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Please help me to identify high pitched noise in my house

(51 Posts)
pileoflaundry Sat 02-Apr-16 11:05:19

I am being driven insane by a high pitched noise in my house, and I am completely failing to track it down.

The noise is still there when my washing machine, dishwasher and fridge freezer are all off. I can't hear the noise outside, only indoors.

The noise is not continuous. It's not very loud, but is getting louder, and is on for longer each time. Right now it's been going for 45 minutes. It's been going on for weeks.

I live in a terraced house. The noise seems loudest in my kitchen, but it's hard to tell. The house is open plan and the noise is quite disorientating so I can't tell where it comes from. I thought for a while that it might be next door's washing machine on a high spin, but it goes on too long, unless the machine makes the noise for the whole cycle(?). I can't hear a motor.

I thought that it might be related to my heating, but that, and the hot water, went off nearly 3 hours ago. I'm not running any taps. I have a chimney with some aerials attached, is it possible that one of them is vibrating at a natural frequency and sending the noise through the house? I can't get up there easily to check.

Does anyone have any ideas? All help much appreciated, especially if it won't involve me needing to climb out onto my roof.

Worth adding that my DH can hear the noise too, so it's not just my ears/head.

(I have two small DC so might not be able to check back frequently, sorry. On the plus side I can't hear the high pitched noise when the DC are in full swing...).

Lucsy Sat 02-Apr-16 11:07:27

Interference from router/Tv/ similar electronics.

LittlePoot Sat 02-Apr-16 11:12:11

God - how annoying for you! I'm really sensitive to small noises so stuff like this drives me crackers. Maybe try a bit of elimination. Have you got a fusebox with separate switches for each circuit? When you can hear the noise, turn each circuit off in turn until it stops. Then if you find out it's e.g. downstairs plug sockets, you could unplug each thing until you find the culprit? Good luck!

PigletJohn Sat 02-Apr-16 11:20:42

turn off the stopcock on the watermain, preferably the one outside or in the pavement. If you have a watermeter there may be a blue T-shaped handle that you screw down. Don't pull it or it will come off (but you can push it back on to its spindle).

It is better if you have someone in the house listening for the noise changing.

If you do have a water meter, observe the bubble in the middle of the glass window. Does it ever stop turning?

Eglantyne Sat 02-Apr-16 11:21:03

Could your neighbours have one of those plug-in noise-emitting mouse repellers? I had to track down a high pitched horrible noise at my ILs. I couldn't bear it, they couldn't hear anything, and weren't going to admit to having had mice either!

bookbook Sat 02-Apr-16 11:21:38

but do you have any fluorescent tubes/bulbs ? Any variation,-. When they start fail, we find they emit a horrid high pitch whine, which gradually gets worse until they pop

Eglantyne Sat 02-Apr-16 11:24:10

Also, my gas meter occasionally makes strange noises depending on how much gas we are using. Took us ages to work that out. It sounded like someone on a very tiny squeaky swing, somewhere in our house!

InsertUsernameHere Sat 02-Apr-16 11:30:16

My annoying noise was the plug with built in transformer for my radio alarm clock. Solved by turning it of and on again. Thankfully worked it out just before I got someone in to pull up the floorboards as I had convinced myself it was coming from the heating pipes.

ThreeFrazzledFandangos Sat 02-Apr-16 11:37:27

Do you have a remote control heating thermostat/remote? I can often hear mine transmitting a high pitched sound even when the heating is off.

Palomb Sat 02-Apr-16 11:39:12

Switch off the power on the consumer I but and see if it stops then turn it back on switch by switch until You isolate which area it's coming from.

asthmaboy Sat 02-Apr-16 11:40:58

Our bedroom light makes a high pitched noise sometimes.

donajimena Sat 02-Apr-16 11:42:12

My doorbell receiver does this. I have to thump it to get it to stop.

RubberDuck Sat 02-Apr-16 11:45:55

I hear this just before an energy saver lightbulb blows - drives me nuts (sometimes accompanied by a strange metallic burning smell just before they do).

Other culprits are anything with a transformer on the plug and chargers (toothbrush chargers are my nemesis, although they tend to be lower pitch).

It's frustrating as I have a much higher range of hearing than DH does and he never hears what I hear. I can hear those teenager repellant things and the infra red detectors for our alarm system clicking on/off too.

UnGoogleable Sat 02-Apr-16 11:48:31

I second the suggestion to shut everything down via the fusebox, then systematically switch each area on and check for the noise.

Or conversely - when the noise is happening, shut off your fusebox and see if it stops - then at least you'll know whether it's in your house rather than your neighbour's, and whether it's electrical.

I once experienced an awful high frequency whine coming from a router in a meeting room. I asked them to turn it off, but they said it was serving the entire office so couldn't. Nobody else in the room could hear it, but to me it was excruciating (I was the youngest - your high frequency hearing drops off with age).

CaurnieBred Sat 02-Apr-16 11:51:05

Our induction hob makes a high pitched sound. Do you have one of them?

simbobs Sat 02-Apr-16 11:51:19

Do you have a smoke detector? Some types emit a noise to alert you that the battery is running out.

ouryve Sat 02-Apr-16 11:53:53

Check all your alarms.

We had a weird clicking for weeks, which turned out to be our smoke alarm. Other ones have sounded like mice when they go wrong

MuggaTea Sat 02-Apr-16 12:13:02

You can get hold of apps that measure noise levels. Could help you find where the noise is loudest?

pileoflaundry Sat 02-Apr-16 12:36:52

Wow, thank you for all the ideas! DC will hopefully soon be napping, so I will start checking then and report back.

I have many of the things mentioned: remote heating thermostats and doorbells, routers, transformers, fluorescent lights, induction hob, smoke detectors, and ancient-looking gas meter.

How horrible for all of you who can hear things that others can't, and then refuse to turn off!

gamerchick Sat 02-Apr-16 12:41:04

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector? Mine drove me mad when it needed a battery and I couldn't work out where the noise was coming from.

pileoflaundry Sat 02-Apr-16 13:06:43

I started going round the house powering appliances off, in preparation for switching everything off at the fuse. The noise stopped part-way through. I reversed my steps, switched everything back on, still can't hear the noise...

Have added carbon monoxide detector to list of things to check.

Everything is silent...

wowfudge Sat 02-Apr-16 13:13:34

Do you have alarm sensors? I can hear ours when the little light comes on, but tend not to notice them unless it's very quiet.

Oldieandgoldie Sat 02-Apr-16 13:44:36

One of our thermostatic radiator valves sometimes emits a very quiet, but very high pitched sound. My OH often can't hear it. It just needs the valve turning very slightly in any direction to stop it....until next time. wink

pileoflaundry Sat 02-Apr-16 14:00:00

Thank you for all the great ideas.

I've been getting round to buying an alarm but haven't quite managed it... I will check the radiators.

The noise came back after about 15 minutes. I switched power off at the fuse box and water at the stop cock, but the noise continued. I've also checked the carbon monoxide detector.

Electricity and water are back on now, but the noise has stopped confused.

This leaves: gas meter, smoke alarms, doorbell receiver, central heating thermostats, any other electrical equipment which is on without being plugged in (e.g. phones), pipe between water meter and stop cock, radiator thermostats, aerials and next door. I really don't want it to be next door as they have complained in the past about the noise my DC make. Although NDN has hung out washing today and mentioned mice a few days ago... this isn't going to end well is it...

I'll carry on checking when the noise returns.

StealthPolarBear Sat 02-Apr-16 14:02:18

At work two wires on monitors interfere and make a high pitched noise.

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