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My friend is sensitive to this funny noise

spirits

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Hi. A good friend and neighbor has been suffering from this for about a year and I was wondering if any TUGGERS might have some insight. She lives across the alley from me and we both share a 30 foot easement between our houses and the houses next to us. Basically it is a utility corridor that is too small to build on but the city allows us to use the surface while they have access to the underground utilities, gas, water and electric.
7 years ago this area was badly flooded and the city dug up the easement to place a larger water and waste water system of pipes. They dug down 30 feet and the pipes they used were pretty large. So far so good. Work was completed at our houses on the land between our houses.
Two blocks away the city has been working on finishing the pipe system they completed for us. Last winter they had small carts they used to take dirt back to the surface. This was the dirt they were displacing to build the underground tunnels. It was all done by hand and the carts were pushed by the men manually. My DH who is retired was home most days and could hear the rumbling of the carts all day long. It would start at 7 am and often go until 5-8 pm. Every day all day. Both he and my neighbor sort of complained but I just told him to get out of the house more often.:D She worked a lot of nights and often wanted to sleep in but they would not adjust their schedule and rightly so as far as I was concerned.:rolleyes:
This spring they were all done around our house but the work they were doing 2 blocks away was closer to her than to us. Now she says that she hears a type of rumble rumble noise that goes on all day and all night. She can barely sleep and it is really bothering her. A few people have noticed it when visiting her but most of us can't hear it. It is not really a noise but more of a vibration. The city has sent someone to measure the noise but the tests are inconclusive. She told us today that the worker said that there was something on his instrument but the official report did not state anything. She is thinking of using the Freedom and Information Act (FOIP) to get access to the report. She is a good friend, lives alone with two dogs and is a "stubborn" personality.
My MIL was overly sensitive to some smells, and would keep the city workers running with her complaints. Part of me thinks it is a neurotic reaction to the stress of dealing with all the problems of the flooding. It was rough for all of us but at least we had our families to help out. She is alone and takes all responsibility for the house.
The other part is that she is a great person and very capable in her affairs. She has a demanding job and is obviously an intelligent person. So....is there anyone with any insight.
 

amycurl

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Weird. Some people are just more sensitive...my DH can hear high-frequency sound emissions/whines from some TVs, etc., that I can't hear at all. The lack of sleep is probably making the whole thing worse.

Can she sleep during the day at your house, if it's less noticeable there? Can you give her a Getaway to HHI in the off season for a week of total R&R? Can she go see a mental health specialist, who might prescribe something like this (or a hotel room somewhere else in town, so she can still work) in such a way that health insurance would pay for it? Because at this point, I think it's become probably both a physical and mental health issue for her (lack of sleep really is both.)

My two cents, FWIW.
 

spirits

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I have offered

I have offered our house but she prefers her own house. She has been on vacation yes, and does not hear the noise anywhere else. She has a great benefit plan so no worries there. Her mother recently went into care and so she could sleep there and just come home to let out the dogs. I think she just wants a resolution. She is rebuilding her garage, tearing up an old driveway and putting in a new back yard. Now she is talking about moving if she cannot get the problem resolved. Anyway, she has lots of options and is not a malingerer. Just wondering if anyone has insight to what the noise could be. My husband thinks it could be from many blocks away, not from the recent activity and the noise is travelling down the new pipe system.
PS. She was over for supper tonight and said she could feel the noise from our living room but we couldn't . Now.....if I start hearing noises:eek:
 

glypnirsgirl

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I am one of those people that is extremely sensitive to low frequency noise - it is absolutely maddening to me. So, I really feel for her.

When I am traveling, I wear earplugs. First, I put in the squishy ones that go inside the ear canal and over that I put the malleable silicon plugs in - neither by itself is sufficient.

My husband took a sheet of dry wall and cut it to fit our bedroom windows and put that baffle foam inside it. It makes the room useless for doing anything in the daytime, but it is great for sleeping.

elaine
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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One possibility that is consistent with your description is that the noise is hydraulic, caused for the flow of water in the pipes. The changes in piping would change the system hydraulics in the area, and there could be a sound being generated now that wasn't there before - or it may have been there before but now the frequency is different.

The observation that it goes on all of the time, even when work is shut down at the other location, is consistent with this theory.

If this is correct, my first suspicion would be a pressurized pipe - meaning the drinking water system, of if the sewer system if there is a force main. In an unpressurized pipe - such as an ordinary sewer - they hydraulic conditions vary much more widely - so the fact that the noise is there all of the time argues against a gravity sewer being the source of the noise.
 

spirits

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Great insight people

I love Tuggers. She has tried ear plugs but I bet not the both of them together. I'm not sure if it is a noise per say she is hearing. She says that it is pretty strong in the basement so it may be more the sound/vibrations coming from the pipes. Yes, my husband and I think it is because of the different flow rates/pumping requirements of the new system.
My son did a practicum in a rehab clinic where the poor unfortunates there needed to deal with chronic pain. They were never going to get better and so all efforts were based on helping them come to terms with the reality they will need to face in the future. I am simplifiying but the point is they needed to make cognitive changes. I suggested she take yoga or other meditative proceedures to help her cope. I think that went over like a lead balloon:eek: but short of moving it might help it certainly would not hurt. Thanks guys. I stand in awe of our collective wisdom, not for the first time.
 

Elan

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Perhaps she should consider installing a white noise generator?
 

MULTIZ321

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I think she should see an Audiologist for a hearing test and
have Tinnitus ruled out. Very possible it could be Tinnitus.


Richard
 

Passepartout

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Perhaps she should consider installing a white noise generator?

This was also going to be a possible solution I'd suggest. The affected person might try something as simple as a TV or radio tuned to an unused frequency. Couldn't hurt. Might help.

In a former incarnation, I used this tactic to sleep in the big truck with a reefer running 20" from my bed.

Jim
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]

Rose Pink

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My nephew has a neighbor that insists that she can hear a humming/buzzing noise coming from his television satellite dish. She's the only one who can hear it.
 

spirits

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She still hears the noise

Thanks for the replies here. I showed her this thread a couple of months ago and she said she would try the white noise idea. No go. Also it is not tinitus according to her doctor.
On a side note, a few years ago my son was doing a practicum at a physio clinic and he told me that this was a clinic for chronic pain. It had a variety of medical providers, nurses, doctors, physio therapists and psychologists working as a team to help the patients with chronic pain control. Basically the situation was chronic, probably not able to be cured and the goal was to get them to accept the fact and deal with the condition. Of course I am simplifing his conversation, but the point is somethings just need to be not just tolerated but accepted for the reality it is. I do believe she has developed a sensitivity to this noise and will need to deal with it or leave the house.
A few weeks later she was over for coffee and mentioned that the noise in our house was very perceptable to her. We were not able to hear/feel it. Very strange. She has my sympathy but now that conversation is moot. Thanks for your responses.
 
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