All Residents, Central Heating, Communal Services, Other

Clattering Noise From Boiler Room – UPDATED 06-01-2011

Boiler NoiseOn Wednesday 29th December 2010, Camden Council carried out some repairs (gas leak, boiler door seal and tie rod) to one of the boilers (boiler 3).

As a result of those changes or other changes somewhere, a disturbing loud noise (higher than 40dB) is present on some flats which can be heard about every hour throughout the night.

It is less regular during the day.


On 30-12-2010 at 09:53am, a resident wrote the following to Mr Richard Michael:

Dear Mr Michael,

During the last 24 hours period we have experienced a new trauma in the flat. It has occurred on three occasions twice last night for a period of approximately 1 minute and this morning at 09:23 for approximately 5 minutes.

I can only explain the noise as if a giant washing machine is attached to a wall and it is going out of control on the spin cycle. All the walls and even the floor was vibrating. The noise could even been picked up by my iPad recorder which means that it is higher than the “acceptable?” 40dB.

Please listen to the file attached (you may need the free Apple QuickTime player: ).

The noise is coming from the boiler room and it is disturbing.

On 30-12-2010 at 11:51am, John Stow informed us that:

Dear Resident,

Have just left the boiler room everything is working and I was unable to detect any unusual noises or vibrations.

Was this reported to thee repairs team?


John Stow
Mechanical services manager

Telephone: 020 7974 2046

On 30-12-2010 at 12:18, we e-mailed Mr John Stow:

Dear Mr Stow,

Thank you for coming out but as I stated on my email the noise is not constant. It last for a couple of minutes and then it stops.

The problem has not been reported to the repairs team because it is not their responsibility.

The situation is the same as pump 2. It was working but at the same time pump 2 was creating an awful and pulsating noise. After the refurbishment of pump 2 the problem is almost resolved.

The weird noises are coming from another equipment which is more likely to be one of the boilers/pumps.

Are all the three boilers working? Have all the problems with the boilers (gas leak, boiler door seal, etc) been fixed?

On 30-12-2010 at 16:41, Mr John Stow informed us:

Dear Resident,

I have just return from the boiler house whereby I found all 3 boilers working.

Regrettably I was unable to locate any bizarre noises coming from the plant in the boiler hse or anything that would cause a vibration in your property.

In regards to the misunderstanding regarding repairs, all heating failures, including noise matters must be reported through the repairs /contact centre so that we have a clear audit trail and therefore uncertain why you believe it is not their responsibility.


John Stow
Mechanical services manager

Telephone: 020 7974 2046

On 31-12-2010 at 02:13am, we sent the following e-mail:

Dear Mr Stow & Mr Michael,

It is 01:53am and the noise from the boiler room is higher than 40dB which is the legal limit. The noise starts almost every hour now, it is loud most of the times, and very disturbing. When it stops we have another pulsating noise from the same equipment.

When did the Camden Council started the failed boiler? Has the failed boiler activated last Wednesday? Did any other work take place since Wednesday morning?

Who did the boiler repair and who started the boiler the last time (Seaflame, Apollo, etc)?

Something has to be done because every hour we wake up and it is impossible to sleep.

On 31-12-2010 at 09:07am, Cllr Roger Robinson sent the following e-mail:

Dear Mr Stow

This must stop….despite what has been said by the officers the wretched noise is still there, it seems…..surely we can take some definitive action? I can’t believe this goes on and on….

I must ask as a ward councillor that urgent action is taken today.

Please advise me on mobile 07833 437 471.

Roger Robinson Cllr

St Pancras and Somers Town Ward

On 31-12-2010 at 09:42am, Mr Richard Michael responded to Cllr Roger Robinson

Dear Mr Robinson,

I am on site at present in the Curnock St boiler house.

All plant is operating with no excessive noise.

Temperatures are all at correct settings and there is no vibration felt on any of the pipework.

I did give details of Environmental Health dept to the resident some time back as they have officers available for such issues during the night.

If the alleged noise is only occurring intermittently during the night it suggests another source as the boiler plant runs 24/7.

Richard Michael

On 31-12-2010 at 10:59am, we sent the following e-mail to Mr Richard Michael:

Dear Mr Michael,

I believe that I may have seen you go to the boiler room this morning – from approximately 9:08am until 9:20am. Unfortunately you didn’t think it pertinent to call me whilst you were here to discuss in person what is happening. (You have my mobile phone number).

Anyway, as I have shown in all my emails about this problem the noise is intermittent – perhaps if you were to stay more than 10 minutes each visit you would find where the problem lays. Also I am complaining about the noise in my flat – why don’t you try to visit the flat whilst you are here as well as the boiler room to address the problem?

You say that the boiler room runs consistently 24/7. This is a stupid comment to yet again make. Obviously there is a change in demand for hot water and heating throughout the day and night which requires pumps and equipment to work at different levels/speeds at different times. It doesn’t require a technical or clever mind to understand this.

You again refer to the “alleged” noise. Please refer to my previous recording of the noise picked up by an insensitive recording device……it is demeaning to me that you use this term yet again and suggests that I am lying or exaggerating the problem.

A friend stayed in my flat last night. The noise woke him up on several occasions – it is out of order.


This new level noise started on Wednesday evening.

1) Was anything in the boiler room changed during that day?

2) When was the boiler which had been out of action because it was faulty, returned to service?

3) Which company repaired the boiler?

4) Which company reinstalled the boiler?

Please note that I am not at work until Tuesday the 4th and if you visit the site again please call me on my mobile and if I am local I will like to try to meet you on site.

Please also have in mind that when I met Tony Bowcut on site and explained the previous noise problem, he was able to find the problem (pump 2 ) and resolve it. In contrast with Mr Bowcut you have ignored all my requests for a meeting with myself and Cllr Robinson for three months now.

On 31-12-2010 at 15:54, Mr Richard Michael responded with the following e-mail:

Dear Resident,

This noise has been investigated many times by different officers and Apollo staff previously and nobody has witnessed the noise. I have been told that this dates back approx 6 years. I have visited your flat with Mr Bowcut and no noise was heard. You were also invited to the site meeting, where we have a residents session before the project meeting, and your representative attended as you were away.

I have given you the Environmental Health contact numbers for out of hours noise disturbance but you have chosen not to call them.

I cannot play the noise recording you have sent as the computer I use does not have quicktime and I do not have administration rights to download.

Nothing changed last Wednesday with regard to pumps or noise.

The gas leak was repaired (no noise issue) and the boiler door seal and tie rod were replaced on boiler three (no noise issue).

I had four other sites to visit that had low temperature issues this morning and so could not spend all morning waiting around for a noise to possibly occur.

Please call Environmental Health if it occurs out of hours again and in the meantime we will endeavour to stop all possible causes of excessive noise from the boiler house plant as previously explained to you.


Richard Michael
Mechanical Contract Manager

Telephone: 0207 974 2048

On 31-12-2010 at 16:13, we sent the following e-mail to Mr Tony Bowcut from the Apollo Group:

Dear Mr Bowcut,

Could you please inform Mr Michael about the noise that you heard on my flat during your visit on 18-11-2010? The noise which with your help we were able to eliminate by refurbishing pump 2.

Could you also inform Mr Michael (as per our telephone conversation on 29-11-2010) about how you were inundated with complains (on 25th – 26th November 2010) when you switched on pump 1 on the 23rd November 2010?

On 01-01-2011 at 01:28am, we sent the following e-mail to Mr Michael and Cllr Roger Robinson:

Dear Mr Michael,

I also called the emergency repairs team and they told me that you are wrong. If you do not believe me talk with Abdul Ali on the emergency repairs team. The team does not have an expert to do the sound recording and the environmental health will come to my premises only if the noise is constant and ongoing. Not if it occurs every hour or less often. Exactly what I said on our telephone conversation this afternoon. Basically your advice was a TOTAL WASTE of time!!!

I expect your full apology on this matter for wasting my time, the emergency repairs team time and puting residents health at risk.

Cllr Robinson,

Can something be done in the mean time for making the night noise lower so we can sleep? Who is Mr Michael’s manager?

On 01-01-2011 at 16:33, Cllr Roger Robinson sent the following e-mail to Mr John Stow and copied Mr Michael, Mr Tony Bowcut, etc:

• See the latest emails re the noise in Goldthorpe from the boiler- this has to be resolved…please advise.

Roger Robinson, Cllr

03-01-2011 – Below we can read the results of Mr Richard Michael’s recommendations:


Abdul Ali: This is the right number to do so… but at this time of night it isn’t something we can actually do. Because we are an out of hours emergency team, we don’t actually have a team who can come and record the noise.
Abdul Ali: We do not have a team specifically for that, at all!


On their website ( ) they state clearly:

We investigate complaints about noise from commercial and domestic sources. We provide this service during normal office hours and on a Friday and Saturday night.

On 04-01-2011, a resident has sent the following e-mail:

Dear Mr Stow and Mr Michael,

This morning I woke to a cold flat and no hot water to wash before I have to leave my flat to go to work. This is now the 6th day within the last four weeks that the boiler has failed.

It is evident that the hot water system in the Curnock estate is failing, and any work that you carry out is no more effective than sticking on a plaster.

Also the rattling noise that I have been complaining about since the 29th December did not bother me last night, implying that this noise is coming from the boiler room…….when the system is providing hot water. However this morning there is also now a repetitive “squeaking” noise which I thought may be an alarm coming from outside, but now think that it may also be coming from the boiler room (possibly the gas alarm?) I am wondering how safe it is to live above the boiler room?

I have already reported this to the emergency repairs team (Mr Abdul Ali) at 6 am and he told me that the problems had been reported to the Council by other tenants some hours previously.

This situation cannot continue. What are you going to do? Will residents be receiving compensation for loss in service?

On 04-01-2011 at 08:39 Mr John Stow informed us that:

Dear Resident,

My apologies for the fault with your hw and heating this morning. Engineers will be on site to repair today and I will advise you why the fault occurred.

On the matter of the 6 days the system has failed I will be looking into this, although I will ask that you take into account that the block is having major works to the heating and hw services at present and may have occurred shut downs for modification to take place. These works will make the system more reliable and efficient to you, especially on the hot water side.

I will also ask the contractor to advise me on this squeaking noise that you are hearing and if it is from the boiler hse what needs to be performed to resolve.

Regards a compensation claim, I’m can’t be certain on your total entitlement knowing that the repairs were performed in a given time period i.e. the same day.

Richard and I will be monitoring the site to give a better service and thank you for your patience whilst these works are being carried out.


John Stow
Mechanical services manager

Telephone: 020 7974 2046

On 04-01-2011 at 08:55am, a resident replied to Mr John Stow:

Dear Mr Stow,

The squeaking noise was the alarm inside the boiler room. I checked that today at 07:00am from outside the boiler room.

The 6 days are the days in which the boilers failed repeatedly and due to gas leaks and other problems due to bad or lack of maintenance. It was not due to major works.

Also please have in mind that the very loud clattering noise that we had from the 29-12-2010 was from the boilers because as soon as the boilers failed again we managed to sleep. Please look at that as well.

At the moment with all the gas leaks and other major faults, I seriously worry for my safety and well being.

Dear Councillors,

I will like to ask all the councillors to read the independent report about the boiler room health and arrange for some improvements that will provide us with the hot water and heating services as well as a quite environment.

On 04-01-2011 at 10:21am, Cllr Roger Robinson sent this e-mail:


For the attention of Cllr Fulbrook and Mike Cooke

This is getting to be a nonsensical farce- the noise is still there – the residents- my constituents- are getting absolutely fed up and frankly this has to be resolved this week without fail, please.

Can you help to get this sorted out…please? I would appreciate it.


Roger Robinson Cllr

On 04-01-2011 at 10:31am, Cllr Julian Fulbrook sent this e-mail:

Yes, both Mike and I are on to this. Urgent remedial action is underway.
Mike and I will be meeting to talk about it tomorrow morning.

Julian Fulbrook
Cabinet Member for Housing
Councillor for Holborn & Covent Garden (Labour)
Inquiries to Karen Martins, Executive Assistant, Room 122
Town Hall, Judd Street, London WC1H 9JE
Tel: 020 7974 1411

On 04-01-2011 at 13:15, another resident sent us this e-mail:


When I initially spoke with Michael and Stow this morning they categorically told me that the boilers had been working throughout the night. They were adamant about this because the graphs in the boiler room had showed them in the morning that the water had been up to temperature throughout the night.

We subsequently learned from Bowcut that all three boilers had indeed failed during the night. This suggests that either Michael and Stow were not able to read the graphs correctly, or there is a fault in the recordings of the water temperature. You may need Camden to clarify where this fault lays, since it will be more difficult to get problems resolved in the future if there is this kind of mis-information.

Diana later found out for us that the loss in hot water had first been reported to the Council at around 11pm last night (Monday evening). Apparently there were many subsequent calls throughout the night/morning. I think it would be useful to find out the reasons for all 3 boilers failing, and also to find out the actual time when an engineer was called to fix the problem since the hot water/ heating didn’t come back to the flats until after 8am today (when many residents will already have left for work/school).

Michael, Stow, Diana and Bowcut have now all heard the recordings that you have made, and seen your noise diary and agree that the noise is most disturbing and will try their best to resolve.

A faulty radiator valve is also being investigated in the next door neighbors’ flat which has also been causing a noise disturbance. Hopefully this will be replaced today.


On 05-01-2011 at 06:54am, we forwarded the above e-mail to Mr Michael, Mr Stow and Ms Morris:

Dear All,

I received the following (see above) e-mail from another resident. Please confirm.

On 05-01-2011 at 07:37am, Mr Stow replied with the following e-mail:

Thank you for your email.

Yes confirm info is correct, all but the info on the water through the night.

The reasons that we were mentioning the boilers had only failed early morning and not although the night was when taking info from the graph it showed that the boilers were holding the temp on the heating, hence the reason why the call made at 11pm was for faulty hot water and not heating.

In regards to the noise could you let me know if you had the noise issue last night?

Tony, can you please confirm that the faulty trv was replaced yesterday?

Thank you

John Stow
Mechanical services manager
Telephone: 020 7974 2046

On 05-01-2011 at 14:59, we sent the following email to Mr Stow:

Dear Mr Stow,

Is there any news concerning the reasons for the boilers failure? What about the alarm inside the boiler room (see my email below)?

On 06-01-2011 at 08:56am, Mr Stow replied to our previous e-mail:

Sorry for not coming back to earlier on this matter, however the reasons that the boilers failed was owing to a leaking gasket on the boiler 2 that made the fail safe device shut down all 3 boilers.

On another matter the noise, at my visited on Tuesday, I was shown a log of dates and times that you logged on the noise occurrence. Could I please ask that send me the dates and times over the last 10 days, as this may help Richard and me, with our investigation?

Thank you

John Stow
Mechanical services manager

Telephone: 020 7974 2046


1) All Three Boilers FAILED
1) Pulsating Noise From The Boiler Room After Apollo Group and D&G Higgins Works
2) Emergency Hot Water Shut Down To ALL Blocks
3) Improvements To The Heating System
4) Environmental Protection – Low Frequency Noise

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