Soundproofing Forum Topics > Soundproofing Generators, Pool pumps, Engine and Dyno rooms

Neighbor's garbage disposal

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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.

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:
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:
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. :)

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. 


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