Charging adapters breaking one by one.

29 Jan 2014
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United Kingdom
I bought a new house in December. Brand new build. It was kind of rushed to completion because of the year ending. I feel a lot of the work was bodged. Anyway a few weeks back I started hearing this high pitched whine noise, I ignored it because I thought it was next door or something. It kept happening and eventually I went mad and tracked it down to a Nokia Lumia Phone charger (its one of those were it plugs into the wall socket and has a USB cable that can be taken from it and used at the PC instead). I put my ear right up to it and the noise was really loud and scary so i threw it away and thought it was just that 1 charger. 2 weeks ago it started again, this time it was my Apple Phone Charger... same sound, same kind of plug/usb lead and everything. I thought... what a coincidence. Both chargers were not in the same wall sockets, the sockets in question are at either side of my bed 1 was on my side and 1 on my partners. Anyways last night a third charger succumbed, this time in a different room. But the same high pitched whining/whiring sound. The same kind of USB/Plug charger, this time it was for my 02 3G Wireless Internet Hub. thats 3 chargers destroyed in 1 month. I was sat there holding the charger thinking "what the...?" when I realised i could hear the noise coming from somewhere else too. I tracked it down to the extractor fan above the Gas Hob in the kitchen... downstairs. I canot actually see the plug for this because its all built it and all plugs hidden but the sound was the same and it was coming from inside the unit (im thinking not where the plug is but the actual unit?) i flicked it off at the mains (theres a multi socket panel on the kitchen wall where everything is neatly labeled to be turned off.) I realised that the extractor fan in question is directly below the 2 bedroom wall sockets that malfunctioned my first 2 chargers. I have googled this to no avail so I'm posting it here incase anyone could shed some light on whatmight be going on. By the way this is not "normal" electrically humming/sounds. Most of my other appliances are making "normal" sounds... these particular items are not making normal sounds at all. They sound like they are about to explode and have been thrown in the bin.
I've called the Housing Builders and they are sending someone out but it's gonna take a day or two. I just wonder how many other appliances are going to drop dead in the meantime.
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The power supply inevitably looses some of its input energy and some of that is lost as sound energy. Switch mode PSUs switch in the KHz range so that sound loss manifests itself as a high pitch whistle. My DAB PSU does it and yes, it's really annoying. They can also start doing this as they age too, as the components start to degrade and generally, they weren't that good to start off with. It's a little hard to see how the input supply could cause this, as SMPSUs are very tolerant of the input power. Nevertheless, four devices is rather stretching a little beyond the realms of coincidence. It would be interesting to take one of the PSUs and plug it in at another place like work or a friends house and see if the same thing happens.

You can probably fish those rather expensive PSUs out of the bin and they will work just fine.
Thanks for the input. All the equipment was pretty new and like I said the house and the eletrics are less than 3 months old. they bodged a lot of the stuff on our property and i dont know much about electrics but i do not want it to cause a fire if its wrong. thats why i am the most worried. also the noise is almost impossible 2 sleep through. i had 2 use earplugs before i found out the cause.
Could it be that you're unusually sensitive to these audio frequencies? Have you asked someone else if they are bothered by the sound? (Doesn't of course make it any easier to put up with!)
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Yes my partner agreed that it sounded really dodgy. were both affraid 2 plug them back in inside its dangerous.
A few years ago I was given a British Gas energy monitor and my wife complained about a whistling noise and it was found to be the PSU for the monitor.
I am deaf as a post and have a constant whistle in my ears (tinnitus) so I could not hear it.

I put it at the other side behind my PC monitor and she could hear there and it's worked ok ever since.
So I would not worry about them being dangerous Just charge the items in another room.

we have one of those energy monitors. its an EON monitor. we recieved it with the house and its plugged in the living room. do you think thats what is making things buzz?
It's quite simple. Just take some of these noisy items to someone else's premises some distance away and listen to them plugged in there. This should reassure you that it's not your house that's at fault.
ok but the thing i am getting at is.... the chargers didnt USED to make the noises. in my previous home they NEVER made noises. when i moved house they didnt make noises for a few weeks. and then all of a sudden they start making noises. so why should i have 2 put up with my house breaking **** that wasn't broken before?
Point taken.

There are not many things in your house that could possibly be causing this. The only things I can think of are external. A high mains voltage (higher than the specified limits) is one, and a lot of voltage spikes is another. The first is relatively easy to test. Just look at the voltage displayed on your Eon monitor. 253V is the official upper limit.

The second could be caused by another consumer in the area. Someone with an arc welder next door, for example. Maybe you could talk to neighbours and see what their experiences are.
Sarah, Please forgive my personal approach, but have you become pregnant? The difference between men and women when hearing high pitched noises is quite noticeable and generally younger women/girls can hear much much higher frequencies than their male counterparts. This becomes more of a problem with pregnancy as sounds, odours and tastes become much more acute.
Haha no I am not pregnant! Anyways what you said about the neighbours and that... I am living on a building site, the house nxt door was only slightly built when I moved in. and the last few weeks they have built it from the ground to almost finished now. the houses behind us are being built too. i guess this is probably the reason why it started doing it recently... maybe.

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