I need an investigatory plumber for this one!

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Rache, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Where are these water heaters installed, Rache? Is there one inside every individual flat? Do you have one?

    Any idea of the make and model - a thing to try would be to contact the manufacturer and ask them about what noises can you expect to come out of one of these things.

    Why a heating-up water store should rumble and vibrate beats me, but the timings do seem very consistent.
  2. Rache

    Rache Member

    They are installed in every bedroom of these flats. The one downstairs is underneath my bedroom and my own water heater. The next door one, you'd have to cross the living room (from my flat) before you get to the bedroom and the water heater, but these flats are not very big at all.

    They may have started out with the same water heaters, but I suspect that owners have changed them over time. The downstairs one I've seen and it's different to mine.

    I don't know the make and model of downstairs (and the landlady is ignoring me, which some might understand, but, my own landlady quite independently said she was very patronising as she'd met her a few times before). Next door, the guy is friendly but seems to be far less visible since I mentioned the vibration, and I'd never badgered him about it or anything, because at the beginning he was the last person I'd suspect, as he's been next door to me for 10 years or more. So his avoidance is weird.....but keeping an open mind that perhaps that's just his way, he has split with his girlfriend in the time that I've had this problem, so that could explain his change.

    What's more puzzling now is that, while I got woken at 4.30 am this morning, and kept being disturbed until 6.30 when the side neighbour left (as usual), I then tried to sleep until 8 (as I was working late today), but I got disturbed AGAIN, and that was after my neighbour left. I looked out of the window and noticed that cleaners were in the flat below my side neighbour, cleaning the inside windows, ready for new tenants to arrive. This suggests the vibration was caused by them using water....(the vibration and noises they were making all coincided, it was due to something in that flat at that moment)

    but that doesn't make any sense at all, lol.....because that flat's been empty for about 6 weeks and the vibration has been worse since then.

    If I hadn't have been so frazzled and in a rush to get to work, I'd have knocked on that flat's door and asked the cleaners if we could run a few tests, with running water, etc. It's a shame....but regardless, it's been empty there for 6 weeks and it coincides mainly with the movements of my next door neighbour mainly.
  3. Rache

    Rache Member

    Sorry for the essay, thanks for asking. :)
  4. Rache

    Rache Member

    Landlord for downstairs just emailed me, has not taken me up on the suggestion of turning off their water heater while they are between tenants, just wants to speak to my landlord and has said that they've had their water heater checked and been told there's no way any noise would be coming from it.

    Not sure what speaking to my landlord is going to do because, while they believe me, they haven't experienced it. So could easily be bullied by the other party.

    Should I take their word for it and just focus attention on the side neighbour, I wonder. Perhaps their checks are good enough.
  5. Really stumped, Rache.

    I think priority is to get another pair of ears in to your flat to hear the actual noise. Either a laypeep to simply confirm that's it's unacceptable, or ideally a more experienced person - plumber or EH officer - to perhaps even make suggestions as to the source.

    Until then, not really too sure what else you can do more than what you already are :(
    Rache likes this.
  6. Rache

    Rache Member

    Thanks, I appreciate this is a strange problem and don't expect any answers necessarily. I post here on things that might give a clue, when I see / hear something different.

    Something happened again this morning that has made me wondered if its to do with the pressure regulating valve, the thing that controls the water entering the building.

    My side neighbour is out, at work, but at 9am there was vibration and it coincided with someone running in and out of the flat underneath my side neighbour, the one that's been empty. I get the impression this someone might have been checking the electric because the meter was left open afterwards. That said, when this person left I saw a plumbing van pull out of the parking area near our flats.

    Why didn't I go down and talk to them? This is one of the problems. I was totally wiped out from my 12 hour day yesterday, arriving home at ten, not getting to bed until late, and all that on days and days of 4 and 5 hour's sleep. I just can't move at the moment, let alone speak coherently to anyone. ~This is a big part of the problem though because the vibration and opportunities like this do happen sometimes and I'm just out of it and not ready or able to speak.

    But anyway I will do what I can. If my side neighbour's downstairs flat can bring about vibration, and at the same time it coincides with my side neighbour's movements also (easy to notice when he's the only one leaving between 4 and 6am), perhaps it's to do with the water pressure regulating valve that brings water into the building from the ground?

    The mirroring ground floor flat opposite definitely had this problem, because the landlord told me...
  7. Rache

    Rache Member

    Another reason for trying to have a really good guess at it is because too many checks etc will annoy people who are not experiencing it, so want to be fairly accurate about what might be going on.

    I know I need another witness to it, I used to have friends stay a lot and I know they would feel exactly the same about it, but we're all going through different phases of our lives atm and I've been too tired to pursue it, I know I've said that before, but just to say I realise the value of it, though EH did say that even then, unless they know where it's from they can't do anything!!
  8. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    Pressure regulating valve - sounds plausible. I don't know how the internals of such devices work but can imagine there is something constricting the flow in order to reduce pressure and this could cause the sensation you're feeling. Sounds travels really well through solids so any vibration caused by the PRV would carry through the pipes.
    Rache likes this.
  9. Rache

    Rache Member

    Thanks Dr Bodgit.

    It's not helping that I'm not ready and able to run down when it happens, but not expecting it as that flat's been empty, but I will be ready tomorrow, just in case they come back to do more work, etc...

    The vibration has definitely increased since our temperature has dropped here. Yet no one has gas, only electric storage heaters and the electricity company told me that electric equipment rarely vibrates. So it has to be something to do with hot water....and maybe that PRV being activated more when water is being heated up...lol, but what do I know. I'm just a dog with a bone atm.
  10. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    If it is a PRV, then I doubt its to do with water being heated but rather when water is being used. If vibration has increased with the cold weather then its likely more to do with heating and I don't know enough about heating systems and PRVs to say what the cause would be in this case.

    That said, if heating is provided by electric heaters, then it must be to do with the water system - either the cold water feed or the heating of water.
    Rache likes this.
  11. Rache

    Rache Member

    Thanks. It narrows it down. The evidence against it being only when water is used is that sometimes it's going on from midnight till 2am, that sort of thing, and all lights are out and people are in bed, ready to disturb me at 4 - 6am, lol.

    I'll try and find out what they were doing this morning and yesterday morning in the empty flat. Maybe it is both the using of water and heating, but I understand that's complicated and possibly not an issue here.
  12. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    If its coming on at the times you state, and its fairly continuous, that heavily suggests its to do with heating water. I come back to this kettling type sound. When you switch a kettle on it makes quite a noise, almost from the moment you turn it on. If this were the kind of noise being made and transmitted through the pipes, you'd hear it.

    Sorry for not knowing, but is all power/water heating etc electric in these flats?
    Rache likes this.
  13. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    Deleted member 33931 and Rache like this.
  14. Rache

    Rache Member

    Yes that's what they tell me...I'll listen to the link
  15. Rache

    Rache Member

    That link is valuable, thanks, I will share it with any plumbers who might get questioned by the landlords. As I say, usually no sound, but if I put my ear to certain walls there is a rumbling in the walls. I'd say there's also a kind of hum, but it's incredibly subtle and not always there. Plus I'm more tolerant to that. It's the feeling of being moved by my own floor and bed that I'm struggling with.

    The knock sound is usually very precise and only once. At 1.08am, but lately it's been 12.08am, lol.

    Thanks for this Dr Bodgit.
  16. Rache

    Rache Member

    I just think it's worth noting down to help me remember (not expecting a reply), that thursday and friday night I slept all the way through, no being woken by vibration. I find that strange. My side neighbour may not have been home on thursday night. Here you hear people come in through their doors and you hear other stuff like tv's and music, etc and I wasn't aware of anything like that. Tonight, he walked through the door 20 mins ago and 10 mins later there was vibration. At a lower level, but it was there.

    So wondering if the flat beneath him had something checked by a plumber, like the PRV, and adjusted. And it means that whatever my side neighbour is doing, switching water on, or water heater, etc, is causing less vibration. It's still much too 'present' though, but definitely weaker. Maybe I just slept through it the last two nights, because it was weak enough to do so...
  17. Rache

    Rache Member

    Just quickly, saw side neighbour today and he still reports not knowing what it is but said that the person beneath him has just had a new kitchen fitted. This was done while the place was empty. It was while the place was empty that the vibration increased. In the last couple of days it's decreased again, still a problem, just slightly less of one atm.
  18. Rache

    Rache Member

    I will post up video or pics of my side neighbours toilet outflow pipe leaking. It looks like the gardeners watering can has been strategically placed under the pipe and is full of water.

    Found this this morning. Neighbour now seems to be out. I was woken by bed vibrating for an hour. Couldn'the get back to sleep so went out and heard the drips going into the can. This was after an hour. Neighbour gone and vibration virtually gone again.

    I hope you guys can tell me I might have found the source? Or is this a pretty neutral finding?
  19. We can still only speculate on here, Rache - a slow drip is unlikely to be making such a rumble, I fear.

    But, it shouldn't be leaking - the LL should be informed and can be obliged to act.
    Rache likes this.
  20. Rache

    Rache Member

    Yes, that's what I thought about a slow drip....it's just that the vibration had been going on for an hour before I decided to get up and investigate, it was dying down by the time I got up and then saw the drip, it was pretty steady..

    I was just wondering what causes those pipes to leak, as it might have pointed to something that's wrong, rather than the drip itself of course.

    The other thing in mind was I've wondered if my neighbour using his bathroom and water etc before going out to work at the ungodly hours that he does is the cause of vibration waking me up (I don't mind him doing that of course but looking for any evidence at all that it's that, so that I can get an idea if it's from his flat or the flat beneath him). So the drip to me was evidence of 'something' active / going on, all the other flats were quiet and their pipes totally dry. This neighbour is the owner of that flat.

    Thanks :)

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