Hum Tools - Resources to help find Hum / LFN  sources

Anyone who has ever attempted to report low frequency noise to local Authorities knows that they will play dumb and you will probably get nowhere. The information on this page is intended to help determine if there is something near you that could be generating low frequency noise.

The best Tool to locate the source of a Hum is your brain. Most nuisance low frequency noises can be traced backed to the source by investigating your surroundings, listening with your ears and using your common sense. You might want to begin by searching the internet to see if any major projects or changes to infrastructure or industry around you coincides with your hearing the Hum. Things to look for are Power Plants, Manufacturing Facilities, major changes to the infrastructure in your area. Some Hums come from things as simple as your neighbours newly installed Air Conditioner. Go out and listen and learn what you can. Sometimes the answer is very simple.

If you hear a Hum or a sound that seems to be very difficult to narrow down or seems to move with you your problem could be much more complicated. One of the unique characteristics of the Hum heard around the world and in particular low frequency noise generated by high pressure natural gas infrastructure is that is seems to blanket an entire area. It is impossible to triangulate the origin by listening from different locations because it moves with you and what you hear can only be described as coming from a general direction. In Alberta, Canada you can travel many miles in any direction and the sound may not change much at all. This can be very frustrating since there are dozens of high pressure natural gas pipelines and compressors that literally blanket the entire province.

There is no need to be concerned about the small domestic gas lines that run through your neighbourhood and your back yard. These are low pressure and generally do not generate any significant low frequency noise. The only exception that I am aware of is in Ecorse Michigan where a fairly big high pressure gas line runs right through the City to feed a Steel Mill.

You will need to do a fairly extensive investigation to be 100% sure you aren't within 30 miles of a high pressure gas pipeline. Something to consider is that this industry is growing in leaps and bounds and a great deal of new infrastructure is being installed. LNG Terminals, Gas Plants that are being converted from coal to natural gas are quite common throughout North America. Demand for natural gas is growing and pipelines and Compressors stations are being expanded to meet this demand.  Use Google or your favourite search engine and search your area Look for system maps since most of the Companies who transport natural gas publish these. It is a matter of find them.

There are Interstate high pressure natural gas pipelines that transport natural gas great distances from where it is produced
There are HP NGas Pipelines that are a part of the gathering system if you live in a State that produces natural gas.
There are HP NGas  pipelines that supply power plants and heavy industry
There are HP NGas pipelines that feed underground storage
There are HP NGas pipelines that feed LNG ( Liquid Natural Gas Terminals )

In the United States Interstate HP gas pipelines are fairly easy to locate using NPMS

High pressure gas lines that do not cross a State line are a bit harder to find because they aren't on NPMS and the only way to locate them is by searching Google and looking for domestic distribution system maps for the Gas Companies in your area.

Lastly if you live in a State that produces natural gas you might have to look even harder because high pressure gas pipelines and infrastructure used in the production from gas wells to processing facilities won't show up on either of the maps I mentioned above and can only be located by examining gas production in the State where you live and locating the maps that show where the gas wells and processing facilities actually are.

If you go through this process of elimination and determine that you aren't near high pressure natural gas pipelines then you can move on to looking at other sources of your Hum noise. There certainly are some areas like this but I think you would probably be surprised to find out just how much of the United States is blanketed in high pressure gas pipelines. 

Hum Tools

In order to archive information like maps and news stories I use "print screen" and paste snippets into WIndows Paint 3D It's free and works very well.
Windows Paint 3D

Search Engines

The best Tool for finding Hum sources is a simple search engine. Duck Duck Go is a favorite and very safe and effective

The trick is to use a various search Terms
Start with long search terms and as you progress shorten the search term

Examples: Natural Gas Pipelines California Maps, Natural Gas Pipeline Maps, Pipeline Maps, Power plants in Wisconsin Maps Etc.

After you search select the "images" Tab and you should see a number of maps. You will have look at the individual images and check to see what quality they are and how use useful they may be.

Using a tone generator to figure out what you are hearing.

When you are try to learn about a sound you are hearing it helps if you can identify a frequency. An online tone generator can help you match the sound you are hearing to the frequency by adjusting the generator until you get a match. Another cool trick you can do with a multiple tone generator is the explore beat frequencies. To see just what a beat frequency is set up two tone generators with matching frequencies. Then adjust one of the tone generators up or down by just one frequency or hz. Play both tone generators at the same time You should hear a pulsating noise that is known as a beat frequency. Beat frequencies can occur anytime two devices are in close proximity and are generating similar frequencies. Two smokestacks, two compressors, two fans etc can generate a beat frequency.

United States

 In order to use the US national pipeline mapping system you will need to know what county you want to look in.

What County Am I in - Find Your County › what-county-am-i-in.php

There are simply to many pipelines to list them all. Search the NPMS or the National mapping system for your country and then use Duck Duck go using a variation of search Terms. Then use Google Earth to measure distances. To make makes of your results Windows Paint 3d is free and relatively easy to use.

The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Public Viewer

The U.S. Wind Turbine Database

United Kingdom

Natural Gas Pipelines in the United Kingdom



Natural Gas Pipelines in Australia



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