I live in Austin, TX. My neighbor has 2 pool pumps on his property, one for his pool and the other one for his hot tub. The pool pump makes noise that is comparable to that of an A/C compressor (about 50 decibels), but it seems to have a higher pitch, thus it penetrates through my windows more easily. When only the pool pump works, it almost cannot be heard if I sit in a farther bedroom and close all windows and doors. Keep in mind, though, that this pump works an average of 8 hours a day, 365 days a year, from morning till late afternoon. However, if it is the hot tub pump that turns on, then it can be heard even with all windows and doors closed, emitting an annoying humming noise. Therefore, that pump is the main issue. This has effectively made it impossible for me to be in the bedroom with the window that faces the pumps, and I can’t imagine anyone being able to sleep in that room while it is on. The pumps are located right under that bedroom’s window, and the distance between our 2 houses is very small, so the noise seems to bounce back and forth between them. If someone from his house uses the hot tub late at night, then it makes relaxing and going to sleep difficult, although lately they made an effort to finish all activities until 10:30 pm (when the city noise ordinance kicks in).
I did reach out to my neighbor about this, and he has really tried to help, by cleaning and maintaining the pumps on a regular basis. He even agreed to dampen the noise using some plastic mixed with Styrofoam (which cost me about $150) but it caused the pumps to overheat, and so right now the pumps are not dampened once again. In addition, he has requested some quotes from contractors that may be able to build a different structure around the pumps. On my end, I received a quote for insulating my windows (which will cost me about $1,800), and I’m waiting the result of his quotes first.
I do need to mention that while both of our houses are brand new, he and his family moved-in earlier than we did, and so the pool and spa were already there when we were building our own house. It’s just that at the time of our home’s construction they didn’t seem like they would be such a big issue for me. I mention this, because I read an article here on FindLaw.com regarding Property Rights and The Law of Nuisance. An interesting bit in this article is called the “moving to the nuisance” doctrine, whereby if I willingly moved close to the source of the nuisance, and it was already there first, then I may be restricted from seeking injunctive relief. Perhaps this is the case here, I don’t know, and I hope someone can tell me one way or the other, and perhaps offer me some useful advice. Is there anything else I can do, other than soundproofing my bedroom, moving to another room, or moving to another house? Is there justifiable cause here for a nuisance lawsuit, or for an injunction?