A surge protector, also called a surge suppressor, is not a protector if it can’t protect.

The immense current electrical terminals receive from lightning is so powerful. That’s why surge protectors were invented to protect our homes.

Surge Protector Making High Pitched Noise

Without a device that suppresses, the surge in electricity will damage all of our electronic devices by a short circuit.

It is usual for a surge suppressor to click as its main job is to redirect the power surge. But if it’s a recurring click means there’s something wrong with the surge protector.

Get to know why surge protectors make all sorts of noise and why you should be alarmed.

Why Is Your Surge Protector Making High-Pitched Noise

Surge protector high-pitched noise is not an everyday occurrence. It is supposed to make a clicking sound when electricity shoots up.

But a power strip making high-pitched noise means there’s something faulty either in the device or anywhere else.

Irritating high-pitched noise can be a battery failure. If this happens, the device sends a signal that impedes the power supply due to the failing battery. This is noticeable when a red light on the component flickers.

Below are the following reasons why your surge protector is producing a high-pitched sound.

Pro tip: Use a surge protector for devices with complex microprocessors, such as computers, game consoles, modern flat TVs, and other sophisticated electronic devices. You don’t need one for simple home appliances.

1. Surge Protector Encounters Surges

When do your UPS systems encounter surges?

When there is an issue with a power grid, many things could happen with the power distribution at home.

Sometimes, voltage spike in power is due to natural causes such as lightning and thunderstorms.

On a technical note, power grids fail and distribute current to the home in an uneven supply, causing damage to your terminals and circuit breakers.

Thus, surge suppressors were invented to protect the electrical appliances and devices you use at home.

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During power outages and back, power surges happen. And if surge suppressors sense that overload, they make noise.

Another reason for the surge is when you are using multiple outlets or octopus wiring.

An extension cord making high-pitched noise is overloaded. Continuous clicking brought by the noise could mean the surge protector is trying hard to load devices simultaneously.

Also, electrical appliances with high voltage, like microwaves, blenders, vacuum cleaners, or air conditioners, will cause the surge protector to send a clicking noise continuously.

Pro tip: Surge protectors have red buttons for extra protection. Though it shuts down automatically following a power surge, the red button is for turning it on or off whenever you want to instead of unplugging it from the electrical outlet directly.

2. Low-Quality Surge Protector

People love to buy cheaper products. But sometimes it is true that when it is cheap, it is of poor quality.

That’s why it is wiser to choose a device at a mid-range price but assuredly quality in performance.

A surge protector that makes a loud sound could be of a poor-quality device. It will produce an audible click because it can’t handle high voltages altogether.

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However, quality surge suppressors regulate power surges and spikes without sending off a dubious sound.

Be also warned that buying cheap electronic devices is exposing your home to fire-hazard appliances.

3. Spark

Experts advised that before you plug any electrical device into an outlet, including a surge protector, make sure it is off.


Electrical sparks occur when the device is power-hungry. The spike in electricity will cause the surge protector to spark.

4. Defective surge protector

Some surge protectors produce strange noises and alarming sounds because they are defective. Surge suppressors that malfunction should be brought back to where they are purchased.

It is not recommended to repair any electrical device assembly, especially if you have no idea of the problem, as it can cause an electric shock if you attempt to fix it. Have an expert touch the unit.

5. Faulty wires

Yellow and worn-out wires are a sign of faulty wires of surge protectors. But sometimes, the outlet has one with faulty wires.


If you notice those signs, unplug the unit immediately and try other electrical outlets. If the eerie noise sounds the same, but the unit is away. What’s worse is when the unit has a burnt smell, and the loud sound is recurrent.

Pro tip: A surge protector may look like a conventional extension cord, but it is not. It allows you to plug in more than one device.

Surge protector making a clicking noise; why?

The clicking noise from a surge protector could mean that it is trying to divert the surge to the grounding wire to protect your appliance.

The clicking sound indicates that it protects the appliance from electrical spikes. When the sound is recurrent and louder, it could mean that it can no longer carry the surge and be replaced.

The surge protector is making a humming noise. Why?

The humming noise produced by an electronic device is normal. But this should be low and dull. If the hum is audible from several meters away from the unit, loose components could be inside.

If you have no idea what’s happening, you need to stop using the surge protector and call for an experienced electrician to fix the issue.

Should I be worried about this, and should I get a new one?

A surge protector making noise doesn’t always mean replacing it. Investigate first. As been advised, never attempt to fix any electrical device to avoid electrocution.

Even if the unit looks okay and the wires aren’t faulty, but the quality is compromised because of the clicking, humming, sparking, or buzzing noise, then you should consider getting a new one.


Your surge protector acts as a mini circuit breaker that automatically shuts off when it senses surges in electricity. Sometimes, the device produces a tripping sound before it finally shuts off.

Clicking or a humming sound may or may not be a cause of concern, but a high-pitched noise could be something more, the same as crackling, sparking, popping, and loud humming.

Have an electrician carefully inspect the sound and the surge protector unit to see what’s causing the issue.

Never hesitate to replace your defective surge protector as it will bring you out of danger and could mean saving your life.

Robert Castelao

Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.

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