Shower sound from downstairs too loud

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Greenwood

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Hello,

I wish I could get some advice here. I am living upstairs in a condo. Recently, my downstairs neighbor's shower sound is super loud which always wake me up from sound sleep at late night. It's like they are showering in my bathroom.

I have recorded the sound with a decibel meter. Here is the link:

The city code regulates that the sound should not exceed 45 decibels during the quiet hours, but the shower sound is over 60, and sometimes 70 decibels. Sometimes it is as this loud the whole showering. Sometimes, it is loud only at the beginning and the end, the middle is relatively lower.

Anyone knows the cause or the solutions? Any suggestion is greatly appreciated!
 

John Gayewski

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Hello,

I wish I could get some advice here. I am living upstairs in a condo. Recently, my downstairs neighbor's shower sound is super loud which always wake me up from sound sleep at late night. It's like they are showering in my bathroom.

I have recorded the sound with a decibel meter. Here is the link:

The city code regulates that the sound should not exceed 45 decibels during the quiet hours, but the shower sound is over 60, and sometimes 70 decibels. Sometimes it is as this loud the whole showering. Sometimes, it is loud only at the beginning and the end, the middle is relatively lower.

Anyone knows the cause or the solutions? Any suggestion is greatly appreciated!
Have you talked to the neighbors?
 

Greenwood

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Have you talked to the neighbors?
yes, but they insist its normal sound living in a condo with shared walls. I also talked to HOA, HOA said it's not the public area and we should solve the issue on our own. Actually, the downstairs neighbor reluctantly agree to have a plumber to come over to have a check. I just wanted that we can get this solved with just one plumber visit. So would like to get some advice in advance.
 

Jeff H Young

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Could it be the shower head has been changed or the adjustment on the type of spray. I'm assuming your shower makes far less noise You measured that too.
Noise is a major issue here in Ca causes many lawsuits a very large number of contractors won't work on condos due to the cost of insurance rates higher if you want coverage on condos.
I can't tell you who is responsible , I think there is a good chance its not just "your" problem. the noise could have been caused by poor methods of strapping or any number of things inside walls Which I have heard piping inside the drywall is HOA but its quite involved but generally not my concern I'm not a Lawyer. When I do work I'm working for whoever pays me, but I avoid work in condos.
I wouldn't assume the HOA information is correct .
No mention is building New? has dweller below remodeled?
 

John Gayewski

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I would ask them to try a different shower head before the plumber gets there. If there's no change the piping needs insulated and isolated. Sound is vibration. Either vibration of the pipes or velocity noise transmitting through the pipes. If a shower head doesn't fix it in gonna doubt anyone will pay to tear up the walls figure out how to quiet it down.
 

Jeff H Young

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I would ask them to try a different shower head before the plumber gets there. If there's no change the piping needs insulated and isolated. Sound is vibration. Either vibration of the pipes or velocity noise transmitting through the pipes. If a shower head doesn't fix it in gonna doubt anyone will pay to tear up the walls figure out how to quiet it down.
A lawsuit might pay for the fix condos are notorious for lawsuits over noise . and no shortage of ambulance chasers to pick up on it. no idea how old the place is or who is liable. My guess is no one will volunteer to pay for work needed but again a bit of research to determine cause (try another head) if that fixes it does that mean neighbor must change to the quiet head? or whether HOA or builder is part responsible.
 

Greenwood

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Could it be the shower head has been changed or the adjustment on the type of spray. I'm assuming your shower makes far less noise You measured that too.
Noise is a major issue here in Ca causes many lawsuits a very large number of contractors won't work on condos due to the cost of insurance rates higher if you want coverage on condos.
I can't tell you who is responsible , I think there is a good chance its not just "your" problem. the noise could have been caused by poor methods of strapping or any number of things inside walls Which I have heard piping inside the drywall is HOA but its quite involved but generally not my concern I'm not a Lawyer. When I do work I'm working for whoever pays me, but I avoid work in condos.
I wouldn't assume the HOA information is correct .
No mention is building New? has dweller below remodeled?
Not sure. Will a change of shower head cause such roaring sound? HOA said the pipes are inside the wall and it's not their responsibility. The condos were built in 1987. And my next door neighbor doesn't have this problem with her downstairs neighbor.
 

Greenwood

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Greenwood

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I would ask them to try a different shower head before the plumber gets there. If there's no change the piping needs insulated and isolated. Sound is vibration. Either vibration of the pipes or velocity noise transmitting through the pipes. If a shower head doesn't fix it in gonna doubt anyone will pay to tear up the walls figure out how to quiet it down.
Another suggestion on shower head change. Will do that to see whether it works. For insulation, would that be a general problem to all the residents in the building? my next door neighbor doesn't have this issue. It seems only me having this issue, and it didn't occur before.
 

Greenwood

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Not sure. Will a change of shower head cause such roaring sound? HOA said the pipes are inside the wall and it's not their responsibility. The condos were built in 1987 and I don't recall the downstairs remodeled the home. They said they are tenants, not the homeowner.. My next door neighbor doesn't have this problem with her downstairs neighbor.
 

Greenwood

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A lawsuit might pay for the fix condos are notorious for lawsuits over noise . and no shortage of ambulance chasers to pick up on it. no idea how old the place is or who is liable. My guess is no one will volunteer to pay for work needed but again a bit of research to determine cause (try another head) if that fixes it does that mean neighbor must change to the quiet head? or whether HOA or builder is part responsible.
It was built in 1987. If the problem can be fixed, I am willing to pay for the fix. I am really suffering from the sound. They shower at midnight and at 6:00 am the next morning again.
 

Terry

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1987 means the pipes are copper, and are often strapped to the wood studs.
The easy fix would be to change the shower head, though it could be that they taking baths, which flows much more water and is normally when the noise is loudest. Using a low flow showerhead reduces the flow and the vibrations of water passing through.

Sometimes I've had shower heads that had loud squealing, which I fixed by using a drill bit and making the flow restrictor less restrictive. It was all about changing the vibration as it passed through the head.
 

jadnashua

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Being in California, you can't just use any showerhead as all new ones that are legal, are low flow...they cannot exceed 1.8gpm, and that may be lowered yet again as the water situation worsens.

What kind of sound is it? Is this a tub/shower, or a dedicated shower? In a tub/shower, a diverter tub spout can make some nasty sounds as they age...can be a fairly loud squeal. How that would be perceived through the ceiling, not sure.
 

Greenwood

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1987 means the pipes are copper, and are often strapped to the wood studs.
The easy fix would be to change the shower head, though it could be that they taking baths, which flows much more water and is normally when the noise is loudest. Using a low flow showerhead reduces the flow and the vibrations of water passing through.

Sometimes I've had shower heads that had loud squealing, which I fixed by using a drill bit and making the flow restrictor less restrictive. It was all about changing the vibration as it passed through the head.
Thanks for the reply. So another question, sometimes it is loud through the entire shower period, sometimes, it is only loud at the begging and end of the shower. Do you know why there are different situations?
 

Greenwood

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Being in California, you can't just use any showerhead as all new ones that are legal, are low flow...they cannot exceed 1.8gpm, and that may be lowered yet again as the water situation worsens.

What kind of sound is it? Is this a tub/shower, or a dedicated shower? In a tub/shower, a diverter tub spout can make some nasty sounds as they age...can be a fairly loud squeal. How that would be perceived through the ceiling, not sure.
Thank you for your suggestion. I think I definitely need to check their showerhead. I didn't know shower head would make a huge difference. It is a tub/shower. it is loud roaring sound. I am in upstairs, so I don't think the sound is through their ceiling (my floor).
 

Terry

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Normally loud at the beginning and at the end means it's from the tub spout. Once diverted to the showerhead, far less water can come through.
 

Jeff H Young

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35 year old building would be beyond the expectations of builder. Most Likely Copper as Terry said . if its a tub /shower then that might explain someone turning on water letting it run through spout (presumably) to warm up and then pulling the diverter for shower. in any case, pretty much some testing by plumber with cooperation from neighbor .
 

Greenwood

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Normally loud at the beginning and at the end means it's from the tub spout. Once diverted to the showerhead, far less water can come through.
Hi Terry,

Your reply might revealed the reason. In my original post, I mentioned that sometimes it is loud for the whole shower period, but sometimes it is loud at the beginning and the end. Actually, I have no idea whether they are taking a bath or taking a shower at all. I just by default suppose they are taking a shower.

Could it be: it is loud for the whole period when they are taking a bath (fill water to the tub), and it is only loud at the beginning and the end when they are taking a shower (divert to the showerhead at the beginning, and divert back to the spout at the end)?

If this is the reason, then the should probably replace the tub spout?
 
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