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For the last 24 hours, there's been a constant high pitched sound coming from within my first floor bathroom wall. I've tried a few things and can't figure it out.

  1. We moved into our townhouse 2.5 years ago. It was built in 2001 and we have two neighbors that we share a wall with on either side of the house.
  2. Everyone in the house hears the high pitched sound.
  3. I located it on the first floor bathroom wall slightly lower than the electric outlet and light switch. This wall is not shared with either neighbor.
  4. I've turned off all electric breakers. Sound persists.
  5. I've turned off all water to the house and drained the pressure in the bathroom sink. Sound persists.
  6. Checked carbon monoxide alarm and water level alarm in the HVAC and water heater closet. Sound is not coming from either alarm.
  7. Checked at a couple hour intervals throughout the day and night for any signs of water but there isn't any sign.
  8. Called a handyman and he checked it out. He thought of two possibilities: insects or drain panel alarm. As we only have one thermostat, he said we shouldn't have a drain panel so ruled it out. Our area is a bit swampy so we do have a problem with spider or camel crickets entering our house.
  9. The handyman is coming over again today to see if he can see anything with a camera snake, apply some biodegradable pesticide, and patch a large hole behind our bathroom sink. The biodegradable pesticide should only affect insects and if it were insects, they would leave within an hour.

I personally don't believe it's insects because it's been a constant pitch for around 24 hours now but I'm completely stumped so we're willing to try it first. Any and all advice is welcome. Thanks!

Edit: Added recording: https://on.soundcloud.com/qrFNB

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  • Can you record the sound and post it here?
    – HandyHowie
    Jul 17, 2023 at 12:31
  • Problem is the sound coming from that section of wall or is the wall acting like a funnel and amping the sound at that point. Constant pitch for that long sounds almost like a plank(noise maker) Most natural or house sounds should change during that time, even something like a failing bearing on a motor.
    – crip659
    Jul 17, 2023 at 12:31
  • Do both neighbors hear the sound too?
    – Huesmann
    Jul 17, 2023 at 12:55
  • The neighbor that shares a wall with the bathroom came over to listen, then he went back to his house, and he said he doesn't hear anything. I haven't talked to the opposite neighbor about it.
    – Mike
    Jul 17, 2023 at 13:44
  • What is the best way to record and post here?
    – Mike
    Jul 17, 2023 at 13:44

1 Answer 1

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I heard the sound recording. I could be wrong, but it does not sound like animals. To me, it sounds like an oscillating appliance, e.g. a radon fan, which presumably would be shared by both houses in the condo, and not controlled by your service panel. Is there a third panel for the shared spaces in the townhouses? If there is one, you could coordinate with your neighbor to shut off all electricity in the building, and then checking if the noise persists.

It could also be an old fire alarm. Some of them sound the alarm when the batteries are almost drained, and if the battery is not replaced, the alarm slowly dies and makes a sound similar to what you recorded.

As others have mentioned, sounds can travel though the structure, and you might be hearing it located at a light switch because it's traveling through the stud bay or through the electrician's holes in framing.

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