Strange Power Thing

In the evening, a high frequency can be heard from anything magnetic plugged into power lines, arc light ballasts, computer power supplies, you name it.  This is happening between around 8pm-1am.  Usually it’s very high frequency, just on the edge of what I can hear and not very loud, although my son Carl can hear it better. Occasionally, it will drop in frequency and get much louder but that is uncommon.

I’ve heard of devices that trick the power meter by putting a high frequency back in the line.  Apparently the motors in the mechanical meters are more sensitive to higher frequencies than lower, so if you put a high frequency back into the power line, you can trick the meter into stopping or even running backwards.

I suspect someone in the neighborhood is doing that, probably to defray the costs of a few 1.5kw super-halides growing herbs.

I’ve called City Light, but they are completely clueless, have no idea what I’m talking about, and no interest in resolving whatever is causing it.  I’m concerned that the high frequency component on the line might damage power supplies in electronics.

We’re trying to figure out where we can get our hands on a spectrum analyzer or something similar to put on the line and see exactly what it is that we’re hearing.

I’m wondering how wide-spread this phenomena is and if others are hearing it?

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