[SOLVED] A cracking sound in laptop headhpones when... fridge turns off??? I know how this sounds.

StarshipJake

Reputable
Sep 3, 2016
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Hello everyone!

Alright it's a weird one. Unless it's well known and I just don't know how to google it.

I've moved to a new place, and my work station is in the general vicinity of a fridge. Just a regular fridge, without any additional functions, screens, etc. It turns the cooling on and off in a cycle about every 30 minutes to keep the temperature. Today I noticed that when the cooling turns off, in my headphones I hear a fairly loud cracking sound just for a fracture of a second, regardless of whether or not any audio is playing. I'm confident these two are related.
The only thing that I can think of is that maybe it has something to do with the electricity, probably when the fridge, I don't know, I'm guessing lowers current consumption or something? I'm really not an expert and it's just a guess. The laptop and the fridge are plugged into different sockets. I haven't had a chance to test it with the laptop unplugged, because I only noticed it several hours ago and it took me so long to realize that the fridge and the cracking sound are connected. I'll test it with the laptop unplugged tomorrow unless anyone can confirm that it's not about the electricity.

Anyway, my questions are as follows: anyone has any idea what the heck is going on? Also, is this creating any danger to the headphones or laptop?

Thanks in advance!
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Different sockets but likely the same circuit. And some electrical spike is created throughout that circuit when the fridge goes off.

Try running an electrical extension cord to the laptop from an outlet that is on a different electrical circuit than the fridge.

Determine if using another electrical circuit makes a difference. If not, it could be that the fridge, when turning off, generates some EMI (Electrical Magnetic Interference) which subsequently causes the crackling in the headphones.

Doubt there is any danger to the headphones per se. However any electronic sensitive devices such as a laptop, are at risk if connected to an electrical source that sags or spikes with respect to voltage and current.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Different sockets but likely the same circuit. And some electrical spike is created throughout that circuit when the fridge goes off.

Try running an electrical extension cord to the laptop from an outlet that is on a different electrical circuit than the fridge.

Determine if using another electrical circuit makes a difference. If not, it could be that the fridge, when turning off, generates some EMI (Electrical Magnetic Interference) which subsequently causes the crackling in the headphones.

Doubt there is any danger to the headphones per se. However any electronic sensitive devices such as a laptop, are at risk if connected to an electrical source that sags or spikes with respect to voltage and current.
 

StarshipJake

Reputable
Sep 3, 2016
15
1
4,525
1
Different sockets but likely the same circuit. And some electrical spike is created throughout that circuit when the fridge goes off.

Try running an electrical extension cord to the laptop from an outlet that is on a different electrical circuit than the fridge.

Determine if using another electrical circuit makes a difference. If not, it could be that the fridge, when turning off, generates some EMI (Electrical Magnetic Interference) which subsequently causes the crackling in the headphones.

Doubt there is any danger to the headphones per se. However any electronic sensitive devices such as a laptop, are at risk if connected to an electrical source that sags or spikes with respect to voltage and current.
Yeah, everything checks out. Different circuit causes no issues at all.

I realize that this isn't exactly a laptop topic anymore, but maybe you would be kind enough to tell me if this is a circuit problem or a fridge problem? And can I do anything about it (as in fixing this) or is this for the landlord to do?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
You may need to do some "testing" to determine if it is the circuit or the fridge.

What that testing may require is to temporarily power the fridge via an extension cord from another outlet on a different circuit. I.e., a different breaker or fuse.

Leave the laptop on the current circuit while the fridge is on the temporary circuit.

If the laptop has problems then the circuit is suspect. If not then the problem is the fridge.

And you may be able to prove that by again using the laptop on the temporary fridge circuit.

If the problem follows the fridge the symptoms will reoccur.

If the problems stay with the circuit without the fridge then the circuit is suspect.

Caveat being that much depends on the quality and condition of the electrical circuits within your home.
 

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