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Piglet John - or anyone - please help - issue with neighbour's solar panels?

(29 Posts)
PoptartPoptart Sat 19-Dec-15 09:54:17

A few weeks ago DH and I started to hear a strange low muffled tapping/vibrating noise when in our upstairs bedroom. Sometimes it is intermittent, running for a few minutes then stopping and then starting again. Sometimes it is more constant.

We hear it later at night when upstairs (9pm onwards) and early morning (5am onwards) and sometimes through the night even. We can’t hear it when downstairs at all. The noise started just after our neighbour had solar panels fitted.

In 18 months of living here we never heard the noise before. We have checked our property/roof and it is not us! When raised with the neighbour he was quite cagey and denied all knowledge. He even denied hearing any noise in his own property which we find very hard to believe.

After politely raising this, the noise stopped for a few nights before starting again. This makes us more suspicious! Could the noise be connected to the solar panels?

Has anyone had a similar problem or had solar panels fitted themselves and noticed a noise/problem? We read something about solar panels requiring an ‘invertor’ and don’t know if this could be the cause. It sounds like the noise is coming from their loft.

It’s starting to drive us slightly nuts and neighbour is being unhelpful so any insights into cause and even who we might take this further with (local council?) would be most welcome.

wowfudge Sat 19-Dec-15 09:58:05

Hmm - I know nothing about solar panels, but my first thoughts were that there is something else going on in next door's loft. The reaction you encountered makes me even more suspicious.

VegetablEsoup Sat 19-Dec-15 10:00:23

are they thermal or electricity panels?
ime thermal panels can make a noise when the water is circulated but should be more of a waterflow noise, not banging.

CandlesAreBurning Sat 19-Dec-15 10:04:32

Is their loft covered in tin foil on the inside? If posters come on here and say no they shouldn't make noise, then next time the noise is going, phone local police station and say you think your neighbours have a little growing project in their loft

PausingFlatly Sat 19-Dec-15 10:04:44

The noise is happening during the night, so it's not solar panel activity.

GissASquizz Sat 19-Dec-15 10:07:19

Weed farm <gavel>

wowfudge Sat 19-Dec-15 10:13:04

Yes - that was just what I was thinking.

ShoeJunkie Sat 19-Dec-15 10:18:24

YY to weed farm. They've fitted solar panels to offset the cost of the increased electricity they need to run the heat lamps. grin

StUmbrageinSkelt Sat 19-Dec-15 10:20:58

Solar panels with invertor here and no noise ever. Never heard the neighbour's panels either.

PestoFestivio Sat 19-Dec-15 10:24:14

My parents' semi-detached next door neighbours have solar panels on their side of the shared roof. It turned out that pigeons began nesting in the gap between the panels & the roof. It was a very cosy nesting place but the comings & goings of the pigeons was disturbing my Mum & Dad & generally causing a nuisance.

They raised it with the neighbours, who took steps to get rid of the pigeons and somehow close the gaps where they were getting in.

lalalonglegs Sat 19-Dec-15 11:44:10

I'm loving the weed farm theory but why would that make noise only at night?

PausingFlatly Sat 19-Dec-15 11:52:52

The OP can't hear it downstairs, so it might be going during the day too. She's said it's intermittent.

Fan or water pump?

PoptartPoptart Sat 19-Dec-15 12:36:02

No idea if the panels are thermal or electric and never been in their loft so don't know if it is insulated or not. No idea either if it is a fan or water pump.
I didn't think of a weed factory. They don't seem the sort but then who knows!
It is very very annoying though and is really disturbing our sleep.
Not sure what to do though as they deny hearing anything but it is definitely not coming from our loft

JE1234 Sat 19-Dec-15 12:39:53

I suspect a weed farm too. We had neighbours who were arrested for it and only realised later that in the few days of snow we had, the snow never settled on their roof. If we get any snow soon go out and take a look, it's a dead give away.

Ta1kinPeace Sat 19-Dec-15 15:20:21

I have solar thermal on my roof.
It makes no noise at all at night as its doing nothing.

PV solar have no moving parts
cannot think of a reason why anything to do with them would be making a noise at night

Another vote for something odd going on in their loft.
Have they converted it into a bedroom ?

PoptartPoptart Sat 19-Dec-15 15:43:29

No not converted into a bedroom, just the solar panels that were fitted a few weeks ago.
It's a real mystery, not helped by the fact that they claim they can't hear anything! But it is definitely coming from their upstairs/loft area.
I might speak to them again but if they shrug it off I'm not sure where to go from there.
I don't want to accuse them of growing weed with no proof!

PoptartPoptart Sat 19-Dec-15 15:45:25

Also, if they are growing something dodgy up there, why would the lamps make a noise??

Pipbin Sat 19-Dec-15 15:48:15

The lamps might not make a noise but the irrigation system would do.

bananamonkey Sat 19-Dec-15 15:49:33

I'm staying with my inlaws at the minute, they have solar panels and I've heard a weird pulsating vibrat-y noise upstairs a couple of times over the last month. Not sure if it's normal or not.

Ta1kinPeace Sat 19-Dec-15 15:55:40

The hydroponic system is pumped and the ventilation fans will be on thermostats
(I have irrigation and ventilation systems for my ornamental plants - the setup methods are identical)

JE1234 Sat 19-Dec-15 16:03:40

I should also say we had solar panels on our last house and there was a very slight electrical buzz you could hear in the loft when they were operating in high sun. It was almost imperceptible, when stood in the loft I could just hear it with very sensitive hearing but my DP never heard a thing, it certainly wouldn't be heard next door. Much more importantly though they wouldn't have been operating in the middle of the night.

lighteningirl Sat 19-Dec-15 22:43:11

I have solar panels just gone up in the loft to listen no noise at all nothing is running at night.

southernskies Sun 20-Dec-15 02:23:41

You can get a sound meter app for a smartphone which you can use to measure the noise. Then see if it is over regulations for a residential area.

Sleepyfergus Sun 20-Dec-15 03:18:16

You need to. Ring it up with your neighbours again and also start keeping a record/diary of the noise for, say a couple of weeks, before contacting your environmental health (noise pollution) dept. Tell them how you've tried to engage with the neighbour on X dates, and what their responses was and then detail the record of noise. The EH people will then be obliged to make initial enquiries and this might be enough to jolt the neighbour into making the necessary changes. The EH can involve police if they require access if the neighbour is not forthcoming.

But to strengthen the case you need to start keeping a log of dates and times

CandlesAreBurning Sun 20-Dec-15 11:05:14

My inlaws have solar panels and it's absolutely silent.
I wouldn't raise it again with them, just talk to your local PCSO for advice and they can have a look before they get spooked and empty it out.
If it's not that then they have really faulty solar panels

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