I have other Inspectors working for me and am booked a week in advance every month of the year…try it, you may like it.

PS. I have called Paul Abernathy years ago about this exact issue, I posted what Paul told me, I learned something that day, just passing the info along to someone who may not know the reasons stated above.

Funny, sounds like an inspector’s version of building code. “I inspected your house to the standards I am legally required to meet.”

To each his own though. To exceed or not to exceed.

Good job.

BTW… what was the ambient temperature?


Sound advice Dale!

It sounds like you would handle this differently than I am. In my opinion, the buzzing sound by itself is a red flag. Something is causing that buzzing sound and if it is from a loose connection, it should be addressed. It sounds like we can agree that the sound and one of the two legs being hotter than the other leg is likely due to a poor connection. While I did take an amp reading on each leg and tried to tighten the screw connection, I do not turn power off to a circuit and remove breakers to inspect, adjust and/or clean the connections. Regarding the IR picture, I feel the picture gives my client a good visual understanding then trying to explain amperage to her.

Regarding this comment

I hope this comment doesn’t make you feel superior? Because having employees by itself doesn’t mean **** in my eyes.

Best to all.