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  • FIRST POST
    • kayej
    • By kayej 26th Dec 17, 5:00 PM
    • 24Posts
    • 0Thanks
    kayej
    Vibration noise from under house
    • #1
    • 26th Dec 17, 5:00 PM
    Vibration noise from under house 26th Dec 17 at 5:00 PM
    HI, I found a thread on this which is closed & it was never resolved. Both myself & 7 neighbours have been tormented by an underground vibration coming from under the house for the past 2.5 years. Please note - This is NOT The Hum. This sounds like a generator / pump as it goes on & off at different times & when I first heard it, I thought it was a car revving it's motor outside the house (there was no car). I sleep in the basement rooms but also can hear it when sitting on the sofa. The tenants in the 1st & 2nd floors do not hear it.
    Since talking to neighbours the whole house next door hears it & around 4 other properties all next door to each other - some hear it who live in the upper levels & in some properties only people living in the basement hear it - presumably due it being low frequency & different people hearing different levels. It is mainly when lying in bed or sitting on furniture that it is worse.
    I started complaining to the Council, Environment Services & they even sent officers around in the middle of the night however they (seemed like security staff from a nightclub) & basically accused me of being strange, hearing things & having an inner ear problem (even after I had advised my neighbours had heard it). The Council put in a vibration monitor which shows a vibration coming from down the road but they don't know from where & simply keep saying that unless their officers hear it, it cannot be determined to be a statutory issue. They did put rubber mats under the bed but when I advised them that it didn't help they said it also must be air borne & therefore have no idea.
    I contacted Thames Water who have no idea what they are doing & assured me that they have checked their water pumps & it cannot be them - I don't believe them.
    We have had 2.5 years of sleepless nights 90% of nights. We are desperate. Does anyone have any ideas please? Also is this the correct thread?
    Last edited by kayej; 26-12-2017 at 5:21 PM.
Page 2
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 15th Apr 18, 11:30 PM
    • 14,797 Posts
    • 20,046 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    Ear plugs don't deal with the real problem in cases like this, which is largely an emotional one.

    If the sound is so ephermeral, it shouldn't be causing lack of sleep; it's the reaction to the sound which does that.

    Those with tinnitus cannot 'escape' via ear plugs, or whatever, so they either learn to accept and ignore it, or they don't. Those who find acceptance hard are probably the worst affected, where the noise is really loud and obtrusive, but that's not like this sound.

    However, I believe some people find white noise generators or recordings of use, so that's an avenue to explore.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I have been hearing a low frequency sound not unlike the noise the OP describes for three or four years now. When I first started hearing it, it really wound me up. At one point I was driving around the countryside in the early hours fruitlessly trying to locate the source, assuming that it was an inconsiderate local farmer operating heavy machinery at night. I even checked out the nearby sewage plant because the noise sounded similar to a pump.

    I started to believe that it was inside my head until I realised that it decreased or disappeared altogether depending on my location. For example, in Australia I don't hear it at all despite staying some places with little or no background noise. As soon as I get home it is back as loud as ever.

    This best advice I can give the OP is just to accept it and get on with life. As soon as I did that, I found that I could sleep without playing eight hour tapes of thunderstorms or waves crashing on a beach.
    Last edited by Gloomendoom; 16-04-2018 at 7:28 AM.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain
    • kim1485
    • By kim1485 17th Jun 18, 11:50 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    kim1485
    I wondered if you managed to find any solution to your problem. I have exactly the same thing in my house and it is driving me slowly mad. No-one else can hear it so it's hard to convince anyone that there is a problem.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 17th Jun 18, 11:59 AM
    • 1,427 Posts
    • 2,714 Thanks
    happyandcontented
    I think I am super sensitive to noises and we have just had SkyQ installed and it is making a very low sound which is driving me insane...it just might have t go back if it doesn't settle down or cease!

    I feel for others with this type of sensitivity as it is very unpleasant.
    • armchaireconomist
    • By armchaireconomist 18th Jun 18, 12:38 PM
    • 331 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    armchaireconomist
    You need to keep a diary and see if you can find out what is in the local vicinity that could cause it.


    Can't criticise council after you've contacted them to tell them there's a vibration, when they've sent officers out who can't hear it and are provided no evidence to the contrary.
    • roger-w5
    • By roger-w5 18th Jun 18, 3:57 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    roger-w5
    Maybe consider moving,its a process of elimination.
    • daisy101
    • By daisy101 20th Jun 18, 6:54 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    daisy101
    Apologies if the comment is slightly incoherent or there are spelling mistakes but unfortunately suffering from sleep deprivation caused by low frequency noise and vibration. The problem is that the system cannot recognize that low frequency noise is affecting more and more people, that even with new guidelines, the issue is swept under the carpet by the authorities. (This is the polite version).


    Firstly OP you're not alone being affected by low frequency vibrations, the problem was first raised in the 1950's. Increasingly with the change or relaxing of building regulations, electrical goods i.e. power showers and their pumps, and more powerful white goods i.e. Washing Machines, Driers, the problem is getting more prevalent and affecting more people. In the last year the government and local authorities have started to take these complaints more seriously after new guidelines were written for DEFRA by Salford University. Unfortunately Environmental Health / Protection Teams lack the skill base, intuition, or equipment to fully identify and resolve low frequency noise and vibration. Instead the EH teams put the blame and emphasis on the person(s) making the complaint. (This is not an isolated criticism).


    Without going into further detail I've had four years of low frequency vibrations caused by washing machines, driers, and overpowered poorly installed central heating but found the authorities unhelpful and damn right offensively rude. This is when under stress, being tired, but still being polite and courteous.


    Part of the problem is that the equipment (Sound recording device and Headphones, speakers) used by the Environment Health are incorrectly calibrated or unable to pick up infrasound (under 50hz) or Ultra Sound (15,000hz). Make sure the EH personnel use C- bias Weight settings on their device, otherwise the recording will incorrectly detect the noise.


    After four years I've compiled a good list of the guidelines, white papers that should help people raise the issue to the authorities. Unfortunately cannot post these links but I'll provide Google meta key words or e-mail me.


    Salford University - Professor Moorhouse (Key words- salford university low frequency noise assessment). He wrote the DEFRA guidelines 2001 & 2017, with additional content from Geoff Laventhall.

    UK White Goods (Key words White Goods Low frequency vibrations). Discusses in detail throughout the website about washing machines, and other white goods and why the vibrations.
    Last edited by daisy101; 20-06-2018 at 7:10 AM. Reason: additional information.2
    • daisy101
    • By daisy101 20th Jun 18, 7:21 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    daisy101
    I think I am super sensitive to noises and we have just had SkyQ installed and it is making a very low sound which is driving me insane...it just might have t go back if it doesn't settle down or cease!

    This is down to a noisy fan, and the Hard Drive noise. Most computer components (or Sky box in this case)generate heat, and to dissipate heat use small fans (which are cheap, usually effective but noisy). Also the whirring of the hard drive is either coil whine, simply vibrations or noise caused as it accesses data. My advice is buy a CLOSED television cabinet that should reduce the noise. Also you'll find that televisions especially LCD, OLED panels needs fans to dissipate heat, and they either get clogged up, or the ball bearing slowly deteriorates.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 20th Jun 18, 8:19 AM
    • 4,587 Posts
    • 10,487 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    Without going into further detail I've had four years of low frequency vibrations caused by washing machines, driers, and overpowered poorly installed central heating but found the authorities unhelpful and damn right offensively rude. This is when under stress, being tired, but still being polite and courteous.
    Originally posted by daisy101
    If your washing machine or tumble drier causes vibrations that keep you awake, run it during the day. Both will of course cause vibrations as they are rotating kilos of washing around!

    The pump in a fridge freezer also causes vibration, mine has a ~2 second cycle and when I had it positioned in the annex to the kitchen. the vibrations could be heard very faintly if you were close to the same external wall, even if 10m / three rooms away. I moved it, sorted the problem out.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 20th Jun 18, 8:22 AM
    • 16,613 Posts
    • 45,873 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    For those experiencing noise - even if it definitely isn't "The Hum" - then I'm guessing it would still be worthwhile contacting organisations/forums campaigning about "The Hum" - as they've probably got useful information about equipment and the like to track down the source of any noise (even non "The Hum" related).
    ****************
    • daisy101
    • By daisy101 20th Jun 18, 2:58 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    daisy101
    If your washing machine or tumble drier causes vibrations that keep you awake, run it during the day. Both will of course cause vibrations as they are rotating kilos of washing around!

    The pump in a fridge freezer also causes vibration, mine has a ~2 second cycle and when I had it positioned in the annex to the kitchen. the vibrations could be heard very faintly if you were close to the same external wall, even if 10m / three rooms away. I moved it, sorted the problem out.
    Our washing machine and tumble drier are properly balanced on a stone surface, with the metal legs correctly calibrated and adjusted. Thus minimal to no vibrations when working. The issue is rather our Neighbours on both sides, who renovated their properties combining the Dining / Utility room and Kitchen into a single unit. Unfortunately an important load wall / pillar was taken out, and Laminate flooring* installed. Thus instead of carpet, stone, or paving which alleviates or reduces the noise and vibration, in fact what is happening is that the noise is amplified especially as one of the neighbour's washing machine is located and lodged firmly in a Kitchen Unit. The other neighbour has their white goods on a laminated surface, next to our party wall in an out-house with no foundation attached to our property. Thus it too vibrates!


    *DEFRA have published an article discussing the implication of laminate flooring and low frequency vibrations in flats and houses.
    Last edited by daisy101; 20-06-2018 at 3:06 PM. Reason: Extra Information.
    • daisy101
    • By daisy101 20th Jun 18, 3:32 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    daisy101
    The Council put in a vibration monitor which shows a vibration coming from down the road but they don't know from where & simply keep saying that unless their officers hear it, it cannot be determined to be a statutory issue. They did put rubber mats under the bed but when I advised them that it didn't help they said it also must be air borne & therefore have no idea.

    Rubber or Anti-Vibration mats must be placed at the source to be effective. Most man-made or synthetic materials are ineffective against dampening low frequency vibrations, especially the further away from the source. A material does exist, Sorbothane but it's expensive and relatively untested.


    What is frustrating is that it is possible to track down and identify the source of low frequency noise through clarifying and investigating the frequency, intensity, duration and time of the noise. i.e Central Heating pumps (and Hot Water). The problem is that the Environmental Health Officers lack the skills, knowledge and intuition to apply the evidence, rather than dismiss it at hand due to ineptitude.
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 24th Jun 18, 7:28 AM
    • 1,385 Posts
    • 198 Thanks
    littlerock
    Could it someone local runs their washing machine + drying cycle overnight.?

    Also we had a couple of cases locally where new offices' air-conditioning/central heating running overnight caused low hum/vibration to nearby houses. It took the authorities a while to tack down source. Would it be possible for you to hire an acoustic engineer to record sound and locations affected as basis of proof to public agencies.?
    Last edited by littlerock; 24-06-2018 at 7:30 AM.
    • daisy101
    • By daisy101 28th Jun 18, 7:03 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    daisy101
    Could it someone local runs their washing machine + drying cycle overnight.?

    Also we had a couple of cases locally where new offices' air-conditioning/central heating running overnight caused low hum/vibration to nearby houses. It took the authorities a while to tack down source. Would it be possible for you to hire an acoustic engineer to record sound and locations affected as basis of proof to public agencies.?
    The Environmental Health Officer that originally took our case, warned us not to privately hire an Acoustic Engineer to investigate the noise. Unfortunately being desperate ignored this advice to our cost. After consultation the specialist turned up, took readings Thirty Five Minutes. Left with the equipment. Returned the next day for two hours in the early morning.


    What is suspicious is that the Engineer wouldn't extend the period of the initial test at Night when requested, against our initial agreement. Secondly he continually asked which Environmental Health Officer to report the results. He also admitted he suffered from Tinnitus! Also there was no noise from Showers, Washing Machines. Nothing. Also he suddenly wanted to leave in the Morning. A minute or two later, our neighbours depart, 9.30am on a School day!


    Just a note, when the Environmental Health Officer took our case she actually admitted the equipment couldn't correctly detect, or identify low frequency noise. Although results when analysed, highlighted that there were huge, unnatural spikes out the normal frequency in the low frequency spectrum, which confirmed our suspicions. Unfortunately a few weeks later she dismisses that evidence.
    Last edited by daisy101; 28-06-2018 at 7:04 AM. Reason: .
    • Edy L.
    • By Edy L. 18th Aug 18, 10:56 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Edy L.
    Hi,
    It is some relief to see someone describing the exact same nightmare that I have found myself in. Low frequency vibration was first heard in our house about three years ago, and it has been getting worse since. First earplugs helped, they dont anymore! I can hear it in my head, through the pillow, also it cant be pinned down to one source, it s all over the bloody flat! Yes to make our case even worse we live on the first floor of a house that had been converted into two flats, so i cant even go downstairs and check with them in the middle of the night, hey are you hearing the same thing? (But the woman downstairs did confirm she can hear it too, has been walking around middle of the night trying to locate source, to no avail. She doesn't seem as bothered by it.)

    Yesterday i called the waterboard, they said they will send someone out to check the sewer drain or something that s right at the top of our driveway. We have been researching this issue, this thread seems to be the most recent. I read somewhere that water from the house joining into the mains might be the cause, and it does indeed sound like water rushing. To make it worse, 'our' noise has an irregular rhythm to it, which to me also confirms that it could be water. We've been down the electricity gas central heating route, thats all confirmed not causing the issue ( switch everything off one by one etc, never stopped.)

    Only audible at night and comes on at different times, there was a week back in May when it started every single night at 10-1030, but can never hear if or when it actually stops- for all i know it might never stop even during the day only cant hear it from ambience. There are nights when its not on at all. Totally unpredictable.

    Please do keep posting as i am as desperate as you are and need to see if you've found the cause and solution. I cant recall a night in the past year when i slept through without waking, sometimes at 1 sometimes at 4, then no more sleep that night! I have purchased a dehumidifier to cancel out the noise, it did the job in winter then switched to an electric fan in summer, but i can hear the vibration on top of the fan's whirring, which pushed me further into despair, had panic attacks etc).

    At the end of my tether.
    • that
    • By that 18th Aug 18, 11:34 AM
    • 518 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    that
    if you want to see the sound or vibrations, you will probably need an oscilloscope (25 cheapest second hand one there at the mo located in Milton Keynes), and a speaker to act as a transducer to pick up the vibrations.

    You could also shield the speaker with foam so it becomes directional to help pinpoint the sound
    • daisy101
    • By daisy101 7th Sep 18, 6:56 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    daisy101
    It is some relief to see someone describing the exact same nightmare that I have found myself in. Low frequency vibration was first heard in our house about three years ago, and it has been getting worse since. First earplugs helped, they dont anymore!


    Firstly apologies for not replying earlier but only occasionally check the forum on whether an user has posted a response to the original comment.


    Ear Plugs, even noise reducing Ear buds are less effective against Infrasound or Ultrasound.

    Yes to make our case even worse we live on the first floor of a house that had been converted into two flats, so i cant even go downstairs and check with them in the middle of the night, hey are you hearing the same thing? (But the woman downstairs did confirm she can hear it too, has been walking around middle of the night trying to locate source, to no avail. She doesn't seem as bothered by it.)
    If the woman is walking around searching for the source of the noise then it does appear that her sleep is being disrupted. Her account could be invaluable if a complaint is lodged with the authorities, as an additional person hearing, or noticing the noise will emphasize that the sound is affecting their sleep too. This means that the Environmental Department cannot dismiss your complaint on medical terms, sensitivity, or Tinnitus.


    To make it worse, 'our' noise has an irregular rhythm to it, which to me also confirms that it could be water. We've been down the electricity gas central heating route, thats all confirmed not causing the issue ( switch everything off one by one etc, never stopped.)
    An irregular rhythm? Try listening to your Washing Machine & Tumble Drier cycle see if the pattern is similar. Many neighbours nowadays work different shifts patterns, or want to prevail with cheaper electrical prices (Economy 7) so do their washing at night before retiring to bed. Also as you live in converted House, the initial construction probably use plaster board or cheap materials as partitioning, thus inadequate noise insulation or dampening.


    Please do keep posting as i am as desperate as you are and need to see if you've found the cause and solution. I cant recall a night in the past year when i slept through without waking, sometimes at 1 sometimes at 4, then no more sleep that night! I have purchased a dehumidifier to cancel out the noise, it did the job in winter then switched to an electric fan in summer, but i can hear the vibration on top of the fan's whirring, which pushed me further into despair, had panic attacks etc).
    What is needed is a public, moral victory of an individual successfully identifying low frequency noise that the other authorities take the complaints seriously. Yes the Government and DEFRA has published new guidelines on Low Frequency Noise, but the authorities are reluctant to investigate sufficiently or collaborate their finding to ensure a satisfactory conclusion through identifying the culprit.


    Have you spoken to Environmental Health / Protection team from the Council? Don't be put off with other people failure to identify the source. If you need advice or assistance please use the private messaging system on MSE and I'll reply confidentially. (Hope this doesn't contravene the Forum rules).
    Last edited by daisy101; 07-09-2018 at 7:00 AM. Reason: Spelling
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