Home life

The noise

Two mysterious noises have become apparent in the last few months. Both are virtually imperceptable in the daytime, but at night, in my quiet street, I can hear them from my bedroom.

First there was the humming. It started sometime last year. It doesn’t seem to be in the house anywhere – I tried turning off all the power one night at the fuse box, and I could still hear it. No, it’s not coming from the Smart Meter. It might be some way off but resonating with something nearby, as often I can merely tilt my head slightly and I can no longer hear it.

More recently a kind of “gloop” sound has started from somewhere on the bathroom-side of my bedroom. I assume it’s the drains doing something weird, as when it first started occurring, I checked and double checked there were no leaking taps.

Happily neither of these keep me awake at night. But I’m intrigued.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

13 replies on “The noise”

That gloop sound is a worry – I’d call Ghostbusters… it could be an ectoplasmic river forming under your ensuite.

Given where you said it was in relation to the house, possibly a blocked sewer, perhaps due to root incursion. I’d get someone to check the flow at the sewer trap near your property boundary when you flush …

Water in the gas pipes can also cause the meter to emit strange noises too – our gas meter is near our bedroom at the front of the house and did similar things whenever the hot water system started … turned out to require a vendor visit, which was free and done whilst we were at work. It’s a bit insidious though as water in the gas line can corrode other fittings such as the stove … like it did ours … :/

@Malcolm, thanks, that makes sense – I have had issues with tree roots partially blocking the sewer over the years since moving in. Need to get a plumber in to talk about something else, so will run it past them when I do.

“The first signs of the invasion showed up in a quiet Melbourne suburb – and they were heard, but not seen. First there was the ominous hum, coming from nowhere and everywhere at the same time, and disappearing when one tried to track it. Then there were the gloops, coming from seemingly innocent pipes. In hindsight, we should have noticed that something was wrong. But at the time that seemed like just a small addition to the cacophony of our daily lives. And millions paid for that mistake.”

On a pole down the street from my house is some kind of transformer powering the Optus cable I think. It hums pretty loudly, at night I can hear it about 80 metres away. If it was outside my house, I would have had a fatal defect a long time ago.

Is there wind when you hear the hum? Could be making a tightly strung cable somewhere vibrate.

I’m going to go in a different direction. Have your circulatory system checked. You may have an irregular heartbeat. Happened to me.

I once had this periodic loud noise at night which recurred every few weeks. After bothering me for years, I eventually found out what it was. I lived about 2.5 kilometres from a dock which a particular ship visited every few weeks. This ship had a very loud exhaust fan of some kind for ventilating the engine room, or something. On, all the time. You could hear it if you walked down a few hundred metres from the ship. You could not easily hear it if you were 1.5 km away from the ship. You could only just hear it if you stood in the road in front of my house. Unfortunately, the sound bounced off a factory and an appartment building and created a magnified point right inside my house.
The effect was similar to the gimmick where you set up two satellite dishes facing one another 150 metres apart, and if you stand right in front of one, the person standing in front of the other one can clearly hear what you are saying.

in melbourne there is a sub species of defective ass holes composed of family and familiars using amplified sound to stalk their neighbours ,you may be aware of a hum that seemsto have no origin;you may have ringing ears;you may notice that your heart rythem is affected’,you may experience facial blushing,you might feel a wierd vibration seem to go throughyou etc etc.the sound gear employed is of course commercial,the sort of gear you would find at a rock concert .the ass holes responsible have been active in suburbs such as mentone ,east st kilda,south caulfield, prahran, glen iris chelsea, etc

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