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Discuss Vibration in floor...boiler/water heater? in the Plumbing Forum area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Can anyone offer any experienced or expert advice?

    I'm being woken most nights especially around 1am and again around 4 - 6am to my floor and bed vibrating. A neighbour has said his water heater/boiler had new valve fitted. He said it's noisy but didn't think it would cause vibration in my next door flat.

    It's happening now asI'm typing and I put my ear to various walls to try to locate it. The only place with any sound is next to this neighbour and there isa pressured sound in the wall.

    Is this sounding like aboiler/water heater problem? If so what sort of problems are there? I'm wondering about offering to pay for my neighbour to have aplumber check the boiler, as it's affecting me, but if they checkedduring the day when there often isn't any perceived vibration, wouldthey still find a problem?

    Thoughts and advicewelcome on this one. I seriously cannot sleep at night as itvibrates the whole flat and there's nowhere to place my mattress tosleep!
  2. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Anyone have an opinion on this? I realise you may not have an answer but still interested in any thoughts. Or can you direct me to other places where I could ask this question, it does seem like a plumbing issue to me...thanks :)
  3. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    Do you know what sort of valve it was? Gas or water?

    As a quick check ask your neighbour to make sure all stop cocks etc are open.
  4. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Thanks. I don't know what sort of valve and at the moment I'm leaving my neighbour alone as he doesn't think it's coming from him, and I can't keep on about it...even though I'm seriously sleep deprived.

    What would making sure all stop cocks are open do?

    I don't think anyone in these flats has gas by the way, so perhaps it's water??

    Thanks for your time :)
  5. jonnyswamp

    jonnyswamp Plumber GSR

    It seems as though your neighbours cold water supply pipe runs through your flat and when water is used elsewhere in the building you get to hear the water hammer
    Have you got a landlord or a company that looks after the building? It will probably only be a faulty washer, but it's finding which one in which flat, which (if you have one) the maintenance co should sort out
    Or it's time to let a plumber spend the night at yours, I'm sure there will be one or two candidates (reprobates) on here would oblige
    Croppie is known for his generosity
  6. jonnyswamp

    jonnyswamp Plumber GSR

    Deleted, double post
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  7. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Interesting, the management company don't seem interested at all. I think I'm 95% sure which flat, at least in terms of direction now. I just need to talk about things in a way that doesn't scare the neighbour off, or make them think they'll have to pay out loads. i'm willing to pay for a plumber to do some checks BUT someone told me the plumber would only check the water heaters and would be unlikely to find a problem.

    How would a plumber check for this? Would they have to be present when it's happening or can they switch stuff on to check? Sorry for the daft question, but it's always at the wrong time. I have vampires for neighbours.

    And being so sleep deprived I'm not really very good company lol
  8. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Something else I've thought of, the neighbour who I think it's coming from often goes to bed early, around 10 ish and is up very early for work, sometimes at 4. But I feel the vibrating often from 11pm - 2.30am. I don't think they would be using water all that time....thats the confusing part.
  9. Riley

    Riley Plumber GSR

    It's all guesswork mate. Tanks could be refilling slowly when the neighbour is asleep. Really need to get a plumber in again
  10. Radioman

    Radioman Active Member

    You could try and find his water meter and turn it off.
  11. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Now I'm showing my ignorance....would turning his water meter off immediately stop the vibration (and hence confirm where it's coming from)? Thing is I don't want to upset anyone, lol
  12. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Ok, so tomorrow I will try and find a plumber. The difficulty is that most people answering the phones are not actually plumbers, they can't discuss the issue. But I'll have another go tomorrow. Thanks
  13. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    Whereabouts are you? One of us might be nearby.
  14. jonnyswamp

    jonnyswamp Plumber GSR

    You're not staying overnight!
    Mrs Croppie wouldn't be best pleased
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Riley

    Riley Plumber GSR

    Ha ha
  16. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    No... no, she wouldn't be. ..
  17. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    I know it's guesswork, but with the description I've given, does it even remotely sound like something you'd deal with? Vibration, more at weekends, from 10pm - 2am, and again anytime from 4am - 9am, usually 5am. Ongoing. From the You Tube vids I've watched that isn't typical water hammer...though, as a lay person I wouldn't rule it out, but ongoing for those lengths of time, and why more at weekends....the only difference is that the neighbours are home more then.

    Before I get a plumber, will have to see if the neighbour is ok with it, as the plumber won't be checking out my flat (unless the vibration is happening then, but often isn't during daylight and early eve). Thanks for reading.
  18. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    LOL, by the way I'm in Dorset...and seriously feeling ill and sleep deprived.
  19. plumb_know

    plumb_know Plumber

    If it happens every day, I would try turning off your meter or internal stopcock for the flat for the night and see if this stops the noise?. If it does then would point towards it being your flat. Common problems would be stopcock washer/jumper or toilet float valve washer.

    I would see if turning your water off at night first cures it rather than pay for plumber to investigate a neighbours property which could be waste of time
  20. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Thanks for that. It was happening at a time when I had a leaky tap so I was routinely turning the stopcock off, and it was still happening, but I will give it another go. Also I guess that would be an easy thing to ask a neighbour to try one night...although they're up at four for work so I don't know if it will tell me much as they'll have it on again. But I will bear all this in mind, thanks.
  21. Stoney Ground

    Stoney Ground GSR

    At those times pressure in mains will be at its highest, if someone is using water elsewhere could cause water hammer in associated pipes.

    Good luck finding it.
  22. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR

    It does sound like water hammer.
    Sometimes a ball tap that's closing after filling a cistern could cause it ( On a WC or cold water tank possibly). Especially diaphragm types.
    The water pressure in the mains is higher at night so that might account for you hearing it more at night !
    The difficulty is that sound travels well through pipe work and if it's a block of flats, it could be anywhere.
    Is there a maintenance team/person ?
    Could you ask if there is any chance of them checking the flat next doors WC or the main cold water tanks if there are any.
    Ask your neighbour if he uses the water during the night !

    Sorry for waffling on, hope you sort it
  23. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Thanks Stoney Ground and Last Plumber - Last Plumber, don't apologise for waffling, it's helpful, this is driving me crazy, I don't feel like my home is my own anymore.

    I am talking to the council this week, I will tell them what 'theories' I have (thanks to the help here also) and look at the options as to what to do next, which will probably involve asking my neighbour for help with it again, whether he is using the water, whether the maintenance company can check the tanks, etc...this week I'll look for more specific answers. I really hope I find something as it's been almost a year with very little sleep (on top of two bereavements and other family stress....and breathe...thanks again)
  24. Riley

    Riley Plumber GSR

    where in Dorset are you I am there sporadically these days with work. If I can't help then I may be able to recommend somebody reliable to try and sort you out
  25. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Thanks Riley

    I'm away for most of the next fortnight, so for now I just want to try and pinpoint in theory what might be going on, but I may get back to you and others here.
  26. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Ok an update. What can you gather from this so far?

    There are only 3 possible neighbours in my block, one below me, one next to me on the first floor and one below him.

    A lot of the time when I'm woken in the early hours both my next door (on my level) and the person beneath him are already up and getting ready for work (lights are on). The vibration often starts around or before this time. (it also sometimes goes like the clappers in the middle of the night, between midnight and four am sometimes continuously and it's like a mini earthquake in my flat).

    The person beneath me has been kind enough to check all appliances with me and none of them caused a vibration, BUT we haven't checked whether the night water heater is doing it because we couldn't check that during the day (apparently it comes on by itself and she doesn't touch it, even if going away).

    Here's something. A local plumber told me to watch two pipes on the front of my building. There was a long one that comes out of the wall of my flat and a short one, comes out of the wall of the downstairs flat. He said if either of them start dripping water when the vibration is taking place, it's a sign that someone's boiler is overheating.

    Well a couple of times in the middle of the night when there is a mini earthquake going on, I've gone out and the shorter pipe is leaking water, regularly dripping.

    Now in theory that would be coming from my downstairs neighbour's home, BUT I'm actually more of the belief that the vibration is coming from the flat next door, because it always seems to happen when that person is in or comes home and not otherwise.

    Before I call anyone out (and I'm away most of this week and next on work trips), any thoughts on this one? Could that short pipe, even though it seems to be coming out of the downstairs flat, be coming from my next door neighbour on my first floor level? What would it's leaking point to?

    This is starting to freak me out a bit because it really is intense at times (the last two nights in fact, perhaps due to drop in temperature) but all three neighbours say they don't feel or hear anything and I can't knock any of them up in the middle of the night yet, until I'm clearer on where it's coming from. Surely at some point something will give, my lounge floor and bedroom is vibrating intensely when it happens. I have a feeling my next door neighbour knows what it is as he seems to have avoided conversation about it with me. He also mentioned having had a valve replaced on his water heater and said he wished he could afford a new water heater. But of course it could be me just thinking that it's coming from there.

    On another note I haven't a clue what people are talking about when they mention the ball cock in a cistern, how could that, going below a certain level cause such intense (mini earthquake type) vibrations across my flat?

    Thanks for your time everyone.
  27. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR

    Now you're sounding like you have a pressure relief valve opening somewhere.

    That would sound like a pneumatic drill.

    Either a filling loop left open on a boiler or faulty unvented cylinder. If others can't hear it then I'm presuming it's your flat
    Really loud !
  28. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR

    What system do you have for heating and hot water.?
  29. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Heatrae Sadia, water heater....I also have storage heaters. Been keeping my water heater off during the night to be sure it's not mine..

    Yes, like pneumatic drill but not noise, not sound, you don't 'hear' you feel it, like a mini earthquake in the floor..sadly through the bed too

    Thanks :)
  30. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR

    No noise, very weird!
    I'll give it more thought !
  31. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    I should say I'm not posting on here to try and save money or anything, I'd gladly pay someone to solve the problem.

    But I'm not sure how anyone can solve it if they visit me during normal sociable hours, because it's rarely happening then (although I could try a saturday, it was happening all day on saturday just gone). But even if I have a plumber come out on a saturday and they feel it, I'm guessing they won't know which neighbour it's coming from.

    Incidentally there is something that needs doing on my own water heater. My landlady's plumber is coming in a week to sort that, but he doesn't think it's necessarily the cause of the vibration, as that only seems to happen when a certain neighbour is home (and also, to be sure I'm keeping my water heater off all night and just heating up for 30 mins in the morning using the immersion for now)

    Thanks again.
  32. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    When I say no noise, if you listen there is a low level throbbing sound and if I put my ear to the wall of my neighbour there's a rumbling in the wall, but none of that is a problem at all, it's the intense vibration in my floor that is.

    Thanks for thinking it through, appreciate it!
  33. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR

    No worries!
    Have you got wooden floors ?

    It's not next doors washing machine on spin or anything daft like that is it ?
  34. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    A man around the corner is a structural engineer and he came in one lunchtime just to have a look around, he said 'well you've got concrete floors.' No idea how he knew, but apparently it's concrete floors, lol.

    He had no idea but said if he had to guess it would be something to do with drainage. To me it sounds far too active for drainage. It does sound like a washing machine on a spin cycle but it's not because it goes on all day at weekends sometimes and during the week nights it goes on too long. Also the neighbour's have all said they are not using their washing machines in the early hours or after midnight. I believe them on that one.
  35. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR

    Do you live near anything like a quarry or busy motorway ?
    Or anywhere where drilling is active ?
  36. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    No, thanks for considering it but it's not outside of the flats. I'm in a rural town and been here for ten years. No quarry, not the railway...

    To me the biggest clue are that it occurs whena certain neighbour is in, occurs late at night and early hours ofthe morning and a pipe is leaking at the front of the building whenit's at it's worst (very intense in the middle of the night, between1am and 4am)

    Thanks again :)
  37. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Sorry for poor spacing above, I'm having to type out my response on word and then copy and paste here now, for some reason my keyboard doesn't work well on this site!
  38. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

  39. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Coming up as a blank page.
  40. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

  41. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Add ******.co.uk where the ***** are
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  42. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Anyone have any idea about this above? I'm just wondering whether to call a plumber out next week or give up and move. (the crucial thing being whether it's worth having a plumber come out if the vibration is not actually happening and/or even if it was happening, what can they possibly know from it alone with no other clues) Thanks.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  43. john999uk

    john999uk Member

    I am not a plumber so my suggestion is not a plumbing solution. While it would be great to get to the bottom of the problem and fix it, maybe a quicker easer solution is to reduce it's impact on you. What I mean is if it's the vibration that is waking you up then maybe stop the vibrations going to the bed. You can get anti vibration mounts, not intended for beds but they might work. Have a google for anti vibration mounts and see what you can find that can go between the bed and the floor.
    Hope that gives you some ideas that you could try without bothering the neighbours.
    Fingers crossed you can find a solution that gives you a good night sleep.
  44. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Thanks I appreciate the suggestion, I have tried virtually everything sadly and have been given the same advice by an audio specialist (he did say that some vibrations permeate everything though), sadly this vibration permeates everything..so now it's find the source or move (and I'm so exhausted moving is not appealing either at the moment). Appreciate the thought and I will have one last search though, thanks.
  45. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    The reason I am posting again is I'm trying to arrive at a decision. I don't want to leave this in limbo for much longer.

    I'm wondering if the reason there are no responses to my latest post is because it is a very complicated issue and difficult to find the source? If that's the case, please feel free to tell me what you're all thinking because I need this to stop one way or another, either by finding the source (and to me the evidence suggests downstair's water heater overheating, or next door neighbour's water heater) OR by making plans to move. I've been getting four hour's sleep a night for a year now and I have to stop the problem one way or the other.

    thanks :)
  46. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR

    Hello again.
    Do you know if the neighbours have unvented hot water cylinders ?
    If it's a pressure relief valve operating, they will open and shut rapidly. This gives a fast thumping that could possibly cause vibrations to travel depending on where the tank and pipework is in relation to your floor.
  47. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Thanks Last Plumber

    I've just looked it upand yes, I'm thinking that all the flats would have unvented as I'veheard no one talk here about a water tank in any loft, etc.

    The neighbour who toldme his boiler was noisy, later told me he had a valve replaced and hedoes sometimes wonder whether it'll 'hold' but when I asked him if hefelt any vibration coming from it he said no and has avoided myrequests for switching things on in his flat to see if anythingcauses a vibration.

    That said, I know thataround the time this all started last year, my downstairs neighbourhad a new water heater put in, but it was a couple of months afterthat that I noticed a problem. The downstairs neighbour also reportsthat all pipes from that water heater go down into the ground, not uptowards my flat.

    I have 3 theories onthe go currently:

    1. It's the neighbour next door's water heater/boiler, who said it was noisy and really needed replacing
    2. It's the new water heater that was installed downstairs last year
    3. It's the neighbour next door's subwoofer (or whatever these things are)

    Logic tells me it'sunlikely to be number 3 because it often happens when that neighbouris in bed and he gets up incredibly early for work, so unlikely to beup all night with subwoofer on, etc.

    All the rest of theevidence points to number 1, from what he said and the fact that hehad a valve replaced....but also to number 2, because there's anoverflow copper pipe on the outside of downstairs' flat that issometimes rhythmically dripping water in the early hours when thevibration is going like the clappers, lol.

    I think I'm going tosee what a plumber thinks as soon as I can and then, depending onwhat he works out, ask the landlady to speak to all adjoiningneighbours, failing that, plan to move.
  48. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    If it were my neighbour, could he live with that sound in his own flat, in the middle of the night? I suppose if it's too expensive to replace then perhaps so.

    I've learned one thing from all this, sound isn't as bad as vibration. You can learn to shut out sound, but not vibration.
  49. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR

    I think favourite is number two. That pipe could be the one from the PRV
    ( pressure relief valve ).
    The plumber will need to witness things to be able to identify anything I would expect.
    Let us know his or her thoughts
  50. Rachiex

    Rachiex New Member

    Thanks for thinking it through with me Last Plumber. I have one reservation about it being number 2 (downstairs) and that is, whenever I'm woken in the early hours by the vibration, it always coincides with my side neighbour (and the one under him) being up and about getting ready for work at 4 – 5 am. The downstairs neighbour is often away.

    That said the downstairs neighbour did say that her night water heater is on even when she's away and that pipe is the only concrete thing I've seen that points to something.

    I'll let you know, my landlady will probably want to send out her own plumber but I will be keeping all the helpful people here in mind if they are nearby.

    Thanks again, I'm intrigued to find out what it is now it's driving me crazy (and have friends telling me its a poltergeist, lol)