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    New Water Heater humming.... (23 Posts)

  • SteveR SteveR @ 8:38 AM
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    New Water Heater humming....

    We had a new 50 gallon Rheem/Ruud water heater installed yesterday, and when the burner comes on the unit puts out a noticeable hum that vibrates the platform it is on and can be heard in the house. The unit is installed against the wall on the other side of the master bedroom closet. Called R/R support and they said the gas pressure must be off, and to have it checked. The plumber that installed the unit came back with a pressure tester and the numbers were in spec. 8.5 intake and 4 at manifold, if that is the right terminology. I will recall support this AM and see what their next step would be. The only difference between the previous unit and the new one, is the old unit had three legs it stood on and the new one sits flush on the platform. I'm thinking that might have something to do with it.
    Any thoughts?
  • bill bill @ 9:42 PM
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    My bet

    Is the gas connector Is too small and/or kinked or bent or an obstruction.
  • SteveR SteveR @ 9:45 AM
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    Gas Line...

    Gas line is new too, replaced with the water kinks. Pressure is within spec.
  • SteveR SteveR @ 9:45 AM
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    Gas Line...

    Gas line is new too, replaced with the water kinks. Pressure is within spec.
  • lchmb lchmb @ 10:05 AM
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    flex connector

    Do you have a stainless flex connector to the appliance?
  • SteveR SteveR @ 10:55 AM
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    Flex Connector...

    It is a flex connector, yellow coated...the ends appear to be stainless.
  • lchmb lchmb @ 11:26 AM
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    have seen

    I have seen a number of cases where the line and or flow was not proper and the flex line will cause a humming sound. Just something to look at..:) Your pressure may show good but it's the drop in pressure on start up that causes the vibration. You would need to check flow and lock up.
    This post was edited by an admin on October 8, 2011 11:28 AM.
  • Techman Techman @ 7:51 AM
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    You said the heater was "against" the wall. As in touching? Or just near the wall? Does this unit have a draft inducer motor?
  • SteveR SteveR @ 10:42 AM
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    There is plenty of clearance all around. No motor.

    Called Rheem on Friday, and they said they will send a local contractor out this week to replace the burner assembly. The assembly arrived yesterday (Saturday).

    I think it has to do with supply line, and will ask the plumber who installed the unit if he still has the old supply line...just for troubleshooting. The previous heater was a Rheem also, but a lot may have changed in 16 years, vis-a-vis closed combustion chamber versus open.

    Thanks for tips so far.
    This post was edited by an admin on October 9, 2011 10:43 AM.
  • lchmb lchmb @ 11:30 AM
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    old supply

    As long as the new line is sized for the load and pressure drop the old line should not matter. Let us know the results..:)
  • SteveR SteveR @ 7:49 PM
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    Installed Burner...

    Installed the new burner today, and no difference. Support is sending a complete burner assembly rather than just the burner. Should be here Wednesday. In the meantime, will beef up the platform heater is installed on. I've seen other Rheem water heaters on platforms and no hum, but I guess it won't hurt to add some structure under the unit. Support says the heater assembly is the last chance. Previous unit was a Rheem also. After Wednesday, will probably trash the unit and buy another brand, that hopefully won't be a rebadged Rheem.

    PS to add: Rheem says this unit is designed to rest on the floor, and not on a platform. That's why I'm planning on beefing up the platform.
    This post was edited by an admin on October 10, 2011 7:53 PM.
  • lchmb lchmb @ 8:36 PM
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     you try removing the flex connector?
  • SteveR SteveR @ 8:06 AM
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    Flex Connector...

    The flex connector was removed and reinstalled when the second water heater was installed. Should I replace the flex connector with something different and see what happens?
  • lchmb lchmb @ 6:36 PM
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    try the

    burner first to see if it resolves it but I would try a piece of copper before giving up on the's amazing how they can make noise some times..
  • SteveR SteveR @ 11:39 PM
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    Tried a larger supply line....

    Tried a larger gas supply line, and same hum. Burner assy should be here tomorrow.
    By copper, do you mean a copper supply line?
  • lchmb lchmb @ 6:31 AM
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    when your repairman replaces the burner, if it still makes noise, have him try removing the flex tube and using 1/2 refrigeration copper on it...good luck..
  • SteveR SteveR @ 7:56 PM
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    Busy doing handyman stuff in the neighborhood today, and the house I was working at had the exact same Rheem water heater in the mechanical room. I upped the temp. dial and lo and behold, the unit was hum. When I got back home I called Rheem support to find out where the burner assembly was that was supposed to be here today. The lady I talked to was the same one I talked to a couple of days ago, and she mentioned that engineering has taken on the problem....due to excessive call volume about humming water heaters. It appears to be a high altitude situation, and might entail replacing the water heater again. She said to call back next week for an update.
    Thanks for the tips, and will update when resolved.
    This post was edited by an admin on October 12, 2011 7:57 PM.
  • lchmb lchmb @ 9:43 PM
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    always nice

    To see a company that works to correct the issue...good luck
  • SteveR SteveR @ 5:37 PM
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    Been out of town for a few days, so just got back in touch with Rheem this afternoon. First, they claimed they never heard of the "humming" problem, and when I pressed the issue to speak to someone else, that person said they are aware of a company in California, Collier Plumbing, that has fix they have been using to alleviate the humming in water heaters they have recently installed. Rheem says they don't know what the fix is, so they couldn't tell me what it was. I called Collier Plumbing and the nice lady that answered the phone said she would have one of their people call me when they get in. She did say she was aware that the fix had something to do with the pilot assembly, but that is all she knew. Hopefully I can get in touch with someone in the next day or so.
    Not sure why Rheem can't get it figured out.
  • SteveR SteveR @ 8:44 AM
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    Got a call from the plumber that installed my new (2) water heaters, and he will be here tomorrow to install another Rheem water heater from a different batch build than the previous two. The Rheem rep in Albuquerque authorized the replacement, and will cover the cost of the new installation.  He apparently is aware there is a problem, whereas Rheem technical support doesn't have a clue.
  • SteveR SteveR @ 7:43 PM
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    The plumber installed another...the third...Rheem water heater today with a different build date than the previous two, and the results were the same. Humming to beat the band. At that point, the plumber said the Rheem rep would authorize installation of a different brand of water heater at their cost. The plumber called a couple hours later and said the supply house wanted to try one last thing. It seems Rheem sent a box of burner plates for this particular 50 gallon water heater for this particular problem. The new burner plate was slightly different than the one he took out. The upper diameter...the plate above the burner holes...was larger than the lower plate, the plate beneath the burner holes. All in all a satisfactory and simple solution. Rheem had sent me another burner plate last Friday or Saturday, and it made no difference.
  • oakkqs oakkqs @ 11:54 AM
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    humming from new ao smith

    I was reading the post about the loud humming from the new water heater. I had a new low nox ao smith installed on Tues. Its in a sound proof garage, and sounds like an airplane landing after I turn on the hot water at the sink. I was wondering it the new burner plate worked for the 3rd hot water heater?
  • SteveR SteveR @ 12:25 PM
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    Yes it did.
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