Author Topic: Rental home well issue; how to approach the landlord about it...  (Read 1920 times)

Holyoak

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Rental home well issue; how to approach the landlord about it...
« on: December 19, 2014, 08:57:23 AM »
My rental home, and the landlords is right next door, 8 ft apart, and share the same well between the homes.  The problem I am having is when they use water, I get a very loud, sharp POP under my bedroom floor, nearly under my bed in the crawlspace, as the system switches on and off.  This noise is very disturbing when I try to go to sleep/sleep, and is really making my life hell. 

It's like having a smoke alarm that beeps that drives you crazy, never knowing when the hell it is going to go off, and I can't do a damn thing about it.  So now I lie in bed waiting for the well machinery to POP, and my sleep is REALLY suffering and making my life miserable.  I even sleep with really good quality earplugs, to no avail and I'm not doing this all the while paying $700/mo.  I tried to "get used to it", but it has become intolerable, especially since the home is nearly silent all the time.

My landlord is a grumpy fella, and I'm sure anything I say will be dismissed, minimized, etc.  The system is a mess to boot.  Under my bedroom floor is a suspended by a wire Rube Goldberg mess of the switching contacts and spliced pipe.  There is no gauge and pressure tank, so I guess the pressure tank, and perhaps check valve are in his crawl?  It is a shallow jet pump between the homes, and I guess the check valve could also be in the well too making the noise.  I went in the crawl and checked for loose pipes making the noise, covered up the switch box with insulation, but the noise is as bad as ever.  I have lived in many homes with wells, and never have had this problem, but again I never shared a well either...  No big deal if the POP happens when *you* are up flushing the toilet; whole other matter when they do, or do laundry, or some such and life is hell with multiple on off cycles.  I'm at my wits end, and would appreciate help on perhaps a fix, and also how to deal with the landlord.  Thanks.  BTW, here is the mess in the crawl, and look at how he deals with dryer venting too...  I'm shocked there is no mold growth/destroyed wood/joists:


Rezdent

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Re: Rental home well issue; how to approach the landlord about it...
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 09:28:49 AM »
My rental home, and the landlords is right next door, 8 ft apart, and share the same well between the homes.  The problem I am having is when they use water, I get a very loud, sharp POP under my bedroom floor, nearly under my bed in the crawlspace, as the system switches on and off.  This noise is very disturbing when I try to go to sleep/sleep, and is really making my life hell. 

It's like having a smoke alarm that beeps that drives you crazy, never knowing when the hell it is going to go off, and I can't do a damn thing about it.  So now I lie in bed waiting for the well machinery to POP, and my sleep is REALLY suffering and making my life miserable.  I even sleep with really good quality earplugs, to no avail and I'm not doing this all the while paying $700/mo.  I tried to "get used to it", but it has become intolerable, especially since the home is nearly silent all the time.

My landlord is a grumpy fella, and I'm sure anything I say will be dismissed, minimized, etc.  The system is a mess to boot.  Under my bedroom floor is a suspended by a wire Rube Goldberg mess of the switching contacts and spliced pipe.  There is no gauge and pressure tank, so I guess the pressure tank, and perhaps check valve are in his crawl?  It is a shallow jet pump between the homes, and I guess the check valve could also be in the well too making the noise.  I went in the crawl and checked for loose pipes making the noise, covered up the switch box with insulation, but the noise is as bad as ever.  I have lived in many homes with wells, and never have had this problem, but again I never shared a well either...  No big deal if the POP happens when *you* are up flushing the toilet; whole other matter when they do, or do laundry, or some such and life is hell with multiple on off cycles.  I'm at my wits end, and would appreciate help on perhaps a fix, and also how to deal with the landlord.  Thanks.  BTW, here is the mess in the crawl, and look at how he deals with dryer venting too...  I'm shocked there is no mold growth/destroyed wood/joists:
Hmmm
As a landlord I would certainly want to know.
Pipe chatter can be somewhat harmless but looking at the picture it might be enough to break that setup.   I also would hate to lose a good tenant over it. 
So if it were me, I would approach him with 3 goals:
1.  Let him know it is happening.
2.  Mention that the problem is so serious that you believe the plumbing may break and cause thousands in damage.
3.  Let him know that it is waking you at night and is generally disturbing.  You otherwise love the place and enjoy living there, but you really don't see yourself living with this for years. I wouldn't threaten to move unless I was prepared to follow through.  If he makes any offers to look at it or have someone else look at it, clarify exactly what he's contemplating and get a date of when this would be done.  If he says he'll have a plumber out, ask what day so that you can plan around it, etc.

Depending on how the conversation went, I'd probably follow up with a written note.  Something like, per our conversation last week about (issue), I will make sure plumber has access to on XXX.
If action taken, be sure to thank and let him know if problem resolved.
If no action taken, repeat steps.  If No results, see what tenant rights cover in your state.

Greg

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Re: Rental home well issue; how to approach the landlord about it...
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2014, 09:55:46 AM »
As a design/build professional, and a landlord, I hate to see stuff like this.  Looks like the well's pressure switch is under your room.  It's like a large relay, it pops when it turns on the power to the pump depending on the water pressure in the line.  It should be closer to the pressure tank, but for all you know there isn't one, and this will wear out the pump.

If you wrap the grey box which is the pressure switch with thick foam padding (think concrete floor padding or similar) it might help.  But really it's in the wrong place, someone got lazy putting it in.

The dryer vent really needs to be routed to a nearby foundation vent, preferably through it.  Introducing all of that moisture to the crawlspace is a health hazard, and the lint buildup will cause other problems and is messy.

If I were you,  I'd mention both to the landlord and ask that they be fixed, but it sounds like it's not likely to happen.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 09:58:00 AM by Greg »