GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Noisy Rheem Hybrid Water Heater

Salesi | Posted in General Questions on

Does anyone have a Rheem hybrid water heater and is the noise excessive? We just had a 65 gallon unit installed in our new house and whether it is in the high efficiency or heat pump mode, it sounds like an industrial ice maker at a cheap motel. It is located in the utility room next to the two bathrooms to shorten the hot water supply pipe and save water. It is in the condition space of the house and the walls of the utility room are insulated to deaden the sound. Still you can hear it from every room in the house. I am so disappointed. I purchased it because it is supposed to be highly efficient and my researched indicated it is not louder than a refrigerator. I am here to tell you it is loud, very loud. Industrial loud!!! I am going to contact Rheem tomorrow and discuss it with them. I would rather go back to a propane water heater rather than have to listen to this thing. I could move it to the garage and repipe and rewire it. However I bet even in the garage it would be excessive noisy.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.

Replies

  1. irin | | #1

    Do you think that something is not right with your unit or installation? I am very interested to hear from others who have installed HPWH - how noisy is it? We are about to switch from gas to electric WH.

    1. Salesi | | #5

      It is very noisy. You can hear it operating from every room in the house. No way I would be able to sleep with it running.

  2. John Ranson | | #2

    You can hear our hybrid water heater in every corner of the house. It's pretty terrible. We've got an 80 gallon Bradford White.

    See:
    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/question/hpwh-loud-and-smells-like-dirty-socks

  3. Matt P | | #3

    I have a 50 gallon Rheem Heatpump water heater. The fan runs in 2 stages. Noise is minimal in stage 1, which it is using 90 percent of the time. Noise is Comparable to a regular fridge. Stage 2 that it is using mainly during the Colder winter months when the air in the basement is cooler has more air throughput. It is louder. But even that is not as terrible as you describe it. You got a faulty unit or you are hyper sensitive to noise.

    1. Salesi | | #7

      How do you get it to run in stage 1?

  4. Expert Member
    Akos | | #4

    What is the noise you are getting from the unit? Depending on what it is (fan noise, compressor vibration, cover rattle), there are some simple ways to reduce it. A recording might help.

    Is the utility room floor concrete or wood construction? Piping copper or pex?

    1. Salesi | | #6

      With the heat pump running, 74 dBm, fan only, 74 dBm, with nothing on in the house, 36 dBm. I called Rheem and they are sending me a new fan as they diagnosed this as the problem. We will see. Rheem stated the noise level should be 49 dBm. My refrigerator runs at 49 dBm.

      1. Trevor Lambert | | #10

        Sound is measured in dB, not dBm. The latter is a measure of dB in reference to 1mW.

  5. Matt P | | #8

    The water heater chooses the fan speed automatically, based on the demand for heating input. I have not control over it. But I observe it kicks in only in winter for me.

  6. Kieran973 | | #9

    I have a 65 gallon Rheem Prestige Proterra. This is the latest generation, generation 5, not the Home Depot model but the “professional” mode that only contractors can order. It is in our unfinished basement and it is extremely noisy. You can even hear it on the second floor of the house sometimes. Apparently, the Gen 5 has a louder compressor than the Gen 4 (this is not disclosed in any of the specs - people just find this out after it’s installed). You can search this site - lots of people, plumbers and contractors included, have noted that the Gen 5 is significantly louder than the Gen 4. So if it’s an option, I would recommend exchanging it for a Gen 4, or moving it to your garage. One good thing: I have noticed that ours is less noisy now that the weather is warm. It could be for the reason that someone else posted above - the difference between fan 1 and fan 2, which I wasn’t aware of. But compared to when this was installed in January, we can barely hear it now.

    1. Salesi | | #11

      Rheem customer service diagnosed it as a fan issue. I pressed them on what should be the db level and they stated 49 db. I am skeptical that a brand new unit would have a defective fan. I have a 65 gallon unit purchased through home depot back in February of this year. I do not believe moving it to the garage would help as you would still hear it plus it would add 40' of pipe between the water heater and those bathrooms.

    2. Aun Safe | | #14

      Are you able to measure the noise with a dB meter? I know they make apps for smart phones that claim to measure noise, but I'm not sure how accurate they are.

  7. KurtGranroth | | #12

    Just anecdotal evidence, but I also have a Rheem hybrid water heater. I'd say that it's subjectively louder than a refrigerator but not by a lot. I work from home roughly 10' from it and the only time the noise becomes a problem is if I'm on a call. Just closing the door to the room cuts out the noise almost entirely. So... yeah, this is nowhere near as bad as you're describing.

    It doesn't run predictably during the summer months (tap water is already pretty toasty here in Phoenix) but I'll try and open a noise meter next time I'm around when it does.

    1. KurtGranroth | | #13

      Okay, my unit is 60 dBA (65 dBC) right next to it and it goes down to 49 dBA (+5 dBC) 12 ft away. I ran a real time analysis on the noise spectrum and it makes sense that the dBC rating would be roughly +5 dB since most of the noise was, indeed, in the lower to mid ranges. There was very little noise in the high ranges -- everything above 2 KHz was 30 dBC and falling.

      Listening to the noise, I would characterize the majority of it being a "wooshing" sound, likely from the compressor. The fan does make a mild rattling sound, but you really have to be listening for it. There is also a hum, which is likely also likely the fan.

      I will say that regardless of the measurements, it is SIGNIFICANTLY noisier than my refrigerator! But my fridge is nearly silent, so I'm not sure how good of a benchmark that is.

      1. Salesi | | #15

        I downloaded an app for my phone and it measured 74 db at 3'. I measured my refrigerator at 49 db. The issue is the water heater can be heard from every room in the house even with the door closed to the utility room. If I had known it was this loud, I never would have purchased it. It never occurred to me that Rheem would make a water heater that sounds like a piece of industrial equipment.

  8. sorka95032 | | #16

    Kieran973 posted the actual issue. The Gen 5 is redesigned and has a new compressor and blower. The noise level went from 49 db on the Gen 4 to 60 to 70 db on this redesign. They also removed the integrated duct collars which now requires $250 worth of external plastic duct adapters if you want to duct the unit which many do.

    Read through the reddit threads. Everyone who has been sent a replacement blower by Rheem has not had that fix the problem.

    There is one reddit user who posted that their replacement water heater just installed last week is actually 49 db unlike their previous Gen 5. Several customers have reported that Rheem said the issue has been fixed and will be available off the line as old inventory gets depleted. Only one user, though, has actually reported this resolved so I'm going to hold on for a while to see if there are more confirmed reports before I replace my existing 23 year old water heater.

    If it were only possible to get a Gen 4 new, but it's not, so nobody will be exchanging their noisy Gen 5 for an old stock Gen 4.

    1. Aun Safe | | #17

      If you need a new water heater now, why not just get an AO Smith or Stiebel Eltron heat pump model?

      1. sorka95032 | | #20

        Neither will fit in my 28x28 exterior heater closet. The intake vent must be on the top, like the Rheem/Ruud.

    2. evantful | | #18

      How could Rheem so royally screw the Gen 5 up. I have a Gen 4 and it's been absolutely great. It's reasonably quiet and I use the inlet ducting, no adapters needed.

      They had built such a good reputation for their HPWH's only to trash it. This reeks of a been counter middle management screw up.

  9. irin | | #19

    We have decided to go with the regular electric heater (replacing 22 year old gas one). It was very sad, but we have a small house and I can not stand noise. It is also sad that it is impossible to find a showroom where there will be working heat pump water heater so that we did not have to rely on word of mouth. Hope that the next time there will be quiet hybrids or split heat pump heaters with condenser outside. Or at least ones that one can program not to run at night.

  10. sorka95032 | | #21

    @Salesi, what is the manufacture date on the water heater?

  11. FickleRick | | #22

    Just made an account so I could comment on this.

    Looking into HPWHs and found that the latest Rheem have some kind of fan or compressor issue that causes them to be too loud. Some redditors have successfully gone through the process of calling Rheem and getting them to replace the units with the same units that are somehow much quieter - under 50db.

    Instead of living with something that sounds terrible, I'd suggest you call up Rheem and hold them to their 'maximum noise level of 49db' and 'whisper quiet' promises. You won't be the first to ask for this, but they might pass you from fence to post before agreeing to it.

    Link to someone who did this:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Plumbing/comments/m0qmym/rheem_professional_prestige_proterra_hybrid/gu9xxzp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

  12. Fred_M | | #23

    I am glad to find this forum and just registered an account.

    I had mine installed in the garage by a professional in August 2021. Model #: PROPH50 T2 RH375-30, Build date: 06/15/2021. I am in Northern California. So I have not experienced the Stag 2 noise level yet. The Stage 1 noise is already driving us crazy and I have to use the electric element to heat water most of the time before the issue can be solved. The energy cost is a lot higher than the old gas water heater due the PG&E rates on top of the expensive new water heater and installation cost.

    Here are a few data points while the heat pump is running:
    • Noise level is around 63 dBA, 3 ft away for the outlet, frequency is around 185 Hz (yes, it's the heat pump noise)
    • Noise level is around 70 dBA, 2 ft on top of the unit inlet. base frequency 185 Hz with some other lower frequencies
    • Noise level is around 51 dBA, inside the house, across a wall from the water heater.

    I have been in contact with Rheem Hybrid Water Heater Support (800-995-0982) for several weeks and a dedicated support person is assigned to my case. Their plan to install a foam kit and a vibration isolation kit to see if the issue can be solved before take the next steps. It’s very doubtful to reduce from 63 dBA to 49 dBA.

    I believe that these units (with 60-70 dBA) are simply defective (vs. the 49 dBA in the spec). Rheem should proactively solve the issue from the root (engineering and manufacturing) and provide replacement units within the spec to us, including the cost of re-installation.

    I chose Rheem because of the "quietness" and now it becomes my bad headache.

    @Salesi, did the fan replacement work and how is the situation?

  13. DCredditor08 | | #24

    I had a Proterra Pro 65 gallon installed on Saturday (9/18/21) and mine is way louder than expected too. The built date on my unit is 9/2020. The unit is installed in the garage but there is a humming noise that can be heard from the two rooms adjacent to the garage. I am very disappointed with this product. I called the Rheem and they were quick to tell me they know about a fan issue and offer to send me a replacement fan. However, they will not cover the labor expense. I had this professionally installed so I won't be able to do this myself. The installer said they will eat the cost to replace the fan for me. I am very grateful for them but I am very skeptical that new fans will resolve the noise issue. Can someone please explain the details on how they got a replacement unit from Rheem? Did it resolve the humming noise and if it did, can you please provide a manufacture date for the unit?

  14. DCredditor08 | | #25

    Update: Rheem is sending me Part# AP20519, "Fan Motor Premium." Has any one else received the same part and was successful with getting rid of the excessive humming noise? I believe this is a different remedy than their fan replacement or foam kit?

    @Fred_M, what was the part number they sent you? Do you also find it ridiculous that Rheem is not covering Labor for any of this? I am not a plumbing so I can't replace these parts myself.

  15. Will R | | #26

    Please keep us updated, interested to hear how this plays out. I have the same issue but haven't been able to get a hold of someone at Rheem after a few calls.

  16. Fred_M | | #27

    @DCredditor08, I received two parts - a foam kit (SP21173) and a vibration isolation kit (SP20883). None of them has been installed yet - my plumber is busy and the work is not profitable to him. My worry is that what if the loud humming/vibration noise remains after the kit installation.

    Will find out and let you know.

    1. DCredditor08 | | #28

      where does the SP20883 (vibration isolation kit) go? My neighbor received the foam kit and a new fan motor. His fan motor part# is different than mine though. He said it helped a little but he still gets a slight hum noise. We compared ours and mine is definitely louder. This is crazy.... Rheem is just sending out parts and hoping that it fixes the same issue.

      1. Fred_M | | #30

        The SP20883 (vibration isolation kit) should be installed under the water heater inside the drain pan.

        Here is a website for your reference: https://www.gpconservation.com/product/rheem-vibration-isolation-kit/

      2. Deleted | | #34

        Deleted

  17. Kathryn Oseen-Senda | | #29

    That's really disappointing to hear. We got a Rheem prestige and put it right next to our bedroom. We also put it into its own closet, with lots of interior wall insulation and a floor seal on the door. All that being said, I never know when it's on, because it's so quiet. It was installed in the summer of 2020 and I couldn't be happier with it.

  18. KevinJMaas | | #31

    Glad I found this thread--a contractor wants to put a Rheem ProH50 in their new-house plumbing bid, and I was wondering whether a cheaper A.O. Smith hybrid might do just as well....answers my question. I've listened to a Geospring in my basement--through an un-insulated floor--for over five years, and while it seemed noisy at first compared to the natural-draft gas tank, I've gotten accustomed to it. Putting the tank in a garage with insulated common walls seems like the way to go.

  19. Walter Ahlgrim | | #32

    “Putting the tank in a garage with insulated common walls seems like the way to go.”

    If you are in Miami Florida yes If you are in Portland Maine not so much.

    Walta

    Reply

  20. Arnold K | | #33

    Given the noise complaint a number of people are experiencing with hybrid water heater and the fact they cost between around 3 times more than a "regular" resistant water heater (at in my area), I think I'll put the difference in a solar system we're looking at installing on the new house.

    Kris

  21. BobWCA | | #35

    Just had my 65gal Rheem installed in my garage a couple feet from the kitchen door on a concrete floor. Measured 56 dBa one foot from menu pad and 53 dBa 3 feet in front (hot outlet side). Fan shoots air toward the back into the side wall. I built some storage 1.5 feet above it and hung a thick blanket in front down to about 3 feet from the floor and now at 3 feet away it is 49 dBa. Used iPhone "decibel" trial version which agrees with iPhone "dB Meter", both free trial versions. For comparison, my 4 foot wide GE Monogram is 41 dBa. The Rheem is right up against the wall next to the living room and the sound is 34 dBa in the living room a few feet from the wall, really nothing. The manufacture date on the Rheem is 7/2021. In the moderate weather SF Bay Area, three adults use 4.5 kWh/day after 2 weeks of use. Scheduling works great. Overall I'm satisfied. I think the Rheems are still one of the quieter HPWHs.

    1. Fred_M | | #36

      Thank you so much for sharing your information! Nice way to block noise, and separate cold air and room air, for your picture.

      I would be very happy if my Rheem had noise level close to yours. It's 49 dBA in my living room (water heater is in the garage). BTW, I use a free version of "Decibel Meter" on my iPhone.

      Would you share your unit's MFD? Mine is 15JUN2021. I am hoping that yours is in July or later. As I am hoping Rheem has fixed the manufacturing issue to reduce the noise level to 49 dBA 3 feet away.

      1. BobWCA | | #37

        Thanks Fred. The Home Depot label on the box said "MFG. DATE: 07/2021" . XE65T10H45UO 65 GAL 4500/4500 240V. "Decibel Meter" with Filter A setting on my iphone reads the same as the two apps I mentioned above. Purchase price and install including mix valve, expansion tank, two new 220 lines from the panel (one for future HP dryer) was $7,500. Note that I will get a $2,650 local rebate for switching from gas. I do have solar panels.

  22. Fred_M | | #38

    Hi BobWCA, It's good to know that yours' MFD is in July 2021. It indicates that Rheem might have fixed the noise issue already. These Rheem HPWHs are currently backordered. I am hoping to get a replacement in the next a few months.

    Interesting that my local rebate is also $2,650. I also have solar panels.

  23. Rheemed | | #39

    Hi Everyone - I’m so happy to have found this post. I’m having the exact same issue with a 80 Gallon Proterra that was installed a few days ago. Mfg date is 9/21.

    I can’t take the humming sound. It spreads all over the house. I believe it’s the compressor and not the fan. The only way I’d be able to tell if the fan also bothers us is if the humming was fixed.

    I appreciate all the time you put into these posts. Does anyone have a successful resolution to the issue (I hope)? Thank you in advance. I’m desperate!

    1. Ben Bray | | #40

      Is the tank in contact with the wall/framing at all? It didn't completely solve the noise issue for me but it helped to make sure there was a gap so it wasn't touching the adjacent wall.

    2. Walter Ahlgrim | | #42

      “I believe it’s the compressor and not the fan.”

      The way I would test your theory is to power the unit down and then block the fan from being able to move (think coat hanger) and then power the unit up. Then you can listen to the compressor run for a minute or 2 without the fan noise. Most fan motors will not have a problem surviving this test.

      Walta

    3. BrianVarick | | #43

      When I called Rheem about my noise issue they had me run a diagnostic that ran just the fan. It was something like holding down the up and down arrows. When mine is running it is around 74 db and when I ran just the fan it was 70. I was surprised that it was the fan instead of the compressor. They sent out a replacement fan but I haven’t installed it because I would need to move the unit to do so. I did sort of solve my issue by scheduling it to only run at night and to be off during the day. We must not use a lot of hot water because we have yet to run out. A nice byproduct is that we are using less than 2 KW a day.

    4. Fred_M | | #44

      Mfg date of 9/21 is worrisome as I have a hope that the noise issue is fixed for units built on or after 07/2021.

      @Rheemed, what is the dBA level of the humming sound - 3 feet away from the fan when the compressor is running?

  24. Stephen_Pate | | #41

    Have you tried using a dB meter? I have the same model and it has have a 48 dB drone sound, lower than my refrigerator but annoying if I focus on it. The sound may be travelling along the air space between the joists. Try Roxul SafenSound to block sound. Can you heat the furnace as loud?

    I should add the Rheem 65 gal Hybrid water heater was installed 3/21. In 8 months it used 391 kWh of electricity, averaging 75 kWh in March, April and October and 29 kWh May to Sept. I have 2 solar water panels on the roof with demonstrable results.

    The Rheem EcoNet software is excellent. It allows me to program high demand in the going-to-work hours in a 4 person household and then let it control itself after that. It has leak control. The filter is suggested for monthly cleaning although mine has no visible lint or dirt when I do.

  25. BenYL | | #45

    Does anyone know if the Ruud Professional Ultra Series has the same problem? It looks pretty darn similar.

  26. danelryo | | #46

    Some reasons for noisy water heaters are a leaky internal hot water tank or the accumulation of limescale, mineral deposits, etc. Failure to drain and drain the water heater also causes unpleasant noises.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.

Community

Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |