Tankless Water Heater Accoustic Enclosure - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-17-2012, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

Long time reader, first time poster. Been following many of the theatre threads in here pretty regularly, as I am in the beginning stages of converting a portion of our basement into a home theatre / media room.

The beginning stage of this process is going to require me to do something about our utility room. We have a tankless water heater in our utility room, which is direct adjacent to one of the walls of the room we'll be utilizing as the theatre. The tankless unit emits an intermittent high pitched buzzing/humming noise during operation (apparently this is the mixing valve and is deemed part of normal service operation by the manufacturer). We've currently got this thing mounted onto 2x 3/4'' sheets of plywood, attached to a concrete block wall in the utility room.

I would like to build a sound-dampening enclosure around the unit to eliminate this noise as much as possible, and have been doing some research for how to go about this. I have searched through the forum and haven't found any similar threads, so I figured I would ask here in hopes one of the resident sound experts can suggest something.

Before anyone mentions safety, the unit is a self-contained high efficiency condensing water heater, with dedicated intake/exhaust from outside, so there are no safety issues with enclosing it. My initial thoughts are to build a box out of 3/4 MDF, and line the inside of this box with MLV and fiberglass if possible. The only issue I can see with building out of MDF is that it will be a PITA to accommodate the necessary holes/openings for pipes (3/4 cold and hot + 3'' intake and exhaust on top of unit, 3/4 gas in on side of unit)

Has anyone had any experience with building a soundproofing enclosure for something similar (boiler, tankless water heater etc)? If so, what did you use and did you find it effective? I will happily post pictures once I get home tonight, if anyone feels they may help.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-17-2012, 12:13 PM
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What else is in that room? I understand the impulse to contain the single noise source you've identified, but it may be more practical to use a whole-room solution. Certainly, servicing the the unit will be easier that way.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-17-2012, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Good point around the servicing, I hadn't really considered that. I suppose I could try and construct something that could be dismantled, if required.

The utility room contains our washer and dryer, as well as our high efficiency furnace (including return and supply ductwork). I am planning on doing some soundproofing to the room itself, though not to an extreme as the washer/dryer/furnace are already very quiet as it is. Here is a brief explanation of my plan for the whole-room solution
  • Solid core door
  • 5/8 rock on walls /w fibreglass in joists
  • hat channel + clips /w 5/8 rock on ceiling
  • Line exposed low-hanging ductwork with 1-2 layers MLV, depending on thickness

None the less, I'd still like to do the enclosure around the water heater to prevent any of the noise transmission through ductwork, as this is the noisiest thing in the utility room.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-17-2012, 01:22 PM
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I have this type of unit also, why couldnt you treat it just like they treat recessed lighting and build one of the boxes around it? and make the box removable to service it. i think i saw the box construction on that soundproofing website under the cieling soloution section.

I have not noticed the noise being an issue on mine and it is about 12' away from my screen wall. I have not finished the back side of my screen wall yet and i can here other things like AC and washer and dryer, just not the tankless hot water heater
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-17-2012, 01:34 PM
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What about covering it in putty pads? cool.gif Just kidding. I have nothing productive to contribute. Sorry.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-17-2012, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobs77vet View Post

I have this type of unit also, why couldnt you treat it just like they treat recessed lighting and build one of the boxes around it? and make the box removable to service it. i think i saw the box construction on that soundproofing website under the cieling soloution section.
I have not noticed the noise being an issue on mine and it is about 12' away from my screen wall. I have not finished the back side of my screen wall yet and i can here other things like AC and washer and dryer, just not the tankless hot water heater

Is it possibly an Eternal Hyrbid GU145S/GU195S?

Good comparison, this is what I was going for. I am planning on building backer boxes for our Contrast recessed lights, so it may be good practice. The issue with building one for a tankless unit is working around the piping going into and coming out of the unit. I will take a picture tonight and update this post with it.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-18-2012, 06:57 AM
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no mine is a Rinnai, I bet the sound deadening qualites will make the most difference and the pipes coming out could be wrapped in that foam tubing if you wanted to.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-26-2012, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm still looking for some advice on the best approach for this. I have included a couple of pictures this time to help out. I'm going to start doing some finishing on the basement in a few weeks, and my first project will be to finally enclose/soundproof the utility room, which contains the tankless water heater this thread is all about smile.gif

Utility room (no drywall)
20121126222234.jpg

Utility room from alternate angle
20121126222311.jpg

Tankless Water Heater
20121126222356.jpg

Inside the water heater
culprit.jpg

As you can tell, space is tight. I am unsure whether i can successfully build a soundproof enclosure. The last photo shows the inside of the water heater, and the culprit mixing valve (small white plastic apparatus, circled in red) making the noise. I am considering the following method:

-cover mixing valve with putty pad (red circle)
-line as much of the INSIDE of the unit (stainless steel) with MLV (black with red outline)
-line entire OUTSIDE of the unit with MLV (black with red outline).

Can anyone speak to whether this would be effective? Should I utilize 1/8 or 1/4 MLV? Is there a benefit to using MLV with foam backing in this application?
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Bump. Anyone have any experience doing something similar to this? Would the method I suggested have any discernible impact? Would love to get the opinion of some of the resident sound experts!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 12:08 PM
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I don’t have the same model but they are loud when they kick on, at least mine is. I’m not sure what you could put inside the housing and building a box around it doesn’t look like an option with the sink so close.

Also from experience you will need to get into the body once or twice a year (guessing) to clean the intake trap so you don’t want something else to take off.

Maybe check with the manufacturer or plumber and see if you can safely put something inside to muffle the sound would be my recommendation (as you indicated).

Mine is about 2 feet from my screen wall, I’m just going to make sure we don’t run the washing machine or dishwasher when we watch movies. Or if worst comes to worse turn up the volume.

The MacBeth Theater (flood resilient build)
 

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