For the last month, I have a vibrating sound low in volume, but strong enough to hear clearly sounding like a motor or a pump. I turned off the power and also shut off the water, but to no avail...the sound continues. It is so hard to sleep and ear plugs help. I checked in the crawl space and did not hear it. The sound is hard to locate, but may be coming from the garage. I hear the sound in most of the home, but stronger nearer to the garage. Right now late in night, it is really humming. No signs of leaking pipes. I am stumped and so wish to cut that sound out. What to do, who to get (plumber or electrician) and how to find the source of the sound?

  • 1
    Have you looked around your house? Is the house directly connected to other houses, or detached? Any powerlines overhead, utility cabinets nearby? Industry in the neighbourhood?
    – Hobbes
    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:13
  • Maybe your refrigerator. For a time I had a hum coming from my furnace which I think was a small transformer inside it. It went away without any intervention on my part. Maybe from outside like the Windsor hum. theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/07/… Jan 4, 2017 at 12:02
  • Try a drinking glass lip to a wall with glass base to your ear, working around the house one wall at a time. I hope it is not pests. Jan 4, 2017 at 17:00
  • Please answer @Hobbes questions as they are very important. There are many factors here at play. And to add to that, do live in an urban (city), suburban, or rural area? Do you hear it outside of your home (do a walk around). And to further clarify, when you say you cut power, did you turn off the main cutting ALL power? Was your car in the garage at the time? And lastly, where do you live? There are known locations near industrial centers which experience "the hum".
    – Mister Tea
    Jan 4, 2017 at 17:30
  • 1
    Exactly what power did you shut off? The entire house? Mar 13, 2018 at 0:32

2 Answers 2


According to user LCD, from How do I find out the cause of a low frequency hum in my house?, you can detect the source of the hum with a variety of methods:

  • Check that others can hear the noise. Other family members, neighbors, etc.
  • Make a cone listening device with something like a sheet of paper that you can hold up to your ear. This will help you to better narrow down the location that the sound is coming from.
  • Use a stethoscope (you can find one pretty cheap at a drugstore), preferably with a metal head. Use this to try to further locate the source of the sound. Place the stethescope on pipes, walls, floors, radiators, vents, etc. Be careful not to come into contact with electricity as you're doing this.
  • Turn off circuit breakers (individual, or the master). If the master breaker stops the hum, then use the individual breakers, one-by-one until the hum returns. If you find the circuit that the hum is on, start tracing that circuit.
  • Turn off water supply (individual, or the master).

You might also consider using an app on your phone meant for monitoring audio or showing "spectrograms". This might help you to visualize the frequency of the hum.

The above listed reference also includes a variety of potential sources that are worth checking to help identify the potential source.


It could be your neighbour's hot tub that simply circulates water.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.