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-   -   water heater vent blower noise? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f7/water-heater-vent-blower-noise-189002/)

wkearney99 10-22-2013 12:41 PM

water heater vent blower noise?
 
I've got a new house with a Bradford White water heater and a vent blower. The blower makes WAY too much noise. I realize some kind of blower is likely necessary as the heater is installed in the basement and the vent exit is two stories up on the roof. But, for the love of God, does it have to be so eff'in loud?

I am entirely displeased with the plumber's attention to detail, so let's not go down THAT road. So I'm asking here first to get a range of ideas as to how to best approach the inevitable bull**** I'll get back from them about it. I'm willing to spend for a better blower, if that's an option.

Right now the blower is bolted to the top of the heater. There's a rubber coupling between it and the 3" PVC leading up, across the ceiling and then up through the framing to the roof. The way the PVC is connected seems suspect, it's clearly got a bit of an angle to it to make the connection to the coupler. As in, there seems to be a bit of stress on it, and I'm sure that adds to the way sound resonates up to the framing from which it's hung. But even without that, the blower itself is LOUD.

So what're my options on a power vent that doesn't make so damned much noise?

djlandkpl 10-22-2013 01:20 PM

I have a BW direct vent and it is loud. Mine exits a sidewall and sounds like a very loud hairdryer. I think they make a muffler you can add to the end of the pipe.

wkearney99 10-22-2013 01:31 PM

It's not the exit noise that's a problem, it's noise at the unit itself. It does indeed sound like a hair dryer, but one bolted to your framing so it resonates through much of the house!

I'm figuring some noise can be reduced by perhaps using a different coupler and changing the way the PVC is attached to the framing. Isolating it from the framing would help cut down somewhat. But the unit itself makes quite a racket. Both from the noise of the blower assembly itself and from the rush of intake air.

I'm wondering what other kinds of blowers exist for this purpose. I've got Fantech in-line fans on all of by bathroom exhausts and they're great. Are there other brands of these vent blowers that similarly reduce operating noise?

TheEplumber 10-22-2013 02:34 PM

The plumber won't like it- but I'd schedule a meeting with him and the heater Rep. Make him commit to a different blower if there is one

You don't want to void warranties by swapping parts.

gregzoll 10-22-2013 02:40 PM

Some blowers are louder than others. The one on the Richmond (Rheem) unit I have, is not very loud when it runs. I just have mine vented about 12' away out the sidewall.

wkearney99 10-22-2013 02:42 PM

I don't give a rats ass what the plumber doesn't like, but that's a whole other conversation. I'd just like to be informed about what options exist ahead of time so I don't have to put up with whatever nonsense they try to fob off.

I'm not concerned about having to pay 'something extra' to get noise reduction. That's fine, but dealing with subs that don't know enough is sometimes rather infuriating. I'm not looking to go around them, I just want to know what my full range of options are before I go at them to get this solved.

djlandkpl 10-22-2013 03:00 PM

If you have access to the pipe you could wrap it in Armaflex and then secure it to the framing. My blower isn't too bad on the inside. My dehumidifier is louder.

wkearney99 10-22-2013 03:07 PM

I'm thinking something more effective would be involved. Like using Dynamat in cars vs just rugs.

The noise is mostly from the blower assembly itself. I'm sure some of it is resonating through the PVC, but the blower seems to make most of the racket.

djlandkpl 10-22-2013 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wkearney99 (Post 1256561)
The way the PVC is connected seems suspect, it's clearly got a bit of an angle to it to make the connection to the coupler. As in, there seems to be a bit of stress on it, and I'm sure that adds to the way sound resonates up to the framing from which it's hung. But even without that, the blower itself is LOUD.

Armaflex is pretty dense and will reduce the noise. PVC expands a lot when it gets heated. If the installation is already tight, it's probably magnifying the sound when the pipe expands and presses on the framing.

I did a part search on the blower for my water heater. It has other stuff bolted to it so it's not like a standard inducer. You might be out of luck on a different blower. Hopefully BW has something that will help.

wkearney99 10-22-2013 03:46 PM

Ok, that helps explain things a bit. The pipe does warm up a bit, as you'd expect and that'd certainly present more ways for the mounting to tighten up.

I'll dig around with BW and see what they have to say, good point. I didn't assume the blower was model specific, but given the way it's flange is shaped I suppose they're not standardized.

Which leads me to guess there are alternatives but not with this unit. I'd made it clear from the start that noise reduction was absolutely paramount. This being related to the waste stack being in cast iron, not PVC. But of course the idiots had already started installing PVC, and still didn't replace ALL of it, down the slab. The basement segments are still PVC and just now I heard one flushing. Damned annoying. Anyway, the thing that pisses me off the most here is the sub just doesn't have any vision. Their choice for what to use and how to run were just brain-dead.

Which will probably mean I'll rip out a brand new water and replace it with something else just to get away from the racket it makes...


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