View Full Version : noise level restrictions?

10-10-2012, 12:58 PM
Hi there peeps.
New here.
I do work from time to time with the AC industry. But on this occasion have a question based on a more personal environment issue. I have a M*******s supermarket opposite my residents in Essex. The plant room is on the first floor with large grilled opening approx 1500 x 1500. The room faces my properties approx direction, approx 40 Meters away. The plant has become noisy, very low frequency drone and high rattle. weirdly I have noticed certain nights, usually Sunday to be the loudest! Would this be due to a maintenance cycle? My local council bend over backwards not to upset the store, so I need to be well briefed before I make a complaint!
With outdoor AC units, in London, I believe it is required units do not exceed 45db daytime and 25db in certain areas by night period, 2 meters from unit? Do such guidelines have to be met with such a plant room in the UK?

Thanks in advance.

10-10-2012, 02:24 PM
yes we were involved in a case with a mini mart which had the council out to look and test. they then took measurements at certain distances and confirmed they needed to add acustic surrounds. acceptable Noise levels are not dependant upon the equipment making the noise

10-10-2012, 02:38 PM
Thanks for the info.
But surely there must be point that is considered a nuisance in db. Though low hum can not be picked up as a high db reading admitedly. I spoke to chelmsford council off the record, and though I could not pin the guy down to a level of db's he said around 35db would be considered a nuisance, but other factors would be considered if there was a low end drone present. Would of liked to nail the council down to a level though, as they don't like messing with big stores!


10-10-2012, 02:49 PM
noise is noise wether it is low or high it's a meaurement of volume. We had a cellar cooler which a neighbour complained was too loud. The council came out with their db meter and took measurements. They take background measurements first to get a base reading and it's the value above that which renders it unacceptable.
In this case the council gave the gren light to the club to contune using it..

look on ebay and get a cheap db reader which will give you an indication of how loud it is and you can go from there.

A simple definition of noise is: Any unwanted sound.
Noise is measured in decibels and the scale often employed dB(A) is weighted to the range perceived by the human ear. The decibel system is frequently misinterpreted as it is based on a logarithmic scale. This means that a sound level of 100dB(A) contains twice the energy of a sound level of 97dB(A).

A rise of 10 dB in sound level corresponds roughly to a doubling of subjective loudness. Therefore a sound of 80 dB is twice as loud as a sound of 70 dB which is twice as loud as a sound of 60 dB. Correspondingly, the 80 dB sound is 4 times louder than the 60 dB sound.

Distance plays an important role in the perceived sound level. Sound levels decrease by approximately 6 dB every time the distance from the source is doubled.

A noise level of 35 to 40dB outside a dwelling is acceptable and a maximum of 45dB should be adhered to in order to prevent disturbance to residents

Sound levels inside a property will be approximately 10dB less than those outside, even when a window is open.

Noise not only affects hearing. It affects other parts of the body and body systems. It is now known that noise:
Increases blood pressure
Has negative cardiovascular effects such as changing the way the heart beats
Increases breathing rate
Disturbs digestion
Can cause an upset stomach or ulcer
Can negatively impact a developing foetus and possibly contribute to premature birth
Makes it difficult to sleep, even after the noise stops
Intensifies the effects of factors such as drugs, alcohol, carbon monoxide and ageing
In fact research now suggests that noise may be causing 2000-4000 deaths annually as a result of an increase in cardiovascular disease

If they take readings you can ask for them to be independently assessed which will mean he must comply

I don't think being a big store is anything to worry about but advise you get as many neighbours to complain to the council as posible as they then have to act. a single complaint can be seen as a moaner


10-10-2012, 03:53 PM
If they take readings you can ask for them to be independently assessed

Thanks for the reply! Is this law or just something that can be requested. Who would foot the bill for the independent assessment?


10-10-2012, 09:32 PM
Have they had a refit or fridge upgrade recently instore?

Have you tried contacting the store and asking them to look at the problem, there may be something simple they can do or put back to how it was.

I was involved recently with a Major and it's neighbours, the local council only got involved when the neighbours didn't get what they were expecting.
The council arranged noise testing which proved the nuisence had been removed, compared to the initial testing done by the Supermarket.

11-10-2012, 09:30 AM
Thanks for reply. The issue used to be on the odd day, ie particularly warmer night in summer, but noticeably most sunday nights. Not just because street ambience was quieter it was noticeable, but literally louder and more drone. Now it's loud most nights, but some nights louder than others.

As I posted above. Are there weekly programmed maintenance cycles that could make difference to running of system and noise generated on a given night??


11-10-2012, 10:31 AM
Hi mingualez
You would have to measure the whole sound spectrum with probably expensive equipment, even then it may be ultra sounds that are causing the drone effect which would measure below the range of db levels (or below human hearing). From what you've said it sounds like it is getting worse and could just be a bearing or out of balance large fan which will be fixed soon. But I think you have a case for complaint and should voice it. Of course with some sort of legal advise first.