Boy, do I feel dumb!

Just after dawn this morning, I woke to a buzzing sound. I listened for a few seconds before deciding it must be my husband grinding coffee. Then I turned to look at his side of the bed and saw him lying there with a puzzled look. “What is that sound?” he asked.

Just after dawn this morning, I woke to a buzzing sound. I listened for a few seconds before deciding it must be my husband grinding coffee. Then I turned to look at his side of the bed and saw him lying there with a puzzled look. “What is that sound?” he asked.

I got out of bed, and soon realized the sound was coming from the bathroom. I stepped in and listened. “It’s coming from the light fixture, I think.” We have a four-bulb fixture above the medicine cabinet. I turned the light off and back on. The sound persisted.

My husband investigated and came to the same conclusion. He set up the step stool and tapped on the light. He loosened, then tightened the bulbs. He switched the light off and on. “Go turn the breaker off. Is the one for this bathroom marked?”

The breaker box is outside, so while I was putting on my robe and shoes, he climbed down and put on his shoes. “I’d better go with you,” he said. To which I logically replied, “Then why should I go?” A few seconds later, the bathroom light went out—along with the clock radio and cable box. The buzzing continued. I relayed the bad news.

“Get me a screwdriver,” said my husband. He proceeded to remove the light fixture. The fixture, added to this home before we moved here, was attached to the ceiling instead of the wall above the cabinet, so it’s awkward to work with. Dear husband is not a handyman, and if I hadn’t been standing there, I’m sure he would have addressed the situation with a few choice words.

Alas! The fixture’s removal provided no further clue to the source of the buzzing. We debated the possible causes. Was there something in the attic space directly wired to the main electrical line? Ah-ha, turn off the main breaker!

You know what I’m going to say, right?

So … was it possible the men who put the insulation in two years ago, dropped something that just now set off an alarm … or turned on? Not likely, but “We’ll have to climb up and take a look,” DH said. Understand that our access to the attic is in my craft closet. It takes effort, and time, to remove all the cabinets, shelves, and hanging bags of things to be able to get a ladder in there.

When I opened the door to begin the unloading, my husband cried, “The alarm system!” The wiring box for the old alarm system in this house is also in that closet. He pulled up a chair and leaned in far enough to open it and snip all the wires he could see. “Go see if the buzzing stopped,” he said.

No such luck!

In desperation, he called our Utah son, who was an electrician in the Air Force, and I decided to turn to Google. I entered “buzzing sound in wall” and after reading through a dozen or so hits, I found one where a woman talked about a similar situation—also in their bathroom. Their cause? An electric razor in the shower.

“Could it be your trimmer in the medicine cabinet?” I asked hopefully. Now off the phone, DH headed toward the bathroom with me close behind. He opened the cabinet and pulled out his obviously silent trimmer. “Shoot,” I said. He started moving things around in the cabinet, then on top of it. When he touched the ceramic cup, the sound changed. Eureka!

Did you know a cheap electric toothbrush can turn itself on?

27 thoughts on “Boy, do I feel dumb!

  1. It’s always something with this “tech” gear. You may have to return to that old-fashioned, manually powered toothbrush. 🙂

    And, what did your Utah son have to say about the buzzing sound?

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    1. Yes, fivecats, an old-fashioned toothbrush would never have caused such an early morning ruckus. 😉 My Utah son was stumped by the sound, which he heard when my husband held the phone up to the ceiling — just inches from the cause, I might add. But he had a good laugh when we called him back to tell him we’d solved the problem. 🙂

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