All Residents, Central Heating, Communal Services, Other

Noise Nuisance (January 2011) – UPDATED 31-01-2011

Boiler NoiseThis is the third part of the story concerning the noise nuisance.

The problem started on the 20th October 2010 and since then many things have changed.

Please read the latest updates below and the previous stories at the end of this entry.


On 10-01-2011 at 14:11, we wrote the following e-mail:

Dear Mr Stow,

A. Noise from pumps. This was the original noise nuisance that I started to complain about from 20th October 2010. Since pump 2 was been isolated on around 13th November 2010, the pulsating noise has been greatly reduced in my flat.

B. Rattling Noise Since 29th December 2010 I have been complaining about a rattling noise in my flat. After 4th January 2011 when 2 valves have been replaced in my neighbours flat (Flat No 5), this noise has also been greatly reduced.

I would like to stress that it may be coincidental that the noises were reduced for the reasons given above, though it does seem probable. Also whilst the first two nights after the valves replacement were much quieter, a pulsating noise is still audible in my flat.

Additionally there is a background noise which is coming from the boiler room which didn’t exist prior to the current works being carried out by Apollo. However I understand that they will be implementing noise reduction methods (installation of bellows, anti-vibration matting, sound proofing, etc) before they complete the project, which will hopefully remedy this situation.

Queries relating to these problems:

1. When will the sound proofing and other noise reduction works be completed?

2. What other measures are you planning to take, apart from the ones mentioned above, in order to reduce the pulsating noise inside the flats?

3. Pump 2, I believe has been disabled. But will it be replaced? (The report said it was uneconomical to repair it). If not, I assume that I will have the same problems in the future if one or more of the other pumps fail and pump 2 has to be restarted.

4. The report also stated that there were additional equipment that needs replacement. What has Camden Council decided about these essential repairs/replacements. When will they be implemented?

5. Having spoken to other residents in Goldthorpe, it has come to my attention that several flats are have been experiencing similar problems with rattling radiators. (In addition to mine and my neighbours detailed above, flats 3, 7 and 21 for example). I believe that Apollo has already replaced a number of faulty thermostat valves because of this problem. Can you confirm that this is the case? Please could you let me know how many such valves have had to be replaced since the installation of the new radiators on the Curnock Estate?

6. What is the MBF (Meantime Between Failures) for the thermostat valves?

7. Who is the manufacturer of the thermostat valves and what is the model number?

8. The noise log can be sent to you after I receive some information/clarifications to my e-mail, dated 06-01-2011, to Ms Susan Gorrie of the Curnock TRA.

Yours sincerely,

On 11-01-2011 at 15:36, Mr John Stow sent an e-mail requesting a meeting:

On 11-01-2011 at 16:38, Cllr Roger Robinson sent the following e-mail to Cllr Julian Fulbrook:

o Cllr Julian Fulbrook

Dear Julian

This has been a real saga and frankly I think sincerely we should consider compensation to residents for the wretched noise.

Why has it taken so long and the noise is till there.??

Roger Robinson Cllr

On 11-01-2011 at 16:42, Cllr Julian Fulbrook replied to the Cllr Robinson’s email:

What a terrible saga!
As you can see officers are working very hard to get to the bottom of this.

On 11-01-2011 at 20:29, we sent the following e-mail to John Stow (Read at 20:40):

Dear Mr Stow,

Concerning the lack of hot water and heating in just the last month when we had no service:

On 03-12-2010 I was told that the reason was due to a gas leak, boiler door seal and tie rod

On 20-12-2010 I was told that the reason was due to a lock out on one of the boilers

On 06-01-2011 I was told that the reason was due to leaking gasket

Today you are telling me that it could be due to a sequencing or control fault.

Not to mention the 24 days last year that we did not have hot water or heating in Goldthorpe.

So every time the boiler breaks down there seems to be a different reason (or excuse).

Either the system is not fit for purpose or the Camden council is not managing to adequately maintain it. I am not suggesting that officers are not working hard on the problems, but surely it is time to admit that the current system is not fit for purpose. In the meantime residents are suffering from lack of service and noise.

Furthermore the November report shows there are a number of other faults with the system (Inverter failure, no flow control, display failure to inverter unit. All 6 transducers are corroded and require replacement. Poor & intermittent signal from transducers resulting in poor / zero flow control, etc)

Concerning the meeting, I have arranged to take a half day off work so that I can meet with you and Pat O’Neil in my flat at 09:00am on Thursday 13th January 2011. Please can you confirm if anybody else will be attending this meeting?

Finally, could you please e-mail me the specific points that you are going to cover at the meeting (i.e. an agenda)?

Yours sincerely

On 12-01-2011 at 09:48am, Mr Richard Michael sent the following e-mail:

Dear Resident,

To answer your enquiries below I can provide the following information.

The boiler room is not being soundproofed as such as part of the current capital works.

The highest dB readings at present are from the fresh air supply fans. These are being replaced with a new system incorporating acoustic attenuators on both sides of the fan with the system lagged with acoustic lagging material.

An acoustic screen is to be fitted in front of the three boilers.

The high level ventilation grilles are to be replaced with acoustic louvers.

Once this has been completed an acoustic survey will be carried out over a 24 hour period to ensure targets are met.

This is due to be completed on 28/01/11.

The other works that are being carried out to eliminate any possibility of noise transfer from the three heating pumps are as follows.

Anti-vibration matting, bellows and brackets are being installed on the six pumps, expected completion date is 21/01/11.

The six replacements for the corroded transducers and the replacements for the two faulty invertors are due to be installed by 28/01/11.

Pump two that you refer to is being installed when the bellows and matting are installed.

The TRV’s are Boss badged Pegler, model number 656004. There has been very few failures of the TRV’s, 10 – 12 in total out of the approximately 1300 installed to date, even those were questionable at the time. They were replaced at the start of the installation when we had a large volume of complaints regarding banging before we had a chance to balance out the system.


Richard Michael
Mechanical Contract Manager

Telephone: 0207 974 2048

On 13-01-2011 at 09:05am, we had a meeting with Pat O’Neil, Richard Michael, John Stow and Tony Bowcut:

Mr O’Neil wanted to hear from the residents about the problem and to reassure us that they are working hard in order to fix the noise problem as well as the problem with the hot water and heating.

On 13-01-2011 at 13:09, Pat O’Neil sent us the following e-mail:

Dear Resident,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me this morning . I think that it was important that I visited to give you the assurance that we are treating the matter seriously and that we will make every effort to effect a permanent resolution to the problem

I advised that there are potentially a number of reasons why noise can occur as the noise is intermittent it is difficult to reach a definitive conclusion as to cause. There also appear to be a number of different types of noise which makes it even more difficult to reach a conclusion

We are employing a number of techniques to assess the problem and from our conversation this morning I believe that you accept that we are taking every reasonable step to resolve the matter.

I apologise again that you have had to endure the noise and assure you of our best efforts in effecting a solution.

You have agreed to keep a record and provide this to Mr Michael who will continue to work with our contractor to identify the cause of the problem

You acknowledged that some of the actions we have already taken have mitigated noise levels and I can advise that we have other works planned for the immediate future that should further mitigate the noise levels from the boiler house

Kind Regards

Pat O’Neill
Head of Service Delivery

Telephone: 020 7974 3264

On 18-01-2011 at 04:04am, we sent the following e-mail:

Dear Mr Michael, and Mr Stow,

The very loud (more than 40dB) clattering noise is back. It started this evening and until now it interrupted our sleeps many times:

1) 00:53am until 00:54am – Clattering noise
2) 02:22am until 00:23am – Clattering noise
3) 03:29am until 03:44am even louder clattering noise coming from all the radiators and most of the walls.
4) 03:53am until 03:55am – Clattering noise

This is the same noise as the one that you heard when my friend played the recorded audio files to you after the New Year’s break.

Could someone check the boiler room, all the thermostatic valves in the sourrounding flats and let me know the cause of the problem?

The noise happens almost every hour or more frequently and for that reason it is impossible to sleep properly.

I am looking forward for your reply.

Yours sincerely

On 18-01-2011 at 09:51am, another resident sent the following e-mail:

I can confirm as a resident in my flat that I also heard these same metallic shaking noises at 00:55am this morning and again around 9am this morning.

On both occasions I touched my radiator and could feel it vibrating so decided to turn the tap to see it that would effect it and it actually stopped on both occasions as I turned it on slightly.

Of course this isn’t ideal as most of the time in this very warm block, heating is turned off.

Look forward to hearing the conversations about this latest problem.


On 18-01-2011 at 10:06am, Mr Michael Richard sent the following e-mail:

Dear Residents,

Thank you for confirming the times of the noise that you have experienced and sorry that it is still affecting you.

I have placed an order with the company who set the strategy for the boiler house management system. I am waiting for them to get back to me with a date for attendance.

Once on site they will be able to check the programme via their laptop and interrogate the information to see if there is any reason why the noise issue could be related to the plant.


Richard Michael
Mechanical Contract Manager

Telephone: 0207 974 2048

On 18-01-2011 at 16:13, Cllr Peter Brayshaw sent the following e-mail to Mr Michael Richard:

Dear Mr Michael,

thank you for this. I write as a resident of Trimdon and am also a local Ward Councillor (although as you know my colleague Cllr Robinson has been leading on raising issues of Curnock estate heating, hot water, and boiler noise).

Can I report that the sort of noise described and recorded by another resident in Goldthorpe, I have this afternoon experienced here in Trimdon. I’ve been away for the last two weeks, so don’t know if it happened during then, but this afternoon from about 1pm to 2pm there was a very loud, rythmic, pulsating buzzing and clattering (at first I thought a neighbour’s washing machine might be malfunctioning). It has just occured again from about 3.30 and just this minute finished, and appears loudest in the distribution point for heating under the stairs (possibly also the similar position in the flat immediately above, but hard to say. The sound then distributes throughout the flat.

I hope this information ptovides a further clue to the causes of this seemingly intractable problem, and that you can soon provide the remedy

– Peter Brayshaw

On 19-01-2011 at 00:43am, Cllr Peter Brayshaw sent the following e-mail to Mr Michael Richard:

Further update.

I can confirm from speaking with them that both my immediate neighbours (Trimdon) have today been suffering the same very loud noise and physical vibrations of radiators and pipes. I have been out this evening, and on return heard a more minor outbreak of noise (9.50 pm), but not since then. Hope this helps track down and fix the problem

Peter Brayshaw

On 24-01-2011 at 07:01am, we sent the following e-mail to Mr Michael Richard:

Dear Mr Michael,

Could you please provide us with an general update as well as some information about the following?

1) Has someone checked the boiler house system as per your e-mail on 18-01-2011?

2) Have the works for the installation of the anti-vibration-matting and bellows completed on the 21-01-2011 as per your schedule?

3) Is there any news about the cause of the rattling noise as detailed by Cllr Peter Brayshaw, Mr Samways and others?

Please have in mind that my neighbour had his valves replaced twice. He also told me that when he removed the thermostatic valve from the radiator located on the entrance hall (similar to the Cllr Brayshaw observation), the noise had stopped. He said that was the radiator that transmitted the noise to the rest of the flat.

Finally I would like to mention that there is still a lot of background disturbing noise inside the flat.

I am looking forward for your answers.

On 24-01-2011 at 08:59am, Pat O’Neil replied to our e-mail without answering our questions:

Dear Resident,

Thank you for the e mail

We met 13 December and I spent some time with you trying to get an understanding of the issues and as importantly , giving you assurance that we are treating the matter earnestly.

When we met I was accompanied by Mr Stow , Mr Michael and Mr Bowcut, all of whom are experienced heating engineers. After my visit with you we visited the boiler house and looked at the potential sources of the problem

There are a number of measures that we have planned to deal with inherent noise in the system and these are planned and programmed to be undertaken in the near future

I did however explain that there are a number of ways in which noise may be generated in a communal heating system , These can include alterations undertaken by residents which can result in imbalance, introduction of air into the system and consequential noise. The problem can be difficult to trace and can sometimes only be identified by a process of elimination

The team are monitoring the system and are making every effort to resolve the problem.You have my assurance that we will do all reasonably possible to identify the cause or causes and take remedial action.

I am aware of level of intrusiveness and frustration that noise can cause and we will continue to do our best to get the matter resolved as soon as possible

Kind Regards

Pat O’Neill
Head of Service Delivery

Telephone: 020 7974 3264

On 24-01-2011 at 12:39, Cllr Roger Robinson sent an e-mail to Mr Richard Michael in relation to our earlier e-mail this morning:

Please keep me up dated with the information sought by Residents – I am most concerned at the delay in resolving the noise affecting all at Goldthorpe and neighbouring flats. It has gone on for far too long.

Roger Robinson Cllr

On 24-01-2011 at 20:58, we sent an e-mail to Cllr Julian Fulbrook requesting an update:

Dear Cllr Fulbrook

Further to my request below, do you have any notes from this meeting that you can forward to me? It would reassure me to know what steps may have been taken as a result of your discussions.

Best Regards

On 24-01-2011 at 21:01, Cllr Julian Fulbrook replied to us plus the following people:

TO:,,, Pat.O’

Unfortunately minutes are not available from that meeting, but I can assure you we are endeavouring to get this properly fixed.

Best wishes
Julian Fulbrook

On 24-01-2011 at 14:24, Mr Richard michael informed us that:

Dear Resident,

The boiler house management system was checked on Friday by the controls engineer.

He did not find any of the timings in the strategy that would cause the pumps to be switching on and off at the times that we have experienced the boilers tripping or the noise issues as per your log.

Although nothing was obvious he has made two changes that could possibly improve things. When the pump duty changes (weekly Tuesday 10.00) the duty pump will ramp down before the standby pump speed ramps up. This will stop the possibility of both pumps running at full speed at the same time. He also checked the changeover on the primary heating pumps and found that the duty changeover was not operating as it should when a flow failure occurred. He has corrected this.

The worksheet report from his visit is below:

“Tested primary pump change-over and found that only pump 1 would run and that when the pump flow-failed was activated when pump 2 did not run, the pumps did not revert to the original duty. Traced fault to the ARM modules which use the 0-10Vdc outputs from the controller to switch a relay enabling the relevant inverter and also repeat the original signal to the inverter speed reference. Both ARMs were permanently on (relay energised) even when there was no voltage on the signal. Since the 24Vac enable is interlocked through the n/c contact of pump 1 relay, pump 2 could not be enabled. Adjusted the on voltage level for both ARMs, added a 30 second on-delay to allow for inverter ramp down times and retested pump change-over sequence several times – OK. Tested fault activated change-over and found that the latching input for the change-over pulse was incorrect and this was causing the module to pulse on every other cycle – corrected and tested – ok.

HWS primary pumps had recently been found tripped, tested change-over sequence several times but could not cause fault to recur.”

The engineer who was due to install the bellows and anti vibration matting to the heating pumps was off sick last week. I met him on site today and he is starting the bellows and matting today with the hope of completing by the end of the week. I have asked him to start with the pump set that you have said causes the noise issue (middle set).

The rattling noise may have been caused by air in the system while the changeovers were made last week.

The heating risers on the last block were connected and some air may have been carried around the system from this.


Richard Michael
Mechanical Contract Manager

Telephone: 0207 974 2048


Some of the works have finished but the noise is still audable inside the flats. We will try to have an update soon from the Camden Council and/or the contractors.


– Pulsating Noise From Boiler Room
– Clattering Noise From Boiler Room
– No Hot Water, No Heating, Just Noise
– Noise Nuisance – January 2011
– Noise Nuisance: Dates and Facts
– Heating Works & Noise – Feb 2011
– Heating Works & Noise – Apr 2011
– Heating Works & Noise – Jun 2011
– Heating Works & Noise – Sep 2011
– Noise Diary 1
– Noise Diary 2

Comments are closed.