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sound in walls

sound in walls QUESTION: I have a problem that has, so far, baffled 5 professionals that have come out to my house. I hope you can give me some directions. Inside one particular section of an external wall there's a rhythmic noise, like a muffled jack hammer. It's loudest in the mornings, and disappears by late afternoon. It started about 2 months ago. 1. My first thought was pests. An exterminator put 30 or 40 tiny holes in the wall and pumped in poison for carpenter ants. He said it wasn't mice or other rodents because the noise didn't stop or change in any way when we pounded on the wall right where the noise comes from. Is that right? 2. The area is near our chimney. I had a chimney guy check for bats. It was clean. 3. The wall is right where the utility lines attach to the house. The electric company came out and said it couldn't be them but is probably vibrations from the phone line that was too taught. 4. The phone company came out and gave their line more slack (didn't help) and said it could be because the cable line was too slack. 5. The cable company came out and tightened their line. No change. 6. Someone suggested that the problem could be vibration from where the utility lines run down the side of the wall to the junction boxes. I secured them down on almost every shingle. None of this has made a difference. I'd bust the inside wall down and put up new sheetrock if I thought I'd even see anything to fix but would hate to do that on a lark. It's a 40 year old house that we bought 2 years ago. I did see mouse droppings in the attic but those poison pellets seem to have gotten rid of them. The yard has MANY woodchucks but I've not seen any evidence that they've gotten into the house. Sorry for the long e-mail but if you had any suggestions I'd really be in your debt. Thanks. ANSWER: Since you describe chronic unending rhythmic sounds that are most dominant mornings and disappears by late afternoon, you have a strong reason to believe this situation has a mechanical origin that could be driven electrically. Shutting down the house electricity prior to the expected noise commencement could test if the sounds come from your building's interior--that would be a start. Following that, you might leave the electricity off until the expected die down time to see if you have altered a cycle. Should none of this help, you must check generator activity which could coincide with HVAC usage in your area---less demand in late afternoon. At worst, you might have to see if change of season alters this cycle. power company, sewer department, nearby industrial influence should be considered too. I'd be interested in hearing the progress of this investigation. Best of luck to you Dennis, George Manning Consulting Entomologist ---------- FOLLOW-UP ---------- QUESTION: Thank you so much for responding. I'd tried shutting off the major vibration generators (furnace, AC, dehumidifier, dish washer, etc) but the idea of tripping the master circuit breaker sounds good--but will have to wait until the rest of the family is gone for a day! The area is wholly residential for at least a mile radius so I'm not holidng out much hope for a commercial cause. I may end up having to see what happens in the fall. Could something like central air in a house 100 or 200 feet away cause it? Thank you again. I'll let you know if I solve it. You've already relieved the worry that it might be some structural defect in the house. Pest Control Chicago

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