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Old 04-06-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
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ECM noise - resolved


A while back I posted about a whining noise that was coming from my new Trane XV95 furnace. The noise was very audible and present every time the blower motor ramped up and down. The noise was present in gas heat mode, HP and Cooling mode and all blower speed settings. After complaining about it to the installers and insisting on them contacting Trane to solve this problem they replaced the ECM motor, controller, and blower wheel this week. Problem solved, no more noise. The motor in question was a GE variable speed 3/4 hp and I believe it had a Gentac label on it. So, if anyone says "they all make that noise" don't believe it. Just thought I would follow-up on this so others may benefit.
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Old 11-18-2016, 01:45 PM   #2
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


Sorry about digging up a very old thread but my new Trane XV80 furnace makes a low whine noise on low speed when it spins up and when it spins down. When the fan kicks into high speed I don't here the hoooooooot/low whine noise. They have already replaced the ECM motor but I'm not sure if they also replaced the motor controller (on the actual motor).
Did your noise go away when fan was on full speed or only at low speed?

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Old 11-18-2016, 04:33 PM   #3
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


The noise goes away when it gets up to speed. They have replaced my ecm motor three times and the control board once and the noise is still there. When they replaced the motor they replaced the controller as well. It seems that the whining when ramping up and down is just a characteristic of the motor. Only solution I can come up with would be to replace the ecm motor with a psc motor. That would reduce the efficiency and defeat the reason I went for the XV95.
I have decided to just live with it.
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Old 11-18-2016, 04:40 PM   #4
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


On the first replacement motor the noise was much reduced but over time it increased and I had them replace it several more times. When I bought my system I also purchased a ten year parts and labor warranty for $500 and I have gotten my moneys worth out of it. If I recall correctly Yuri, on of the posters, said it was a trait of those motors to whine. It only does it when ramping up and down for a short period until it gains some speed. I have been dealing with this issue for six years now and I don't think there is anything that can resolve this other than installing a different type blower motor.
Hope this helps.
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:13 PM   #5
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


i have only heard one ecm motor - was very, very quiet, very smooth. no motor noise, no vibration, just the sound of air movement.

it's possible that if you have undersized ducts the motor will run at a high rpm to get proper airflow. or that there's a power quality issue.

with everything set up right it should make less noise than a regular motor.
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Old 11-19-2016, 01:51 AM   #6
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


They can have some unusual harmonics with them that some people have trouble getting used to.

If you only hear it around the furnace area, sound insulation works well.

If you hear it in your ductwork, then you'd have to line your ductwork, which usually isn't going to happen. You'll just have to learn to live with it.

The harder they work, the worse the noise. So try to keep your static pressure down as much as possible. Every manufacturer and model will be different.

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Old 11-19-2016, 09:42 AM   #7
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


It makes the same noise with the blower compartment door off. Only whines while speeding up and ramping down for a few seconds. No abnormal sounds when up to speed. Four motors have done the same thing. Gets a little louder as the new motors break in. Not real loud, just annoying.
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Old 11-19-2016, 09:44 AM   #8
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


Forgot to mention that the blower wheel was also replaced each time. Same results.
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:19 AM   #9
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


Probably a defect in the blower housing.
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:40 AM   #10
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


The last time at my insistence, which was this September, they replaced the entire blower housing assembly and the control board. They said there were some changes to the board and that might affect the ramping scenario. This did nothing to resolve the whining. In comfort "R" mode when the motor first starts to spin up to 50% there is no noise. After about a minute the blower increases speed to 80% and that's when the noise appears. While running at 80% there no abnormal noise but when the thermostat is satisfied and it starts ramping down to 50% the noise reappears. The motor then continues to run at 50% without any whining until it shuts off. This same scenario has occurred on four blower motors, three blower wheels, one complete blower housing assembly, and one new control board. It occurs with or without the blower door on. I really think it's some characteristic of the motor or the controller that's making the noise and at this point I am just going to live with it unless someone figures it out.
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:47 AM   #11
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


I have worked on countless Trane, Carrier, York, etc, VS ECM blower furnaces and air handlers. That make no noise ramping up or down.
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:07 PM   #12
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
I have worked on countless Trane, Carrier, York, etc, VS ECM blower furnaces and air handlers. That make no noise ramping up or down.
Yes, this. And why should they make any sound. My furnace should be more quiet than the unit I had 16 years ago, otherwise humans have failed (and yes that's debatable but you get it). That's the point I made to my installer. He also said, ohhh, yeah they make that sound. I have tried the unit with the blower door off, same sound. I have tried the unit without the 4" media filter and the door for it, same sound. I found out the installer only replaced the ECM controller on the motor. It was my original understanding he replaced the motor and the controller since he had said it needed to get programmed so there would be a slight wait. Now he's coming back out soon to replace the motor.

Oh, yeah, I've also went so far to change the duct harmonics to load some of it with a 1/4" thick white nitrile (I have access to bulk rubber goods, this is food grade so it doesn't stink). No change in sound. I know rubber doesn't absorb sound, a open cell sponge or fiberglass type insulation would but it's the only thing I could try so far. Furthermore, this is at LOW RPM. When it's full-on it's just fine.
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:09 AM   #13
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


Quote:
Originally Posted by rejester View Post
Yes, this. And why should they make any sound. My furnace should be more quiet than the unit I had 16 years ago, otherwise humans have failed (and yes that's debatable but you get it). That's the point I made to my installer. He also said, ohhh, yeah they make that sound. I have tried the unit with the blower door off, same sound. I have tried the unit without the 4" media filter and the door for it, same sound. I found out the installer only replaced the ECM controller on the motor. It was my original understanding he replaced the motor and the controller since he had said it needed to get programmed so there would be a slight wait. Now he's coming back out soon to replace the motor.

Oh, yeah, I've also went so far to change the duct harmonics to load some of it with a 1/4" thick white nitrile (I have access to bulk rubber goods, this is food grade so it doesn't stink). No change in sound. I know rubber doesn't absorb sound, a open cell sponge or fiberglass type insulation would but it's the only thing I could try so far. Furthermore, this is at LOW RPM. When it's full-on it's just fine.
It's the electronics, and windings interacting. You can try putting a choke rings on the power supply to the fan motor. (they are cheap iron rings that you buy from any electronics parts store or fleabay) Some how it's just resonating in a way that's causing parts to vibrate and make noise. It's a control/design issue of that particular model. The engineers won't admit to it. I've seen it once in a while.

There's nothing much more that you can do.

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Old 11-21-2016, 09:19 AM   #14
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


Quote:
Originally Posted by supers05 View Post
It's the electronics, and windings interacting. You can try putting a choke rings on the power supply to the fan motor. (they are cheap iron rings that you buy from any electronics parts store or fleabay) Some how it's just resonating in a way that's causing parts to vibrate and make noise. It's a control/design issue of that particular model. The engineers won't admit to it. I've seen it once in a while.

There's nothing much more that you can do.

Cheers!
Coil noise? Interesting proposition. I have some chokes I've ripped off AC line cords I could use. I've had coil noise once before on something unrelated and slathered it with adhesive to stop it from resonating. I suppose this would need to be a high temp adhesive. Unfortunately, that would probably void any warranty. But at any rate, you may be onto something.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:21 AM   #15
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Re: ECM noise - resolved


Quote:
Originally Posted by rejester View Post
Coil noise? Interesting proposition. I have some chokes I've ripped off AC line cords I could use. I've had coil noise once before on something unrelated and slathered it with adhesive to stop it from resonating. I suppose this would need to be a high temp adhesive. Unfortunately, that would probably void any warranty. But at any rate, you may be onto something.
Try the power leads to the motor first. That won't void the warranty and won't require the adhesive. (clip on style)

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