Author Topic: Neighbor's garbage disposal  (Read 6376 times)

QuietPlease!

  • Guest
Neighbor's garbage disposal
« on: February 01, 2008, 07:24:51 PM »
I recently purchased a sound meter so I could get some objective measure of just how invasive my neighbor's noise is. When they use their garbage disposal, I get a reading of 60-70 dBA (not C, A!). This is almost the same reading I got when the local hospital medivac chopper hovered over our building. :o

I've had our party wall tested to 45 STC, so for 60 dBA to be getting through the wall the disposal must be running at over 100 dBA in their unit. They use this disposal twice daily, and it makes my entire townhome buzz. They've used it as early as 6:30 AM and as late as 11:30 PM. Last week I swear they used it at 2:30 AM (though it could have been a blender of margaritas, no proof either way).

Is there any way I can protect myself from this home invasion? BTW, the father of this family is the HOA president, so no recourse there.

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 09:08:10 PM »
Probably the cheapest thing you could do to (mostly) eliminate the noise is buy them a new garbage disposal.  You can get a pretty quiet unit for $160-180 and a really quiet one for $250. 

Who knows, maybe they are unhappy with their disposal and are considering replacing it anyway.  Offer to pay for half (but only if they get a good, quiet high-end unit).

Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2008, 12:34:56 AM »
Hi,
100 db is quite loud. Are you sure its running at this level - It would make them deaf soon at full blast if they stayed near to it!
Maybe you have a weak area of low mass where the sound is getting through floor/roof or windows? :)

Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2008, 02:09:23 PM »
Hi,
I forgot to add that windows are usually the problem and that even good double glazing units may only have 20 stc in the low frequency so the sound just gets through here instead of through the walls which have more mass. So windows can be a weak point. :)

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2008, 01:52:01 AM »
One thing to remember QuietPlease:  An STC partition rating is only for airborne sound.  Your neighbors disposal is mostly structure-borne, with the vibration easily flanking your party wall through the floor joists and subfloor, possibly the common exterior wall framing and to a lesser extent ceiling joists/rafters.  Most of the noise is coming through that way.  Extremely unlikely the disposal is producing 100 dB. 

QuietPlease!

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2008, 02:38:26 PM »
I share a kitchen wall with my neighbor on the other side as well (lucky me) and her garbage disposal is much quieter. Of course, she has a home theatre in the basement so it balances out :(.

The party walls are built double, with an air gap in between so our walls and floors are not touching.

These neighbors might be a bit deaf already, that would explain why they bellow at each other instead of speaking at a normal volume. 

Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2008, 11:38:34 PM »
Hi,
If your wall is 45 stc and the noise is airborne then not much should be getting through. So check for weak links nearby the sound such as windows and roof if they have low mass. Also check to see if any wall or floor vibration when there is the loud noise which will show structural conduction or impact noise. :)

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2008, 06:28:26 PM »
Double party wall, huh?  Hmmm.....

Well then, my guess would be back-to-back electrical boxes or some other kind of unsealed penetration(s) like that.

QuietPlease!

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2008, 07:23:16 PM »
John, when I had the wall tested it was borderline 44/45 STC so I complained to the builder. They came out and injected some foam in around all the electical and phone boxes. It didn't notice any improvement though.

Mark, when they use the disposal or slam their kitchen cabinets my entire townhome buzzes. Dishes rattle in the china cupboard, my cat hides in the closet, and I can hear/feel it in the basement on the opposite end of the unit. I think it goes all the way through to my neighbor on the other side, as she seems to get annoyed and start slamming her cabinets in retaliation.


johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2008, 12:43:03 AM »
I think you should talk to them and figure out what this noise beast is.  It may not be a disposal at all. If they're aware of your noise issues, they may go out of their way to keep it down. 

And I don't think foam in the electrical boxes made even a dent.  You need acoustical caulking to seal up something like that.

QuietPlease!

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2008, 12:18:13 PM »
John, I've spoken to them many times. The husband seems reasonable enough, but his wife seems to think she is entitled to make as much noise as she wants to. I get the feeling it gives her some sense of power, that she can disrupt my peace and quiet with a wave of her hand.

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2008, 03:46:13 PM »
Well, it doesn't sound like any simple or inexpensive fixes are gonna do it.  I guess you'll have to look into getting a permit, tearing apart the wall and upgrading it.  You'd probably be able to see any deficits in the construction and fix them.  STC 45 is really not enough, as you've found out.

Or you could pursue the legal angle and seek damages from the builder and/or the neighbor.  It won't make you popular, but it might put the wife in her place.




Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Neighbor's garbage disposal
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2008, 08:48:45 PM »
Since things are vibrating then you are getting lots of impact noise. There are 2 ways of fixing this.
Remove all connections from the neighbours rooms to your rooms and that means walls and floor and so on or else use shock absorbers such as rubber or springs to absorb/dampen the impact shock waves where the connections are.
The second way is to build a isolated room within a room which can be expensive.
Shock absorbing methods can work really well for impact noise but there must be no solid links or the impact energy will conduct through these.
Making your walls thicker and heavier does not reduce impact noise much :)