Newly built house: Ground Loop Hum in Left Rear Speaker - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I have done several things to try to narrow down the cause of this ground loop hum and can't quite figure out what the "correct" permanent fix is. So we just moved in last Monday, hooked up the HT on Friday (BTW same equipment as in old house) and buzzzz out of the left rear speaker.

If I disconnect the negative of the speaker the hum goes away. I tried switching the speakers physically and the hum was still there at the Left Rear location. If I switch the wires on the back of my AVR and put the left rear on the left surround terminals and put the left surround on the left rear terminals: NO HUM. So I have a surge protector and one of those "Ideal" outlet testers. All my outlets test ok as well as the surge protector. All my equipment has 2 prong plugs EXCEPT my LG Plasma. If I pull the plug from the plasma the hum goes away. So it has to be a ground issue, cuz the TV is the only cord with a ground.

What I was thinking for a fix temporary or permanent is to get a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter plug and plug that on my plasma cord then into the surge protector. Does this sound like a good fix or does anyone have any other ideas???

Thanks,

Shawn
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post #2 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

I have done several things to try to narrow down the cause of this ground loop hum and can't quite figure out what the "correct" permanent fix is. So we just moved in last Monday, hooked up the HT on Friday (BTW same equipment as in old house) and buzzzz out of the left rear speaker.

If I disconnect the negative of the speaker the hum goes away. I tried switching the speakers physically and the hum was still there at the Left Rear location. If I switch the wires on the back of my AVR and put the left rear on the left surround terminals and put the left surround on the left rear terminals: NO HUM. So I have a surge protector and one of those "Ideal" outlet testers. All my outlets test ok as well as the surge protector. All my equipment has 2 prong plugs EXCEPT my LG Plasma. If I pull the plug from the plasma the hum goes away. So it has to be a ground issue, cuz the TV is the only cord with a ground.

What I was thinking for a fix temporary or permanent is to get a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter plug and plug that on my plasma cord then into the surge protector. Does this sound like a good fix or does anyone have any other ideas???

Thanks,

I suppose you have a cable TV box in your system. Also I suppose the surge protector has an input/output for cable TV coax cable. Run the coax through the surge protector (you will need one moe coax cable.). The power company ground and the cable TV ground are usually not on the same potential, thus the source of the ground loop in 99% of the cases. I had the same issue solved by the above method.

Report back please. smile.gif
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post #3 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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^^^ Thanx for your input.... Yes I have a Motorola HD cable box thru Comcast/Xfinity Cable. I have the cable run thru the HT surge protector. ( I also tried it without the cable run thru the surge protector) No matter what I try I have the ground loop hum when the TV is plugged in; as soon as I unplug the TV the hum goes away.

If you have any other ideas I am open for all suggestions. And just so you have an idea on my background; I do HT installs on the side and I am an electrical tech/ machine builder for Tyco Electronics. So I'm not a know it all, but I have a good background with electrical stuff.

Thanks again,

Shawn
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post #4 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

^^^ Thanx for your input.... Yes I have a Motorola HD cable box thru Comcast/Xfinity Cable. I have the cable run thru the HT surge protector. ( I also tried it without the cable run thru the surge protector) No matter what I try I have the ground loop hum when the TV is plugged in; as soon as I unplug the TV the hum goes away.

If you have any other ideas I am open for all suggestions. And just so you have an idea on my background; I do HT installs on the side and I am an electrical tech/ machine builder for Tyco Electronics. So I'm not a know it all, but I have a good background with electrical stuff.

Thanks again,

As a 2nd round of troubleshooting I would start to unlpug each input cable from AVR one by one and see when the hum goes away. That source would need further investigation. If hum still persists here's an excellent HUM FAQ for further reading. smile.gif
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post #5 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok i'll try that. thanks

Shawn
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post #6 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 08:48 PM
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Try unplugging the TV HDMI cable with the TV on.

Not sure how you have things plugged into electrical outlets but that may be the culprit if the TV and other components are plugged into different outlets.

If so then you need to either run a power jumper to the TV so it is on the same electrical circuit as the rest of your components or use a fiber optic HDMI cable to break the ground loop.

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post #7 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I figured out the problem..... Comcast is only coming out today so the cable was never hooked up and isn't grounded yet. I believe the hum was traveling thru the coax into the HD cable box thru that HDMI into the receiver. But was only an issue when the 3 prong TV plug was plugged because the house ground and cable ground weren't bonded yet.

I'll report back after everything is connected from Comcast.

Shawn
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post #8 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 06:44 AM
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I have seen hum problems caused by bad coax grounding. You may want to tell the tech to change the coax connectors on the pole and where they come into the house also. There could be corrosion in them.

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post #9 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

I have done several things to try to narrow down the cause of this ground loop hum and can't quite figure out what the "correct" permanent fix is. So we just moved in last Monday, hooked up the HT on Friday (BTW same equipment as in old house) and buzzzz out of the left rear speaker.

If I disconnect the negative of the speaker the hum goes away. I tried switching the speakers physically and the hum was still there at the Left Rear location. If I switch the wires on the back of my AVR and put the left rear on the left surround terminals and put the left surround on the left rear terminals: NO HUM. So I have a surge protector and one of those "Ideal" outlet testers. All my outlets test ok as well as the surge protector. All my equipment has 2 prong plugs EXCEPT my LG Plasma. If I pull the plug from the plasma the hum goes away. So it has to be a ground issue, cuz the TV is the only cord with a ground.

What I was thinking for a fix temporary or permanent is to get a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter plug and plug that on my plasma cord then into the surge protector. Does this sound like a good fix or does anyone have any other ideas???

Are you operating the receiver in bypass mode, driving it with say a BD player via multichannel analog outputs? If so, the the hum is probably coming in through those cables or one of the cables is bad.

Is the hum always there, and the same regardless of volume control setting or source? Then the problem may be an internal fault of the AVR.
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post #10 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 09:03 AM
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I find it odd that a "ground loop" would only affect one channel.
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post #11 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Are you operating the receiver in bypass mode, driving it with say a BD player via multichannel analog outputs? If so, the the hum is probably coming in through those cables or one of the cables is bad.

Is the hum always there, and the same regardless of volume control setting or source? Then the problem may be an internal fault of the AVR.

I am not using any multi channel inputs.... As long as the TV is plugged in and the AVR is either Off or NOT in a 7 channel mode then I have hum. If the AVR is on and I'm using PLIIx or all channel stereo or something that uses all channels the hum goes away as soon as I switch to 7 channels even if I do not have a source running.

After today I will know if I have an actual problem or if its all simply because the coax in my house is just ran out side and coiled up and not terminated or bonded to house ground. Comcast will be installing their line and connecting into the house today.

Shawn
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post #12 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I find it odd that a "ground loop" would only affect one channel.

I find this weird as well, but as I stated I only have the issue when I plug my TV in. And my TV is the only component I have that has a 3 prong plug.

Shawn
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post #13 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 01:12 PM
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Well, a $1 2 prong adapter would quickly test that theory. wink.gif
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post #14 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I find it odd that a "ground loop" would only affect one channel.

Agreed.
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post #15 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I find it odd that a "ground loop" would only affect one channel.

I find this weird as well, but as I stated I only have the issue when I plug my TV in. And my TV is the only component I have that has a 3 prong plug.

Then the other ground must be via the coax to the cable system. Does disconnecting it make the hum go away?

What make and model AVR?

How is the AVR receiving audio?

Via Toslink?

Via coax?

Via analog?

Via HDMI?
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post #16 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I find it odd that a "ground loop" would only affect one channel.

Isn't a ground loop itself an odd phenomenon (read: mystery)? Needs a lot of expertise and time to find the source of the problem by qualified electrical technicians and test instruments. If it were me I would rather call the power company to investigate the case in my home, not the cable TV company. They usually come and typically do not even charge for that job. If it's severe it's not recommended to do it by yourself, you may do more harm than good not only for your HT system, but other places in your household. Better to leave the troubleshooting and resolving to qualified service personnel. Agree? smile.gif
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post #17 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I find it odd that a "ground loop" would only affect one channel.

Isn't a ground loop itself an odd phenomenon (read: mystery)?

No mystery about ground loops.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_loop_(electricity)

Just a matter of simple electrical circuits.


Quote:
Needs a lot of expertise and time to find the source of the problem by qualified electrical technicians and test instruments.

Often its as simple as eliminating an obvious redundant ground.

Quote:
If it were me I would rather call the power company to investigate the case in my home, not the cable TV company. They usually come and typically do not even charge for that job. If it's severe it's not recommended to do it by yourself, you may do more harm than good not only for your HT system, but other places in your household. Better to leave the troubleshooting and resolving to qualified service personnel. Agree? smile.gif

I would expect them to roll on the floor and laugh their @$$'s off. It's not a power problem, its a signal problem.
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post #18 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

No mystery about ground loops.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_loop_(electricity)

Just a matter of simple electrical circuits.


Often its as simple as eliminating an obvious redundant ground.
I would expect them to roll on the floor and laugh their @$$'s off. It's not a power problem, its a signal problem.

I'm sorry arnyk, but I do not agree in this case. Linking wikipedia is good to brush up our knowledge base, but getting hands wet with DIY solutions might not be so laughable in the end. biggrin.gif

BTW, on that circuit diagram you copied from the wikipedia link I don't see the avr and the left speaker! cool.gif
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post #19 of 49 Old 04-02-2013, 10:39 PM
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I'll just toss it out, but my parents have a motorola DVR with comcast, and they were getting a hum until I changed their connection from the cable box to the receiver from analog to digital.
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post #20 of 49 Old 04-03-2013, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanx for all your help and replies.... The hum is GONE. Comcast hooked up the cable, but they also disconnected my coax cable that I had running thru my surge protector. So I want to run it back thru the surge protector and see if that was the problem or if the problem was just cuz the cable wasn't hooked up to the house yet.

But anyways its gone so I'm happy. Although the Comcast guys did piss me off cuz they were at my house when my wife was home but not me. They moved my 70 lb subwoofer and isolation platform. They didn't even move it back and they had the one leg of the sub off the platform so the sub was teetering on the platform. Man i hate when other ppl mess with my gear.

Shawn
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post #21 of 49 Old 04-03-2013, 04:10 PM
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Sometimes trying to define what happened in your case will be difficult to explain "why". Grounding problems can be a real pain. They fixed your coax and life is good again. A lot of people may disagree with me, but I don't use surge suppressors. Jokingly I say " A lightning bolt is hotter than the surface of the sun."

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post #22 of 49 Old 04-05-2013, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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The hum is back!!! I'm getting very frustrated.... Now the only way to make it go away is if I unplug the negative of the speaker OR unplug BOTH the power strip and the Coax Cable coming out of the wall. If I just pull the plug of the power strip I still have hum, if I just disconnect the coax coming out of the wall I still have hum. But if I unplug both it goes away.

I tried one of those 2 prong adapters it didn't help.... I also have an outlet tester and it shows that all the outlets I have tested are good. What is going on here?

Will a constant 60hz hum ruin/damage my speaker??? BIC Acoustech PL-66... Seems like the hum is coming from both the woofer and some is trying to come out of the tweeter. But for the most part its a low deep hum.

Shawn
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post #23 of 49 Old 04-05-2013, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

The hum is back!!! I'm getting very frustrated.... Now the only way to make it go away is if I unplug the negative of the speaker OR unplug BOTH the power strip and the Coax Cable coming out of the wall. If I just pull the plug of the power strip I still have hum, if I just disconnect the coax coming out of the wall I still have hum. But if I unplug both it goes away.

I tried one of those 2 prong adapters it didn't help.... I also have an outlet tester and it shows that all the outlets I have tested are good. What is going on here?

Will a constant 60hz hum ruin/damage my speaker??? BIC Acoustech PL-66... Seems like the hum is coming from both the woofer and some is trying to come out of the tweeter. But for the most part its a low deep hum.

Time to call the power company guys! cool.gif
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post #24 of 49 Old 04-05-2013, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Then the other ground must be via the coax to the cable system. Does disconnecting it make the hum go away?

What make and model AVR?

How is the AVR receiving audio?

Via Toslink?

Via coax?

Via analog?

Via HDMI?

The AVR is Onkyo TX-NR808

HDMI OUT of Blu-Ray Player IN to AVR
HDMI OUT of HD Cable Box IN to AVR
HDMI OUT of AVR IN to TV

Coax Cable OUT of Wall Plate into a 2 out Splitter
OUT of Splitter IN to Modem and also HD Cable Box

Shawn
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post #25 of 49 Old 04-05-2013, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

The AVR is Onkyo TX-NR808

HDMI OUT of Blu-Ray Player IN to AVR
HDMI OUT of HD Cable Box IN to AVR
HDMI OUT of AVR IN to TV

Coax Cable OUT of Wall Plate into a 2 out Splitter
OUT of Splitter IN to Modem and also HD Cable Box

I don't know why this questionnaire came up. The brand and model no. of the AVR and the way you connect your sources should have nothing to do with a ground loop. Call the electric company technical assistance to come to your house and investigate the case. What better choice do you have at the moment? wink.gif
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post #26 of 49 Old 04-05-2013, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

I don't know why this questionnaire came up. The brand and model no. of the AVR and the way you connect your sources should have nothing to do with a ground loop. Call the electric company technical assistance to come to your house and investigate the case. What better choice do you have at the moment? wink.gif
None... Because the electrical company won't troubleshoot/diagnose an "audio" problem with only one channel of a 5.1 or 7.1 system.

IMHO, start from scratch. Eliminate the "power strip". Remove all A/V sources from the AVR. Start with coax from the wall to the cable box. HDMI from the cable box to the TV. Then try the Blu-ray directly connected (without the cable box). In other words.... start with the simple connection(s) and try to diagnose the issue by process of introduction.
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post #27 of 49 Old 04-05-2013, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

None... Because the electrical company won't troubleshoot/diagnose an "audio" problem with only one channel of a 5.1 or 7.1 system.

It's not an audio problem, it's a ground loop problem, don't be confused please! rolleyes.gifeek.gifwink.gif

Ground loop problems can also create an electric shock hazard!!!!!!
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post #28 of 49 Old 04-05-2013, 03:19 PM
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Ground loops don't select one channel from an AVR.
eek.gifrolleyes.giftongue.gif
biggrin.gif

I'm not confused.
smile.gif
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post #29 of 49 Old 04-05-2013, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Ground loops don't select one channel from an AVR.
eek.gifrolleyes.giftongue.gif
biggrin.gif

I'm not confused.
smile.gif

You are a not-confused expert for troubleshooting and immediately solving other people's GL problems over Da Innernet, eh? mad.gifeek.gif

What's the problem with giving a call to the tech at the power company?
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post #30 of 49 Old 04-05-2013, 03:59 PM
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Never said I was an expert. But just looking at the obvious. Most power companies don't/won't come out to diagnose a hum in one channel of an audio system. Maybe they do that in Hungary.... but not in America. (Unless you want to pay).

After 40+ years with A/V and I/T experience, I can make better suggestions than just
"call the power provider" tongue.gif.
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