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Question DetailsAsked on 10/7/2016

Constant vibration -no answer?? who can help?

Comes from neighbors who hear & feel nothing?? I checked with Electric Co.=No//Heater man + Air conditioner=No/=Water, Pipes & Sewage=No/Licenses & Inspection= a check was not done when I asked. The Police must send them. I sleep only 3-4 hours a night as it runs louder or quieter 24/7elp? Who can find out what it is???

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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


I assume you only feel this when at home - never away from house or at work - so not a nervous system condition causing movement sensation when maybe there is none ? Sometimes inner ear problems or very high blood pressure can cause this sensation also, when it is actually the heart pumping being felt. Also, if vibration is felt as strongly when on the bed, or heard as loud or louder when head is wrapped in a pillow, I would be looking at medical source - though of course should hear it away from the house as well (in quiet places at least) if that is the case. Maybe even stay at a motel/hotel some miles away (so no chance of hearing/feeling any ambient commercial/industrial noise source that is near your house) for a night to see if you feel/hear it there. I am serious about this - had this happen to me some years ago (was a rushing sound like water flowing) constantly jerking me awake at night thinking I heard a leaking pipe - turned out to be a blocked inner ear canal due to ear infection, so what I was hearing was the sound of blood rushing through the nearby veins. Kept me from getting any decent sleep for several days till it started being audible when away from house too and also started feeling my ear was pressured up, which led me to go to the doctor and cure it.

Assuming only felt/heard at your home - all I can suggest is when it is near its loudest/most noticeable walk around inside and outside, and sit in a hard chair (to transfer the vibrations better) various places outside (especially on hard surfaces like porch, patio, sidewalk, drive) to get a feel for whether it is coming from the house or from outside. And listen at the ground with your ear to hear if coming through the ground from some distance away. If outside, track to its source - common sources (though less likely if neighbors say they don't hear it though they might have acclimated to it) include industrial and commercial facilities, utility sewage lift pumps/transfer stations, oil well pumps, air conditioners, water pressure pumps or large well pumps in public water system, electrical transformer hum at nearby transformer or substation, highway traffic (in which case should vary by traffic volume though possibly louder at night due to truck traffic), railroad or subway traffic, vibration from engines of large ships in nearby port or loading/unloading facilities, airport noise, 24 hour operations at quarry or gravel pit or road construction site or such within a mile or two. Some people can also hear the 60-cycle hum from high tension lines or nearby electric transformer - though I have never heard of someone "feeling" it, but a near sub-sonic hum might be considered to be "felt" because low frequency noise and vibration are not readily distinguished between each other by your nervous system.

Commonly neighbor's A/C or attic fan is the cause of this sort of issue if not from your house - causing air vibrations that travel to your house and bounce off it, causing barely audible or sub-audible house vibration.

When checking for outside sources, put ear plug in one ear, then make a narrow cone (like old- hearing horn) out of cardboard from cereal box or such so you can "aim" your listening more precisely.

Then, if inside is loudest and apparent source, get a $10-15 stethoscope at pharmacy department (metal head ones work better than plastic for this) and listen around the house to track down where it is loudest - in HVAC system, in plumbing, at windows, or in framing. Then track to where it gets loudest. You can also do the process-of-elimination route - turn off circuit breakers one by one to find out if sound goes away when one of them is turned off, then figure out what is connected to that breaker.

Also, for vibration, move around with a glass of water to see where the water jiggles the most when set down on hard surface - though that is not going to be real precise on location.

Common possible indoor sources for that sort of sound/vibration - furnace, boiler, air conditioner or heat pump (including separate air handler if it has one), attic or whole-house fan, basement or other location air recirculation or "robin hood" fan moving household air from one are to another, humidifier/dehumidifier (on furnace or stand-alone), sump pump (either in basement or in outdoor wetwell for foundation french drain system), in-floor hot water heating system pump, "instant hot water" circulating pump on hot water piping, high-efficiency hot water heater with heat pump on top, boiling in water heater or household heating boiler due to overheating or sediment buildup in the bottom, tankless hot water heater boiling in the tank, swimming pool or hot tub/spa/jacuzzi pump, water conditioner, well pump, septic system or sewage lift/grinding pump running (if you have one), kitchen or bathroom fan running, point-of-use water filtration or purification system (commonly under kitchen sink). [Ignoring things like washer, dryer, dishwasher, backup generator, etc that would be pretty obvious if they were running 24/7]

One last thought - google or call local newspaper and see if anyone has done a local story on subsonic hum or ground "hum" in your area - there are a number of areas around the country where microseismic "hum" occurs. Can commonly sound from a subway sound to a freight train sound with or without "felt" vibration. Google "the hum" for articles and info on it - most commonly reported (that I have seen articles on) in one area near Stone Mountain in Georgia and in the upper midwest - in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin among others. Most commonly reported at night, not because it is necessarily louder then, just that there is less background noise to drown it out. Course, if that is the source, you could go down the street several houses and still hear/feel it - would not be restricted to just your house. I sstayed several days in a place in Wisconsin that had this occurrence - the "hum" sounded about as loud as a neighboring outdoor air conditioner heard through the house walls but could be heard many places in the general area.

If you are unable to track it down yourself, get a relative or friend or friendly neighbor or two to see if they hear/feel it in the house and to help you trace it - or if unable to track down yourself or physically unable, call a Home Inspector (would be my choice) or a Handyman to do it for you. (Not likely to have stethoscope - so ask when you talk to them,, they may need to pick one up on way to house).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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