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My Hot Tub Is Driving My Neighbor Nuts!


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We have these neighbors that have always been reasonable and not uptight. But they claim that when our hot tub is running is vibrating their house and they can hear it!

Here's the details:

We have an older hs prodigy 1 horse power. We run the jets for maybe 20-30 about 5 times per week. Usually we go in sometime between 9-11pm.

Our tub is right next to our house (2 feet away) on a deck that sits 18 inches off the ground. Their bedroom sits about 50 feet away on a second floor. No obstructions between my tub and their house except for a 6ft wood fence.

I've checked in with other neighbors, no one can hear it. We can barely hear inside our own house! They claim that it vibrates their whole house/bedroom in particular, and drives them nuts. They were cool about it, but definitely emphasized how major of a disturbance it is for them. The drone sound and vibration, etc.

I apologized and said that I won't turn on the jets after 9pm. They were cool with that and appreciative , but continued talk about how much of a nuisance it is.

I'm a friendly guy who understands the importance of getting along with neighbors. I kind of question how loud it really is for them (note: their windows are always closed). Regardless, is there any simple solution that will lesson the vibration/sound? I'm not going to stop using my tub or spend a ton of money on solutions. Moving my tub isn't an option.

any ideas or thoughts?

Thanks!

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They sound like the kind of people that would complain that your electric can opener was too loud.

Usually the complaint is when filter cycles are running with no one in it but to complain about noise when you are using it is ridiculous. Do they expect you to use "the cone of silence"?

You have 3 choices as I see it, 1) decide you have a right to have a life and use it as you please. When they complain tell them you'll limit pump use as much as you can but that's about all you can do or give in to them and 2) use it earlier at night or 3) go in without the jets.

Personally I would be polite but direct in telling them it is what it is.

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Wood is a strong amplifier for vibrations & decks sometimes make it worse. There is one brand of tub i can always hear more than 50ft when on wood decks(not HS). What you will have to do is turn it on and go to the furthestpart of the fence & feel it for vibrations. If you can feel vibes then you may have to do some sound dampening, the motor is usually the culprit worst case you will have to place something under the tub to dampen the vibes. If no vibration s are felt on the fence then your neighbours are .....

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? I find that hard to beleive........

You think you find it hard to believe? I can't F*&%in' believe it either! If I can barely notice it running in my own house I can't understand how they can. And they agreed that it doesn't seem to make sense, but they sure it heck drove their point into the ground. The crazy thing is, is that my wife and I rarely have the jets on for more than 20 minutes at a time and hardly ever after 10pm!

Ideas for cheap and simple sound dampening?

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Ask if you can go to their house and listen for yourself. That would tell you if they are beeing overly sensitive or not.

You say it's on a deck, maybe the sound is reflecting off of the ground under the deck. Some sound deadening material under there , like outdoor deck carpeting laid down in a corrugated pattern, might help.

Dave

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We have these neighbors that have always been reasonable and not uptight. But they claim that when our hot tub is running is vibrating their house and they can hear it!

Here's the details:

We have an older hs prodigy 1 horse power. We run the jets for maybe 20-30 about 5 times per week. Usually we go in sometime between 9-11pm.

Our tub is right next to our house (2 feet away) on a deck that sits 18 inches off the ground. Their bedroom sits about 50 feet away on a second floor. No obstructions between my tub and their house except for a 6ft wood fence.

I've checked in with other neighbors, no one can hear it. We can barely hear inside our own house! They claim that it vibrates their whole house/bedroom in particular, and drives them nuts. They were cool about it, but definitely emphasized how major of a disturbance it is for them. The drone sound and vibration, etc.

I apologized and said that I won't turn on the jets after 9pm. They were cool with that and appreciative , but continued talk about how much of a nuisance it is.

I'm a friendly guy who understands the importance of getting along with neighbors. I kind of question how loud it really is for them (note: their windows are always closed). Regardless, is there any simple solution that will lesson the vibration/sound? I'm not going to stop using my tub or spend a ton of money on solutions. Moving my tub isn't an option.

any ideas or thoughts?

Thanks!

Hi,

First, I agree it sounds like your neighbors are being too fussy and that you should ask if can hear it for yourself from their bedroom, so you can know what type of vibration you need to fix. ;)

How about some type of mat or insulation under your tub to separate/insulate your tub from the deck? I know I read on this forum awhile back about some users using a very dense Styrofoam pad for a thermal break with good results, but one side benefit is that it also made the tub quieter, too. Have your fussy neighbor over to help you tilt your tub as you slide it underneath. This will also show him the effort you are putting forth to satisfy the problem. :lol: Good Luck! Randy

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I highly doubt the neighbor is making this up and if you were vibrating my bedroom between 9 and 11 at night I would be upset too. I like the idea of having the neighbor working with you to try and resolve the problem.

We had a problem with our old Sequoia -- it was noisy, and it was outside and right below our bedroom. During the warm weather months here - mid-April through mid-November - we ran it on "summer settings" -- the heater and filtration would only kick on at hours we set on a mechanical timer.

But, unfortunately, mid-Nov-mid-April, we had to use winter settings, and it would kick on any time the water temperature dropped below 100F. And it would kick up two or three times a night in the coldest weather and we heard it.

Our Arctic Yukon is so quiet , we don't even know when the motor kicks on. If we carefully listen we may hear it, but it won't wake us up at night. This is another factor, if you're going to put the tub outside and in a colder climate like ours.

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I highly doubt the neighbor is making this up and if you were vibrating my bedroom between 9 and 11 at night I would be upset too. I like the idea of having the neighbor working with you to try and resolve the problem.

We had a problem with our old Sequoia -- it was noisy, and it was outside and right below our bedroom. During the warm weather months here - mid-April through mid-November - we ran it on "summer settings" -- the heater and filtration would only kick on at hours we set on a mechanical timer.

But, unfortunately, mid-Nov-mid-April, we had to use winter settings, and it would kick on any time the water temperature dropped below 100F. And it would kick up two or three times a night in the coldest weather and we heard it.

Our Arctic Yukon is so quiet , we don't even know when the motor kicks on. If we carefully listen we may hear it, but it won't wake us up at night. This is another factor, if you're going to put the tub outside and in a colder climate like ours.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Buy them ear plugs and tell them the vibration will help them lose weight! have fuN!

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Pathfinder may have the answer for you. Your deck and that wood fence may act like a drum. I have heard complaints that some of the noise abatement fences erected along US highways actually serve to amplify sound rather than deaden it.

I also recall a terrible racket coming from the apartment above us years ago. I went up to complain and discovered that the racket we heard downstairs was coming from a small electric fan on their bed stand that barely whispered. The bedstand was acting like a large drum amplifying that vibration and sending it through the wooden floor and was a WHUMP-WHUMP-WHUMP over our heads. I found it hard to believe the fan was doing it, and I had to get the neighbor to come down to convince him I wasn't a kook. They were comfortably sleeping next to a fan that made it impossible for us to sleep downstairs.

The solution? I gave him the Cincinnati Yellow Pages. He put it under the fan. B)

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I highly doubt the neighbor is making this up and if you were vibrating my bedroom between 9 and 11 at night I would be upset too. I like the idea of having the neighbor working with you to try and resolve the problem.

Except, if he can barely hear the spa in his own house why would this be vibrating moise pollution in the neighbors house (unless its closer to the neighbors than his own house).

The next step is to be in their house while the spa is running at night, that'll give you an idea of what they are hearing to see if its really differrent than what you hear in your house or whether they are just unhappy you are enjoying yourself at night.

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Tell them that you bought sound dampening material that you place under the tub and should notice a difference, but really you did nothing. If they say it improved tremendously you would be free :D .

It happens alot here at my work that they say that they are hot, we then go to the thermostate and it shows everything is perfectly fine and is very comfortable. We then tell them that we changed some settings and should be fine (meanwhile we did nothing at all). Check with them a couple of hours later and they say thank you very much, what you did helped! :P

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We have these neighbors that have always been reasonable and not uptight. But they claim that when our hot tub is running is vibrating their house and they can hear it!

Here's the details:

We have an older hs prodigy 1 horse power. We run the jets for maybe 20-30 about 5 times per week. Usually we go in sometime between 9-11pm.

Our tub is right next to our house (2 feet away) on a deck that sits 18 inches off the ground. Their bedroom sits about 50 feet away on a second floor. No obstructions between my tub and their house except for a 6ft wood fence.

I've checked in with other neighbors, no one can hear it. We can barely hear inside our own house! They claim that it vibrates their whole house/bedroom in particular, and drives them nuts. They were cool about it, but definitely emphasized how major of a disturbance it is for them. The drone sound and vibration, etc.

I apologized and said that I won't turn on the jets after 9pm. They were cool with that and appreciative , but continued talk about how much of a nuisance it is.

I'm a friendly guy who understands the importance of getting along with neighbors. I kind of question how loud it really is for them (note: their windows are always closed). Regardless, is there any simple solution that will lesson the vibration/sound? I'm not going to stop using my tub or spend a ton of money on solutions. Moving my tub isn't an option.

any ideas or thoughts?

Thanks!

Neighbours that have always been reasonable and not uptight are not making this up at all. You really should ask to go inside their house to experience the noise/vibration for yourself, then you will know more how to respond to the complaint. There could be a simple solution, like someone suggested...a pad under or maybe a screen to break the sound waves....

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We have these neighbors that have always been reasonable and not uptight. But they claim that when our hot tub is running is vibrating their house and they can hear it!

Here's the details:

We have an older hs prodigy 1 horse power. We run the jets for maybe 20-30 about 5 times per week. Usually we go in sometime between 9-11pm.

Our tub is right next to our house (2 feet away) on a deck that sits 18 inches off the ground. Their bedroom sits about 50 feet away on a second floor. No obstructions between my tub and their house except for a 6ft wood fence.

I've checked in with other neighbors, no one can hear it. We can barely hear inside our own house! They claim that it vibrates their whole house/bedroom in particular, and drives them nuts. They were cool about it, but definitely emphasized how major of a disturbance it is for them. The drone sound and vibration, etc.

I apologized and said that I won't turn on the jets after 9pm. They were cool with that and appreciative , but continued talk about how much of a nuisance it is.

I'm a friendly guy who understands the importance of getting along with neighbors. I kind of question how loud it really is for them (note: their windows are always closed). Regardless, is there any simple solution that will lesson the vibration/sound? I'm not going to stop using my tub or spend a ton of money on solutions. Moving my tub isn't an option.

any ideas or thoughts?

Thanks!

It's a good idea to experience the problem yourself.

But, and I think this is very important, also talk to the neighbors about WHEN they started noticing the issue. If they never noticed it and then all of a sudden they started noticing it, then that points to something having changed.

At your end, maybe your pump mounts loosened up or, if mounted on rubber isolators (and I don't know anything about your tub) the rubber has deteriorated. Maybe there are some loose fence boards that have started rattling, or a fence post or two has gotten loose, your deck boards have deteriorated, or.... you get the idea.

But since you and no one else is noticing any changes, it actually seems more likely to me that something in their house has changed. Did they recently put in new doors or windows? Change the bedroom flooring from carpet to hardwood? Even if they changed the draperies, it could make a difference in what they hear inside. Or maybe the weather stripping on a window or door has deteriorated and the glass isn't being held as tightly. Such fairly common occurances can make a huge difference in what they hear/feel inside.

Often you can troubleshoot such problems by working with them when the tub is running. Go to the various things that MIGHT be responsible for the increased sound transmission and put your hand on them. It's amazing what you can feel, and in many cases you can stop the noise with your hand. For example, if you lightly push in the center of a window in their room and the noise stops, that's likely the problem. If you lean on your fence and it stops, then that's where to focus.

Since they are reasonable neighbors in general, I would assume that there is some basis for the complaint unless you can prove otherwise. I wouldn't ignore it... it's always a good policy to bend over backwards to keep your neighbors happy. They can create a lot of misery.

Good luck!

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Thanks for your input everyone. I don't think these neighbors are making this up.... they are just very sensitive. Come to think of it.... it's always something with the wife (street lights too bright, too many cars parked on the street, the color the new neighbor painted their house etc.) They seem like pretty cool folks and we always have gotten along with them. But looking back on it, it seems that every time we neighborly touch base (once a month or two), they're always griping about something with the neighborhood.

The interesting fact as these houses are 3 years new in CA with tough energy efficiency building codes (ie- lots of insulation, double paned windows, etc.)

They did mention coming upstairs to hear/feel for myself. I'm not wanting to take that offer because A) I'll go up there and be like, "really, you guys should just move to the country with acreage. It's barely noticeable!" and/or B) Get more involved than I have to.

I already mentioned that I wouldn't turn on the jets past 9, which is way more than comprising especially since we only turn them on for 10-20 minutes (sometimes up to 30 max) a night maybe 4-5 nights per week. We're not partying back there and ther's a circ pump so thankfully it's quiet unless we turn on the jets. They seemed appreciative, but still continued to talk about how bad it really is for them, but they also mentioned that they hate to complain because they don't like to bother people. Interesting enough, they also mentioned that they talked to other neighbors but one one else is bothered! I checked in with my closest neighbor and sure enough, he can't hear or feel a thing, though his bedroom is on the other side. So I do kinda feel that they are whiners about the situation. I don't want to be a jerk or bad neighbor though.

I'll try some sound dampening material next refill, and let them know I at least addressed the issue within reason. I don't think I'm going to bend over backwards to satisfy them cause my intuition tells me that that complain regardless. I don't feel any significant vibration on the deck while the tub is running. I don't think they're making this up, just super sensitive folks I suppose.

Last point, we've only had the tub for two months. It's like they have been trying to keep cool for the past 8 weeks and then just gave me an ear full.

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Wow -- I have an older (1994) HS Prodigy too that is reasonably close -- about 15 feet -- from my neighbor's house and I and we use it three or so times a week, normally after 9pm. Although mine is on my cement patio (but as we motorcyclists say, "Vibration is a bitch"). So something to think about in my case too.

IN ANY EVENT and as for your situation, my first thought would be to accept their offer to go over and hear any noise for yourself. After all, you can't adequately gage the extent of the so-called problem unless you get this personal knowledge. Otherwise you're just flying blind... While I applaud your concerns of being a reasonable neighbor and do understand your hesitancy about perhaps opening up another or other cans of worms, you really SHOULD give strong consideration to accepting their invitation -- it would be fair to everybody, particularly yourself -- and give you a tangible benchmark from which to start.

In the form of some type of caution or protection for you, you might want to do some research with either your local police department and re any public nuisance and noise level laws. Find out at what decibel things are acceptable or not and at what times. Very often those times are up to, say, 10pm on "school" nights and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. What I'm saying is determine what legal footing you are on. Yes, you don't want to be a bad neighbor, and yes you want to comply with the law, but it would get my dander up if I had a neighbor calling the shots on the personal enjoyment of my life if I was otherwise fully entitled to enjoy it. AND IF you are you COULD then (1) simply tell them you are in compliance and will continue to do so, or (2) if you normally run your tub six times a month after 9pm, you could compromise by agreeing to run your tub after 9pm three times a month, and agree NOT to run your tub after 9pm three times a month.

IF the noise level of your tub DOES exceed acceptable legal levels then be nice - VERY nice. Invite them over for a soak alone or with you, and don't get on their bad side. Oh, and be nice (did I say that already?)! Know where your bread is buttered.

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  • 6 months later...

I have to tell you, that I am currently going out of my mind. My neighbour has a hot tub, and the vibration has been annoying since they got it two years ago. However over the past month, I am ready to dress in black, and sneek over and cut the wires to the damn thing during the night. My situation is exactly like yours. My bedroom is on the second floor of the house nextdoor, and the vibration/drone in my room is now so loud I cant sleep. And earplugs make it worse, I have tried. Unlike what you all are saying it is NOT when the hottub jets are turned on!! The reason your neighbour has had it is because the stupid pump runs all the time! It is literally the vibration of the motor, and it runs constantly. I am a nurse and work shift work, and no matter what time of day or night, the stupid thing is droning on and on in my bedroom. The lack of sleep is making me unreasonable. That is how I have ended up here commenting today, trying to see if there was something "I" could do to stop the vibration noise, rather than looking like an unreasonable bitchy neighbour!!! The couple next door are young with a young baby, and I am sure that the last thing they need is a hot tub repair, but I have done everything I can do! I have moved my bed three times, hoping that a different placement might decrease the noise, and although it is now on the wall furthest away from the hot tub, and an interior wall, it hasn't helped one bit! I feel badly for people who have bought a hot tub and think it is a lifetime investment, but seriously, for the "maybe" 10 times a year my neighbours use their hot tub, compared to the sleepless nights it has caused me??? Ya I wish they would rip the damn thing out.

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I have to tell you, that I am currently going out of my mind. My neighbour has a hot tub, and the vibration has been annoying since they got it two years ago. However over the past month, I am ready to dress in black, and sneek over and cut the wires to the damn thing during the night. My situation is exactly like yours. My bedroom is on the second floor of the house nextdoor, and the vibration/drone in my room is now so loud I cant sleep. And earplugs make it worse, I have tried. Unlike what you all are saying it is NOT when the hottub jets are turned on!! The reason your neighbour has had it is because the stupid pump runs all the time! It is literally the vibration of the motor, and it runs constantly. I am a nurse and work shift work, and no matter what time of day or night, the stupid thing is droning on and on in my bedroom. The lack of sleep is making me unreasonable. That is how I have ended up here commenting today, trying to see if there was something "I" could do to stop the vibration noise, rather than looking like an unreasonable bitchy neighbour!!! The couple next door are young with a young baby, and I am sure that the last thing they need is a hot tub repair, but I have done everything I can do! I have moved my bed three times, hoping that a different placement might decrease the noise, and although it is now on the wall furthest away from the hot tub, and an interior wall, it hasn't helped one bit! I feel badly for people who have bought a hot tub and think it is a lifetime investment, but seriously, for the "maybe" 10 times a year my neighbours use their hot tub, compared to the sleepless nights it has caused me??? Ya I wish they would rip the damn thing out.

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It actually sounds like a transport truck is parked idling beside my house. I would actually welcome them into my bedroom to hear how loud the vibration is, so they would know that I am not being an unreasonable neighbour! I just read that there is actually a city bylaw about the sounds from hot tub and pool motors. Not that I want to cite this to my neighbour, but its good to know that this is an issue with other people, and that there is a bylaw that has actually addressed this.

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Definitely some good suggestions here. First, verifying your legal rights is never going to hurt you, regardless of how good your relationship is with your neighbors. You hate to have to rely on the law, but it may be there to protect you, if the relationship should sour. Second, definitely take them up on the offer to experience it from their bedroom with all of the pumps on. It may even be a good time to pick up a cheap decibel meter from Radio Shack and see how loud it actually is. Some people are more sensitive than others, but this will give you something quantifiable, and again, could be used for verifying legality. It also provides a baseline to measure against if you do decide to make some changes. Third, don't stress about it! It's a hot tub, meant for relaxation. Be courteous and show a genuine interest in trying to resolve their concerns. If they see you are neighborly and care that it is causing them concern, they will likely be more willing to work with you.

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I wonder if they got a sp that does not have very good rubber dampeners under the pump. That could be something that could be largely remedied (its a little to late to suggest they get a spa that uses a circ pump for filtering which eliminates the noise issue instead of what theirs does which is use the main pump).

Definitely invite them over to hear what you hear.

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I bought a used Sundance Optima last March and the motor was very loud and vibrated. Just about two weeks ago it even louder and the water got cloudy. I replaced the motor and now you can barely hear it running. Cost about $150 and I replaced it myself. Mine sits on a paving stone patio so I don't really get vibration in the house and my neighbors are not close enough to be bothered. Just saying the motor minght be going bad on your neighbors hot tub which is causing the vibration and noise.

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