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Tankless Hot-Water Heater Vibration


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By James in Waynesboro, VA on 10/30/2010


I finished an ICF house a few months ago, and find that there is a noticeable vibration and noise from my tankless hot-water heater whenever there is a hot-water demand. The HW heater is in the crawlspace and is mounted to and vents through the back exterior wall. What alternative method is there for mounting this unit to isolate the house from the heater? It seems that one benefit of the ICF house is minimizing exterior noises from getting into the house. The downside is that when the noise source is within the envelope, it radiates easily.
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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 10/31/2010


I would isolate your problem before I recommend an answer. My tankless HWH is almost completely silent, and certainly vibration free. Rather than recommend a better mounting system to isolate the vibrations, I would ask why is it vibrating in the first place? That vibration may indicate an entirely different problem than the mounting system itself; fix the problem and not the symptom.


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By David in Ocoee, FL on 11/7/2010


James,

I once asked a seasoned plumber why he called a water heater a hot-water heater. I explained to him that there is no need to heat hot water. Without skipping a beat, he told me that he calls it a HOT-WATER heater, because once you turn it on and the water is hot, the water heater just keeps reheating water that is already slightly hot. So I just smiled and accepted his answer. But in the case of a tankless water heater, I am going to need to issue a correction here. It is called a water heater. Or at least that is what all the major tankless-water-heater manufacturers call them. Anyway...

James, I am going to assume that your tankless unit is gas fired. The reason that I am assuming that is because the gas-fired tankless units have a blower motor on them to vent the exhaust gases. And if that is the case, what you are hearing is the blower motor rotating. Here is a solution. Mount your tankless unit on vibration isolator mounts. Click HERE for more info. Once you have mounted your tankless unit, you must also make sure that the vent pipe is also isolated. You can do this by using high temperature silicone around the penetration where the vent pipe is. Hope this helps.


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