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Tim JA
Tim JA, HVAC Technician
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I need some advice from a qualified boiler technician … I

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Hello … I need some advice from a qualified boiler technician … I live in Sheltered Housing on the first floor. All floors in my flat are vibrating and have been for some time, I first spoke to the manager here some time ago and she told me it was because my flat was next to the room above boiler room, I wasn’t convinced and so emailed local councillors. Eventually after a council surveyor came, she later sent a man with equipment to detect any vibration in a 35ft radius. I did ask this man to let me know when after 7 days he came to collect equipment but since then I’ve heard nothing at all from anyone, this man, surveyor or council. This was some months go and since then we have had a new boiler put in with new radiators in all flats but still the vibrating goes on. I have questioned different men when I’ve seen them in the boiler room re this vibrating floor but all have said it’s not the boiler, old one or new one. I have to get to the bottom of this as it’s causing me distress and has been for some time … the vibrating quite often starts at different times, surely that wouldn’t be so if a boiler is set for all flats, mine is the only flat that seems to experience this … Please could you help me sort this out before I contact my MP …
JA: Are you getting any error codes or blinking lights on your boiler?
Customer: I have no access to the boiler as it’s locked away in a boiler room on the ground floor of this Sheltered Housing block so don’t know if it’s the boiler or something else. The manager last year was very insistent, on more than one occasion that it was the boiler but as it has been vibrating for so long now and new boiler replacement is now in I’m thinking it must be something else
JA: How long has this been going on with your boiler? What have you tried so far?
Customer: over a year, I’ve contacted council members, talked to men in boiler room, that’s all I can do having no access to boiler room. If it’s boiler why is it only my flat, floor didn’t vibrate firfurst two years I moved in here?.
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: no, except nobody seems to want to take responsibility re my vibrating floors, it’s awful, the manager died a couple of months ago and we are waiting for a new manager to take up this position, but I don’t hold up much hope due to the fact that my council do not care about us here in She,treed Housing in East London ..

Good evening, and welcome to the Technical section in JustAnswer, an independent paid question and answer platform that matches customers' questions to experts in various skills. My name is ***** ***** I'll be happy to help you today.

My first thought, at the beginning of your explanation, is also my last thought - I reckon its pump vibration.

If you have communal heating from a (big) boiler, then it's quite likely that the pump is a separate unit. Replacing the boiler doesn't mean that the pump was replaced.

Corrosion debris can get lodged in a pump impeller, and in a small domestic pump this can cause a small amount of vibration. With a large semi-industrial pump, the vibration will be proportionately bigger.

That's what I would get checked out first.


There's no time pressure on this topic - it will stay open to you for many days, and you can reply at any time. I will be away from my desk sometimes, but will respond as soon as I can.

Tim JA and other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Hello Tim…Many thanks for your reply. Yes it is communal heating from a main boiler to 32 flats. Workmen are still coming in for 5 days a week as this is a major renovation of all flats, new kitchens, flooring, radiators etc to all flats. They are now in the process of doing up downstairs flats … I will go and see if plumbers are still here tomorrow an find out if it is the pump, this very well may not have been renewed, only new main boiler installed …With thanks
Jennifer …..
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you for offer of voicing help but sorry, I’m on State Pension and cannot afford £16 …. Step by step instructions would not be of use to me as I can’t get into boiler room to take plumber through instructions. It is always locked and is on the ground floor anyway and I never know when the right man will be available or around …
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I do apologise for not being able to leave you a tip or pay for phone call. I just cannot afford to as I have other major outgoings, one being I have be,ongings in Yellow Stirage. My youngest son helped me last year with a few runs in his car to whittle down boxes so my Yellow Storage isn’t so expensive. Other outgoings is a payment to council for cleaner cleaning block, grounds maintenance etc so what money I do have has to be carefully spent re food and other bills … I do hope you understand, I am, obviously grateful for your time taken to respond to my plea and thank you very much. This has been a great help …..With many thanks

Hi Jennifer, I completely understand. There's absolutely no need to leave a tip - my grandmother taught me that "charity begins at home" :-)

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Hello Tim JA,
Many thanks for your last reply, your grandmother is a lovely lady, no doubt about that …
In response to your info re vibrating floors could be boiler pump, I had been waiting to catch the last boiler man, this has been a while but he knocked on my door this morning re some old pipe work in my large cupboard that had been removed yesterday .. his reply ~ “it’s not the pump as a new one was put in when new boiler was installed”, apparently pipe was also cleaned out. He suggested I should think of moving out .. so I’m back to square one …
I will now contact the councillors I emailed some time ago re these vibrating floors and my MP. I cannot go on like this, being now back on Home Swappers I can’t see how I can do a swap and expect someone else to go through what I’m going through, it’s not fair or right …
One thing I will say re your name, my eldest son is called Tim and J A are my name initials - Jennifer Anne .. just ending on a light note ..
All the best ~ Jennifer ….

Hi Jennifer :-)

Excuse my brevity just now as I'm about to go to an appointment.

The boiler man seems incredibly unhelpful.

Have you considered booking a visit from an independent heating engineer, to investigate the noise? I realise that they might not be allowed access to all parts of the building, but if you mention Environmental Health to the building manager then you might be able to compromise over someone getting access to investigate.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Hello Tim J A ..
I’ll reply now but understand your off to an appointment …he was incredibly unhelpful, when I asked what else could be causing the vibration he said “he didn’t know - that’s when he said maybe I should move” … the whole company, Astons and their workforce that Waltham Forest Council employ on contracts to over see many of their properties, are either useless or just don’t care about tenants … that’s part and parcel of living in WF borough and it’s not just council tenants that have many a cause to complain about, it filters down to people who have bought their properties re Council Tax/parking etc etc …
We had security gating fitted a couple or so years ago, every time it rains gates don’t close after drivers have gone out. The other week some visitors got stuck in the driveway as the gates, after a heavy rainfall day before, wouldn’t open. They went to the Fire Brigade just around the corner who are linked to this block and even their special key couldn’t open the gates .. Eventually they did next morning but since then, 3wks ago, they haven’t shut !!!??? .. personally I can’t wait to move out of this borough, their housing, and London altogether …. A lot of London Boroughs are just plain incompetent, money is their god, not tenants anywhere …
Enough of that, sorry for going on but it’s like banging ones head on a brick wall … re getting an engineer out, the manager of this sheltered housing died in early May and WF have not bothered to replace her so we don’t have a manager, we have no one to go to in an emergency ….
All the best ~ Jennifer …..

Hi Jennifer
WF isn't very far from me, so I'd be happy to visit on a "no fix no fee" basis, just to see what would be involved in investigating further.  Let me know if that would be helpful.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Hello Tim,
That’s a really kind offer but I think it would be a wasted visit. It’s because I really think it’s the man downstairs has set up some device up that vibrates my floor and it was never about the boiler .. i did start to think this a little while ago quite some time after I had had cause to complain about him to the manager a while after the vibrating had started who was very good friends with this man and he with her. She tried on many occasions to convince me that it was coming from the boiler room but it never affected anyone else and she wasn’t happy I had previously included her in my email to the council mentioning that she hadn’t done anything re this vibrating which she hadn’t, so I think they collaborated to try to get me out, she even told me about home swappers once but I was already on there by then and I told her so. I never felt it in next doors guest room which is directly above the boiler room and the man downstairs is directly next to the boiler room and he was never mentioned as being unhappy re vibrating flat. Unfortunately he’s a drinker, I’ve worked with drinkers and once the brain rot sets in they can be quite nasty in a subtle way, he’s also into psychology. I knocked on his door one day some time ago and he has lots of books on a book case in his hallway, I’m into reading so I asked him what he read and I found it was psychology, says it all really … previous tenants were also meant to have complained and yet for the first two years of being here there was no vibration whatsoever, I did say this to the manager, till after he had moved in and I had complained, in a nice way, about him ... So, if previous tenants had complained why wasn’t it looked into prior to me moving in. Because it never existed in the boiler room. I know for sure, now that I asked the boiler maintenance man again today …
I’ll give you my address/phone number and if your in the vicinity maybe you would like to pop in and see for yourself …
Flat 17 Clifton House,***** Leytonstone. E11 3PN …*********** Text me first as I don’t answer calls I don’t recognise due to quite a bit of cold calling that happens …
Meanwhile, I’ll just have to hope that someone wants my flat a.s.a.p because the manager died back in May and the vibrating hasn’t stopped and I feel it never will all the time I live above this man …All the best Tim and many many thanks for taking the time to read the rather lengthy msgs I’ve sent you and for your supportive help. Much appreciated …..