New Geothermal Extremely Loud

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Old 06-17-08, 12:33 AM
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New Geothermal Extremely Loud

I recently purchased a Hydron Module Ground Source Geothermal unit (3 ton), and had it installed by an experienced installer (I've worked with them for years, and they do quality work). They used all metal ductwork, and properly rubber-booted everything coming off the blower unit.

However, the whole system is extremely noisy. All over the house, there's excessive air noise. I discussed it with them, and they swapped out a couple tubes for flex, to act as a muffler on some of the noisier vents, but I'm still really unhappy with the results everywhere else. I've heard some fairly noisy residential hvac systems over the years (remember the Lennox Pulse?), but this is significantly louder than those.

I talked to the manufacturer, and they seem to leave the ductwork up to the local installer, seemingly not having a whole lot of knowledge about it. They said it shouldn't be a loud system though - not the 3 ton model, anyway. They did suggest using an insulated trunk coming directly off the unit, but the installers didn't seem to be familiar with that.

Does anyone have any similar experiences, or advice? I hate to be rude to the local hvac company, asking them to replace everything with insulated flex. I'd also rather not do all flex, as it seems inferior quality to me, and harder to clean down the road. However, I'm going to be sheetrocking my basement ceiling in a few days, and I just really can't stand the thought of living with the noise forever. I need to do something soon.

Thoughts? Thank you very much in advance!
 

Last edited by csharp; 06-17-08 at 12:36 AM. Reason: Typos
  #2  
Old 06-17-08, 07:36 PM
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How big was the old unit?

How old is the ductwork that is already in the home itself?

Can you take a photo of your set up for us to see what you got there?
 
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Old 06-17-08, 08:08 PM
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Hi Jay,

Thanks for your time.

The house previously had a boiler, but we put it on a new basement, and tore all the previous hvac stuff out. The company that installed the geothermal also installed all of the trunking, ductwork, vents, etc. Complete control of the system, and we left plenty of room for ductwork. I'll try to get some photos as soon as I can -- my camera is at the office. :\

Thanks
 
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Old 06-17-08, 08:20 PM
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Also do you have a model # on the unit? I wonder if the blower is set too high...??
 
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Old 06-17-08, 08:35 PM
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Oh, I forgot - I had already taken photos previously..

Here they are -- I left them at native resolution so you can see as much detail as you'd like. Try to ignore the rest of the construction mess and focus on the ducts.

Thanks
 
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Old 06-17-08, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay11J View Post
Also do you have a model # on the unit? I wonder if the blower is set too high...??
I believe it's a Hydron Module HO36. The company said that you can tone the blower down, but there's apparently a fine line where if it doesn't move enough air, you risk damaging other parts of the unit. They say that the default setting is really the safest, and that they don't have many complaints of them being noisy.
 
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Old 06-17-08, 09:01 PM
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I don't like how the return is done... A bigger radius is needed to make the return.

How many supply vents? I am counting 11?

I am not able to get on to Hydron's web site.. You have the install manual to check controls.?
 
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Old 06-17-08, 09:30 PM
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Just roughly counting, 13 vents I believe (upstairs and down), and 5 returns. I don't have the install manual handy, but I can try to dig it up. Not sure how much if "user-configurable" as far as blower speeds go.
 
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Old 06-18-08, 05:43 AM
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Do you still have the basement vents open or are they closed off.. And if they are closed off, how many are closed?
 
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Old 06-19-08, 11:44 AM
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When you say closed off -- you mean sheetrocked over? At present, everything is accessible, there is no basement ceiling in yet. I also have no grills on the basement vents, if that's per chance what you meant.
 
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Old 06-19-08, 12:47 PM
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meaning, the vent it self, closing off the air flow.
 
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Old 06-19-08, 12:52 PM
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No, there's nothing over the vents .. they're wide open.
 
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Old 06-19-08, 03:31 PM
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Ok, I am sure the noise will incresse when you do close off the vents in the basement this summer with the A/C running.

You been able to find the manual to see info on the blower set up/speed?

FYI, I am going to be gone starting Friday morning till next week Tue. I may be on tonight on and off.
 
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Old 06-19-08, 06:15 PM
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Since the basement is partially walkout, and maybe 1/3rd of it is above grade, I doubt it'll be much different summer or winter. I, of course, intend to keep up and down the same temp. It has a circulating fan that setting that can keep the fan running (at a low speed) all the time, which I hope will help keep the whole house pretty well normalized. I will get you the details from the manual within a few minutes -- I'd appreciate any help you can give me before you go.
 
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Old 06-19-08, 06:25 PM
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Unfortunately the manual doesn't discuss any details of adjusting fan speeds. Obviously there's nothing on the thermostat for it either.. :\
 
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Old 06-19-08, 07:03 PM
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You looking at home ownner's manual, or install manual?

I'll see if the company's web site i up next week.
 
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Old 06-19-08, 07:12 PM
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Their site has been down for months, and it never had a lot of detailed info to my knowledge. You can see the old version by clicking here. The manual that they gave me doesn't specify home owner or installer -- it tends to lean more toward home owner, though.
 
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Old 06-20-08, 06:40 AM
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I just want to throw this photo up quick for you to see what I meant by the return drop to the unit.



I've always seen this type of set up on a Geo Heat Pump.

I will look into the link next week.

Talk to you then.
 
  #19  
Old 06-20-08, 01:54 PM
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I spoke with Hydron Module - they said that the blower speed isn't adjustable on this unit. It's an ECM motor, and the circuit board for it doesn't allow it to be adjusted.
 
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Old 06-24-08, 07:01 AM
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I am back from my vacation, and that really sucks that the blower speed can't be adj.

As i shown you the photo I'd suggest the return to be done, that may be your problem.??? I would ask the dealer to come back and get a static pressure done on the return, and also supply side to see if it's with in heat pump's spec.

I can't recall, is this a two stage or not?

I tried to down load the manual, but it's not there in the archive file web page.
 
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Old 06-24-08, 10:10 AM
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I had the dealer out for another issue. They're going to give the whole problem "some thought". They thought about maybe adding a return. I asked if I could borrow a magnahelic (mfg says anything over 1/2" static supply will be noisy). The dealer doesn't have a magnahelic or any type of static pressure measuring tools, though. Odd, they're very competent, but I guess they just know how they usually do it, and therefore don’t have the additional tools.

As far as being two stage -- the blower has two speeds, a low circulating speed, and normal speed. When it's heating or cooling, it ramps up to normal speed. The low circulating speed is optional, and isn't heating or cooling during that time.
 
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Old 06-29-08, 04:14 PM
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*bump*
Any other thoughts on this thread?

Thanks
 
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Old 06-29-08, 07:06 PM
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I would ask the dealer to buy themselves a magnahelic to test this to see for sure if it's a duct design issue..

I am saying it is, from how the return is done on your set up than the photo i showed you.
 
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Old 06-29-08, 10:06 PM
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Funny thing about this dealer is .. "this is how they've done it for 40 years". There's no telling them to buy one .. there's no telling them what's wrong. They do good quality work, but irregardless of what you ask for, they do it the way they always do it.

Actually, I've had a hard time convincing them the sound is even a problem - they just sit there, listen, and pretend it's no louder than any other hvac system. That's why I'm trying to do a bit of research legwork, so I can tell them exactly what I'd like done. I do understand it may be beyond the scope of forums, though.

Looks like there are relatively cheap magnahelics out there - perhaps I could even convince someone to rent me theirs. How exactly do you measure the pressure with it?
 
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Old 07-16-08, 09:30 PM
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Do you still have the same problem with the noise.?

Originally Posted by csharp View Post
Funny thing about this dealer is .. "this is how they've done it for 40 years". There's no telling them to buy one .. there's no telling them what's wrong. They do good quality work, but irregardless of what you ask for, they do it the way they always do it.

Actually, I've had a hard time convincing them the sound is even a problem - they just sit there, listen, and pretend it's no louder than any other hvac system. That's why I'm trying to do a bit of research legwork, so I can tell them exactly what I'd like done. I do understand it may be beyond the scope of forums, though.

Looks like there are relatively cheap magnahelics out there - perhaps I could even convince someone to rent me theirs. How exactly do you measure the pressure with it?
 
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Old 07-17-08, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GEO_house View Post
Do you still have the same problem with the noise.?
Yep, I am. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 07-17-08, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by csharp View Post
Yep, I am. Any suggestions?
have you gotten the dealer to do a static test on your system??? I say pressure due the the poor return set up is your noise issue.
 
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Old 07-17-08, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay11J View Post
have you gotten the dealer to do a static test on your system??? I say pressure due the the poor return set up is your noise issue.
Nope - I had them out here for something else. They said they didn't have a static pressure guage. They said they'd give some thought to the problem and get back to me, but I doubt I'll hear anything if I don't initiate it. Know where I could rent one of those things for a couple days, in Minnesota?
 
  #29  
Old 07-17-08, 03:50 PM
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There is two kind of noise:
Turbulent and mechanical. Mechanical is fixable but turbulent not .
Turbulent usually comes from a blower it self not from the distributing system.
Mechanical noise is usually from two parts are flapping each other or something is not balance Wright, or not tide enough.
On other end we have and other factor from where the noise can come from. That is the air speed. If the air speed inside the duct work is too high there is big chance of noise. They should sound like sveezing noises. Normally in air distributing system (residential) air shouldn’t exceeds more than 55 to 65 feet per second.
From the picture you provide I can tell you they have some mistakes but not manger. It hard to end one to come with conclusions from the photos. But if you have little more passion and provide me with some basic droving I can tell exactly from where the noise come from.
The basic droving can be like:
Use a square box to represent the Geo unit and then for supply you put a line going up two inches and then turn right for about seven inches. This line will be horizontal and will represent the duct, (main trunk line) if you have behind the Geo unit other supply trunk line you put that as well again like about 6 to 7 inches. Then that is going to look like a tee on the top of the geo unit. The line going up two inches is representing the plenum over the unit. Mark all that in red color. When you do that I want you to mark all individual supplies going to the rooms. They usually are 6” in diameter. Mark them no more than 1” going verticals.
This is the important part: After every two I want you to mark some how what is the diameter of the main trunk. All the way to the end. For instance if they are 8 on one side you have to mark the size of main trunk four times. On other side too, mean if you have other duct supply.
For the return is little more difficult but you have to do it , if you want me to give you some suggestion. Return you mark in other color for me to understand. And same like suplly after every two runs going to return trunk line you put down the size. But here you have to provide and each one size of the individual return. For instance like in the photo, they box over the entire space between two, 2X4. That space usually is 14,5 X 3,5 inches. Mark how many you have and most important how are they attach to the return. What I mean by that is: In that point of attachment what is the size bigger than 14,5 X 3,5 inches or smaller.
It’s look like they pan and the joist space what is that space in size. Between every joist is usually 14,5’ X 12’ . If they pan two joist that mean 29’X 12’
What is the size on that return drop??? It’s look like 8X30 OR 8X26. Give me that size as well.
The time you spend to give me that information will take you about two hours. But you can save a ton of money in the future and trouble and maintenance free of Geothermal installation.

In last I forget to ask from where you hear the noise,from supply side or return.
Thanks.




Originally Posted by csharp View Post
Yep, I am. Any suggestions?
 
  #30  
Old 07-17-08, 09:07 PM
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Air Conditioning Problems

I did not have time to read the whole thread but I assume you now know that your ductwork is improperly sized hopefully they won't have to tear it all out but definitely if you have noise issues your velocity at the supply registers is too high and you are going to have to resolve that issue
 
 

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