I need an investigatory plumber for this one!

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

  1. Rache

    Rache Member

    thanks, I know that sounds feasible but the light isn't being left on and I hear the fan when it's on. So most of the time it's not and the vibration still happens. It's such a pain in the a$$ and I'm going to have to move, but I really want to find out what it is now, I've been disturbed for a year and it goes against the regulations for noise, but until I actually get someone here from Environmental Health at the same time as it's happening, nothing will be done (and I doubt anything will be done anyway because they still won't know where it's coming from even if they witness it and they seem loathe to even gently question the neighbours)
  2. philthespark

    philthespark Active Member

    What area are you in?
  3. Rache

    Rache Member

    Dorset. *Sigh* It's been going all evening and while it's not a problem when I'm awake, it still can't be good for someone to have all that vibration running through their body.

    I've made the mistake of putting the base of my bed back in the bedroom. I had it in another room and had my mattress in the bedroom on the floor on top of the sofa cushions (the best shield against the vibration), but I told myself that perhaps I was wrong and being back on the bed base will be better. I've just tried it and the vibration is amplified. gonna have to sleep like it tonight because I'm too exhausted to change it all back.

    Please, anyone had experience of subwoofer noises/vibrations? What are they like? This is coming in waves and I'm wondering if it's that, although it happens when the neighbours are asleep in the middle of the night too and I know they are because they get up so early....

    Environmental Health want to visit, but I don't know if the vibration will happen when they're here. If they come I might get one of them to lay on the bed, that's when you really feel it, I know it sounds funny but actually there should be no movement or intrusion like that.
  4. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    I had the sensation of an office floor vibrating, it was due to people simply walking around. The floor was suspended concrete and it started to vibrated at its resonant frequency.
  5. Rache

    Rache Member

    Thanks I get that too, and people have looked at me as if I'm mad. But it's not a problem, I can sleep through the walking vibrations because they feel natural to the body, but the others are not 'natural,' there's not a natural rhythm to them.

    I tried sleeping on my mattress in the living room last night. Big mistake. The night vibrations were slightly reduced, but this morning at 7am I was woken by what can only be described as fireworks going off through my stomach and chest. Maybe it was when a neighbour had a shower on, but I don't get that in the bedroom (I do remember this from before when I slept in the living room), it's like a million demons under the floor dancing around a bonfire.....lol....seriously that's what it was like. I think the mattress will have to go back in the bedroom tonight.

    Really hope EH can help. I wish they would come and stay the night here, I'll go away for the night and leave them here, they'll soon get it.

    Meanwhile, now, at 11am (and from 9am onwards) it's beautifully quiet, I have a normal floor and I could sleep peacefully, but I've got to go to work.
  6. Rache

    Rache Member

    Anyone have any guesses what would cause a sensation like that to come up through the floor? I'm wondering whether to ask my neighbour if he had his shower on at that time, but I don't want to annoy anyone, and if water running under the floor wouldn't cause that sort of sensation then it's not worth asking.

    What about someone switching on a subwoofer? I definitely got a feeling of something starting up and once it was 'going' it wasn't as bad. (Still impossible to sleep with , but at least I didn't feel under 'attack')
  7. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    This sounds like something akin to "kettling" in a hot water cylinder which occurs more with electric elements. Does it sound/feel a bit like your kettle when its turned on and the element starts to "pop" as it heats up the water?
  8. Rache

    Rache Member

    Interesting. I'm not sure about sensations going 'pop' exactly, possibly...I know one thing, I'm not sleeping in the living room anymore, whilst the general vibration is less, that sensation this morning (which I've had before when on the living room floor) feels incredibly unhealthy, you're sound asleep, all guards down and then suddenly all this weird vibration (fireworks) coming up through the floor and straight into your chest. I've woken up a few times with my arms crossed over my chest and face down as if I'm trying to protect myself from it.

    Something has to change, I'm not getting any help from anyone here about it. No one is ultimately responsible. My neighbours are either avoiding the issue or genuinely can't feel it, but it's definitely happening when two of them are home. I'm stuck in a circle of not being able to speak to them because I'm worried about annoying them and going on about it, but then nothing is changing because of that.

    I might call around some plumbers in the morning and see if any can come out at a time when it's happening.
  9. Rache

    Rache Member

    If someone's water heater is kettling, are you more likely to get that green deposit stuff on their outdoor pipe (the one that allows water out if the pressure relief valve kicks in)?

    The flat underneath my next door neighbour has a very green outdoor pipe compared to the rest of us, and I'm always awake when she is up in the early hours, usually with vibration happening (though that doesn't mean its coming from there)
  10. Rache

    Rache Member

    Have something tangible. The person from one of the opposite flats on the ground floor reported they had a vibration very similar to what I describe. The plumber found it was something to do with the Pressure Regulator Valve, which was situated under their bath.

    the same flat on my side is next door and down (I'm on the first floor, so it's the flat under my next door neighbour), I often hear a rumbling in the party wall plus that person talking, despite her being down one level.

    So my question is, do you guys think it's possible it might be the same thing? Would that sort of thing start vibrating by itself at 2am in the morning, or does it only vibrate when someone is using water? (sometimes the vibration goes on for hours, sometimes just 20 mins)

  11. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    If by Pressure Regulating Valve you mean a Pressure Reducing Valve, then I can certainly confirm that they can vibrate at times. I fitted a brand new Caleffi (I think) in my mum-in-law's hoosie, and the darned things started to hum and squeeeee like a mad thing when passing water (ooh-er...).

    What a racket - it made all the cold pipes vibrate and it was truly hellish.

    Adjusting the pressure didn't help, so I dismantled it completely (easy) and lubed it all with silicone grease.

    But, for it to be this, it would have to have water being drawn through it. And I'd have thought that others would hear it too. Unless it's fitted outside the flats, in a kind of utilities cavity or summat.
  12. Rache

    Rache Member

    Thanks. Well the guy who did have the Pressure Reducing Valve problem did feel it. I didn't get the impression it was only when he was drawing water....? Are they linked to the water heaters somehow as well? So maybe something happens even when they're all in bed....but only I'm getting the vibration. That said the person I think this is coming from is usually up when all the vibrating is happening...

    Wondering if it is located in the two lower flats and then runs up to serve the others in the block (only 8 in our block), so maybe it's anyone who is turning on a tap....

    Or perhaps too much guesswork, lol, what do I know, absolutely nothing. I will see what environmental health think when they come this week. Hopefully they will hear/feel it. I just hope I'm onto something now otherwise I should be taking another flat that's being offered
  13. Rache

    Rache Member

    I'm going to look at another flat on Monday. I don't want to do this but there doesn't seem any other way out.

    Environmental Health visited but the vibration didn't happen until 15 mins after they left (it tends to happen when people are going to bed and when getting up in the early hours, they just didn't go to bed while EH was here). They said that I could spend a couple of hundred pounds getting an acoustics company to give me vibration recording material but then all I will do is prove it's happening. Once I've done that, there's still the problem of them finding out what it is and it's not obvious to them, myself, (anyone here), etc.

    Knocking on my two neighbour's doors is out of the question to them, I'm really not sure why, especially if I explained things to the neighbours first and explained it's not anyone's behaviour that's a problem. I did actually knock on one of my side neighbour's doors yesterday and he said that, apart from his noisy boiler, which doesn't cause any vibration in his home and would have to run across his bedroom and then living room floor before reaching me, he can't think of any thing else it would be and was therefore thinking it must be the pressure reducing valve of the flat beneath (because

    My landlady said that a plumber thinks it could well be the pressure reducing valve on this side of the building, in the flat underneath my side neighbour, but ............well perhaps you guys can tell me, how would a plumber normally approach this situation where the problem may come from a different residence? I suppose I need to speak to that neighbour and ask if she minds having a plumber check that valve?

    thanks for reading :)
  14. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    What this problem requires is (a) an experienced plumber - ideally with these sorts of flats - and (b) for him to be there when the noise happens.

    Everything else is gonna be speculation, I'm afraid.
    Rache likes this.
  15. Rache

    Rache Member


    Well that's going to be the last thing that should happen this coming week. I'll review all the recordings and see if I can pinpoint a good time and get the plumber to visit for when it happens....

    then see if he wants to knock on any doors. Otherwise I can't see a solution, I will focus on moving. :)

    Thanks Devil's Advocate
    Devil's Advocate likes this.
  16. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    Time to think "out of the box". The precise timing of the start of vibrations is shouting "timer" at me - even if you lived above a tube line the train times are not that precise. So we have a timer switching something on at 8 minutes past midnight (which may have been required at 11:08 pm if, as is common in my experience the BST/GMT change was not made on the timer/programmer but they have just lived with the wrong switch-on time). The most likely timer in your flats is a heating one. Why would anyone want heating or hot water to come on precisely at that time? Perhaps it's an off peak meter and the heating timer/programmer is set to co-incide with the cheap rate cutting in- and at that time of night the system would probably be calling for heat, if not "allowed" on before OK so what could cause the vibrations if it is the heating? So my front runners and validating checks are as follows and need knocking on doors at possibly unearthly hours when the vibrations are in progress:

    1. Check the circulating pump in the offending flat by turning down the room thermostat set temperature until it stops the pump.If this doesn't stop the vibrations:
    2. Check the pressure relief valves on the boiler and or the cylinder of the offending flat to see if it/they is/are passing (the outside pipe will have water flowing out is this is the case.

    I fully appreciate that in practice this may not be possible for you to check, but desperate times need desperate measures..

    That's the best I can do.
    Rache likes this.
  17. Rache

    Rache Member

    Thanks. I think pumps are only relevant where there's gas? There's no gas in these flats...

    Number 2 is happening with the flat downstairs. it's the only pipe in the block that is constantly dripping water. However the vibration seems to coincide with movements of 2 other neighbours who are in one other part of the building.

    I'll get back when anything further is checked out and if I can report a solution or something more tangible.
  18. Rache

    Rache Member

    Well just an update. The outside pipe that comes off the water heater (of the flat downstairs) has water running out of it constantly now, like a tap. Been like it for a couple of days (maybe more I don't know). I've reported it to the landlord for the property but it's still happening. I'm sleeping almost directly on top of that water heater...
  19. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

    I feel for you.
  20. Rache

    Rache Member

    I've seen that water heater, the tenant showed it to me, it looks like a nuclear missile, lol
    Devil's Advocate likes this.

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