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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.

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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. 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. PMatt | | #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 TOTH | | #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. this_page_left_blank | | #10

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

  5. PMatt | | #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.

      1. Hotwaterhell | | #47

        Did you ever get this resolved. I'm dying here

      2. cloister | | #50

        I'm also curious if you had any resolution with this.

    2. aunsafe2015 | | #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. aunsafe2015 | | #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.

    3. photon08 | | #70

      I wonder if Rheem has fixed the noise issue since. HomeDepot has reviews complaining about the noise issue as recent as last week. So, I'm afraid the issue is still outstanding. Alternatively Home Depot still has units in stock that were made before Rheem fixed the issue.

      I wonder if I'll have a better luck with Ruud (https://www.supplyhouse.com/Ruud-PROUH50-T2-RU375-30-50-Gallon-5kW-EF3-50-Tall-Professional-Ultra-Hybrid-Electric-Water-Heater-10-Year-240v?utm_source=criteo&utm_medium=retargeting&utm_campaign=lowerfunnel#qna-content ). I'm aware that Ruud is another brand of Rheem so that it may have the same issue.

  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.

    1. tgtech | | #66

      I received a replacement fan just as you did. It did reduce the overall noise a little bit. See my post (#65) for more details. The replacement fan was the same make and model as the original fan ... ebmpapst model W1G200-EC91-84A. Maybe Rheem is hand picking "quieter" fans for people who complain?

      1. cloister | | #68

        I also received this same fan as a replacement [ebmpapst model W1G200-EC91-84A though it has AP20519 written in Sharpie on the label, packing slip says "FAN MOTOR PREMIUM", images attached). I didn't replace the fan because they said I was eligible for a replacement unit but after draining and switching heaters at HD, the new one is just as loud. When I called back and mentioned I had a replacement fan on hand but it looked like the same model as the factory installed fan the phone tech told me this was the wrong replacement and was sent out by mistake. They are overnighting me a new fan along with a return label, asking me to ship the AP20519 fan back to them. I don't have the new fan in hand yet but the emailed shipping invoice lists part "AS48782 - ASSY BALL BEARING FAN MOTOR". Will update with an image when I receive it but my take is that Rheem is scrambling to address noise issues and sending out parts willy-nilly.

        Unfortunately, I don't think the replacement fan they sent you is the upgraded model.

        They are also sending me a "foam kit" to line the inside of the shroud with sound dampening material but it's currently out of stock and might be a week or two. I'll wait until that arrives before I drain the tank and try and swap the parts before I know how much these changes mitigate the noise.

        1. tgtech | | #69

          Thanks, Jon. The paperwork I got with my replacement fan had a loose post-it in the box with "AP20519" written on it along with a packing list with a part number of AP20519 describing it as "FAN MOTOR PREMIUM." The manufacturer label on my original fan and the replacement fan is identical as far as the model number. Giving Rheem the benefit of the doubt ;) it could be the case that later model fans were either better balanced or ebmpapst made some changes to improve the sound performance and kept the same model number. In any case, the replacement fan I got was, in fact, quieter than the original as you can see in my report at post #65 below.

          I am certainly interested in your outcome!

          1. cloister | | #72

            Second replacement fan arrived today (along with a return slip for the AP20519 fan). For those following along at home or unfortunate enough to end up here from a similar search, attached are images of Rheem's suggested replacement fan (AS48782) this is probably the unit you should request if you're troubleshooting with their service line to save a step. Feels heavier duty with a metal housing. I'm awaiting the foam dampener kit before I drain and disassemble the unit to replace the fan so I can't report on any sound mitigation yet.

  15. rondeaunotrondo | | #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. user-6798160 | | #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.

    1. AbuColetrane | | #103

      I have had the GeoSpring for eight years and it has been great. Not too noisy and have never had a problem. I build about five houses a year and emphasize energy efficiency and try to be all electric, though it is ultimately the clients' decision. I was disappointed when GE dropped out of the HHP water heater game. Started trying State brand because my plumber thought that they would be good. Nightmare- constant issues and callbacks. I have recently begun putting the Rheem water heaters in all of my houses and now I am terrified that I will be getting an onslaught of callbacks about the noise on the newer ones. At least I know that it is a real issue and not my clients being oversensitive...

  19. walta100 | | #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

    1. cldlhd | | #62

      I'm in suburban Philadelphia and mine is in a similar setup but a well insulated storage room (closed cell spray foam) with a common wall to the house. I cut an opening in the wall and installed a 14"x8" central air register to pass done heat in the winter. It's 23° outside and 50° by the tank.

  20. arnoldk | | #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

    1. AbuColetrane | | #104

      That is exactly what we have been advocating for on houses that we build where solar is an option.

  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.

        1. cloister | | #49

          I'm in a similar boat as other folks in this thread with a 50gal ProTerra from HD. Installed it in the basement a month ago and you can hear it throughout our small house and my wife sees clients virtually which has created an additional noise issue for her work. Went through a very slow and protracted process with Rheem involving several calls and a LOT of wait time, finally diagnosing fan and compressor noise with a tech (using a db meter on my phone). The unit registers 74-76 db to the side but 80+db on top of the unit. Rheem sent me a replacement fan and a set of rubber vibration feet but I've held off on replacing either because it would involve draining and moving the unit to do either. There is a loud whooshing white noise from the fan (like a cheap kitchen exhaust fan) but what is more aggravating is a 220 hz hum that I suspect is from the compressor. I'm reluctant to invest more time on swapping parts and am planning to exchange the whole unit and hope for a proper functioning one (another Rheem tech on their hybrid service line also said that mid 70's dbs would warrant a replacement, confimed it should be 49db). There are no listed Rheem techs in my area (southern Maine) so it's on me to pull the unit and swap it. Here's my questions for those who might have experience with this: Quickly confirmed the exchange at HD today before I show up with a wet unit and get denied (they said no problem with a receipt) I did a quick scan of the MFG dates on the units in stock. My unit was made June '21. The units I could get to range in MFG date from 4/21 - 9/21 - am I better to go with a newer unit or older one in hopes of avoiding another dud? (my inclination is newer but hoping for real world feedback on quiet MFG dates). Also: since I have them, I'm thinking I might proactively install the anti vibration feet and possibly swap the fan on the new unit (or at least see if the installed one resembles the replacement fan). Anyone browsing this thread who has experience on this, I'd welcome your feedback. Really exhausted by this unit and Rheem's lackluster customer service.

          1. charlie_sullivan | | #51

            Not much help, but I'm wondering if it's feasible to test a new unit with a temporary fill from a garden hose (or similar) before making permanent connections. I'm not sure that's really any easier, but I offer the idea in the spirit of brainstorming.

        2. cldlhd | | #63

          That's pretty steep.

  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.

    1. BobWCA | | #102

      Don't forget to claim you $300 tax credit on form 5695!

  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. BenVB | | #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. walta100 | | #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?

    5. Hotwaterhell | | #48

      Did you ever get this resolved? I also have an 80 gallon unit and I'm in the same boat. Mine was installed in the summer and my plumber gaslighted me and told me this was just how it was. They even exchanged it for a second one from home Depot and it was just as God damn loud. So they convinced me that was the quietest it would ever be.
      Noises driving me up a wall and I've gotten in so many fights with my spouse about this it is actually hurting our relationship.
      Whenever the buzzing occurs is the only thing I can focus on....

  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.

  27. JoeNorthFork | | #52

    I am considering purchasing the 80 gallon Rheem hybrid heat pump water heater and was assured by Rheem that the noise issue has been resolved with units built after May of 2021, or with serial numbers whose first two digits (week number) are greater than or equal to 22, and the 3rd and 4th digits (year) 21 or greater. I am now reconsidering again after seeing posts from people still having problems with models manufactured after that date. Is the AO Smith a better option now?

    Also, I was told emphatically by Rheem that in the case of the hybrid electric heat pump water heater, the Professional and Home Depot consumer models are virtually identical, but my contractor insists that this is not the case, that the pro models are always made with better components. Anyone have any insight on this? The contractor says its a 4 month wait for the pro model, and a $500 premium, so I would prefer to just get it from Home Depot unless there really is a significant difference..

    1. Hotwaterhell | | #53

      Playing with fire my dude. If I could tell my former self any advice I would say run. The nightmare it has been is not worth any energy savings this piece of shit might claim. The hum wakes me up at night on the second floor bedroom when it's in the basement. I fixate on it and have gotten in huge blowout fights with my wife about it. Our plumber refuses to help (he replaced it once and the replacement is just as loud, told me that's just how it is) and rheem support has been anything but supportive.

      Plus sounds like you are using a contractor or plumber to install it? If you do not have the means and will to physically rip this thing out of the wall and drag it back to home Depot don't take the gamble.

    2. cloister | | #54

      I just finished swapping my 50 gallon Rheem (MFG date 06/21) for the newest unit I could find at my local HD (MFG date 09/21). No change in sound difference: 74-76 db off the side of the unit, 80-82 db off the top, Much of the noise is an aggravating 220 hz hum you can hear throughout my house which now sounds like an old, poorly maintained, convenience store. I have no idea whether the pro models are any different but I'd suggest you consider other options than the current Rheem units if sound is an issue.

      1. JoeNorthFork | | #56

        Jon, may I ask how long your units were upright before being operated?

        1. cloister | | #60

          See my reply with updates to your next comment in the thread.

    3. JoeNorthFork | | #55

      After a couple of hours on hold I finally got through to Rheem tech support. As we know, they are aware of the noise issues with the generation 5 models, and even though Rheem has now removed the "whisper quiet" claims from their spec sheets and product descriptions and no longer mention the 49 db sound rating anywhere, the tech person I spoke with believes that Rheem has not officially changed the rating, but says that typically they are seeing between 50 and 60 DB "in the wild." They still are also receiving plenty of complaints with 60 - 70+ DB, but this tech person claimed that many of these are the result of installers not allowing the units to rest upright long enough after being shipped laying horizontally. Not sure how this would affect the fan, but apparently if the refrigerant is not allowed to settle down into its proper position before running the unit, it may create a situation where the compressor will be permanently noisy (Anyone else hear this or comment on whether it makes any sense?). I may have to risk it and hope to receive one of the quieter ones, and make sure it sits upright for a day or two before it is installed. I take a little comfort knowing that we have at least one person posting above (BobWCO) that received a Gen5 model with reasonable noise levels, and 1 or 2 on Reddit who seem to have succeeded in solving the noise problem through the warranty process.

      If there were a clearly better alternative, I would go with it. I am tempted by the AO Smith, but it may be too fat to fit in the utililty closet with proper clearances, and cannot be remotely controlled. Also, with very few reviews available, it is hard to know if the AO Smith will end up being any quieter, or if their 51 DB claim will hold up in the wild. The Steibel Eltron cannot deliver enough water fast enough (just one electric element for high demand recovery). I found an interesting 66 gallon heat pump water heater from Electrolux (48 DBA) on Amazon and EBAY, but I called the company and they discontinued their water heaters 6 years ago, and replacement parts may not even be available. Haven't looked into the Bradford White yet, but I am not holding my breath based on the commenter above....

      1. aunsafe2015 | | #58

        Do you know for certain one way or the other whether Steibel Eltron's units are quieter? (and as we've learned from Rheem, I'm less concerned about what they say on paper, and what they actually produce when installed...)

      2. cloister | | #59

        A Rheem hybrid call support that I spoke to on the phone also floated this theory and it's a possible factor but does not translate to either of my installed units. The first unit (MFG date 06/21) was upright at HD, loaded into my truck upright, and with the exception of being tilted 45° for ~15 seconds to get through my bulkhead door, was always upright. I had a project come up so it sat in install position for about a month before connection and activation. The second unit (MFG date 09/21) went through the same process (bulkhead tilt, etc . . .) and sat upright for 36 hours before activation.

        Just got off my 5th call with Rheem Hybrid tech trying to troubleshoot and came to the realization that the replacement fan the previous tech sent me was not the supposedly quieter ball bearing unit, but just another one of the original fans. I'm relieved I didn't go through the effort of swapping it out as the instructions are extensive and involved. Additionally they sent me the rubber vibration dampening feet and not the hood foam replacement kit that is supposed to mitigate some of the compressor sound. There's not a Rheem tech within two states of me so I either have to try and find someone locally that will do it for the $150 service cap that Rheem offers or do it myself. Because the unit is installed on a platform within 12" of the basement ceiling (installation specs allow for as little as 6") I'll have to drain and disconnect the unit to get the 16" metal upper shroud off to attempt to replace the fan.

        It's been a minor nightmare and a significant time/labor drain. I re-advise against these current Rheem units as it seems like a major gamble on getting a quiet unit and support is clumsy, slow, and disorganized.

      3. tgtech | | #67

        I had the same advice from Rheem before I installed mine. It was upright for more than 72 hours before installing it. See my post #65 for much more detail. I'm certain the any refrigerant/oil had plenty of time to settle before startup. I was getting an annoying 64dBA after installation, but was able to reduce it a bit with a replacement fan and some other measures.

  28. cldlhd | | #57

    I have the 50 gallon version and all I can hear is the whoosh sound of the fan moving air. Although mine is in an attached storage room that shares a wall with my kitchen. I have ductwork from behind my fridge for the intake and lower on that wall a 14”x8” open central air register connecting the 2 rooms so I can get some heat out there in the winter. Maybe try to find some YouTube videos of the same model running to see if it sounds similar, maybe yours has an issue.

  29. Brandon21 | | #61

    Just installed mine 2 weeks ago and they haven't fixed the noise issue. Manufacturered 11/21. 78-80 db a ft away on top. I can hear it humming away through out my first floor. WH is installed in my basement utility room that is insulated. Called rheem and they sent out an isolation kit to dampen the noise. This shouldn’t be needed as my WH sits on a concrete floor, but we will find out if it helps dampens the noise.

    1. cloister | | #64

      I received the dampening kit as well (four dense rubber feet) and put them under the new replacement unit since I had them on hand but found it didn't make a difference. I imagine they might be helpful if a unit was installed upstairs with sound transfer through framing but does little in a basement/slab installation.

      1. Brandon21 | | #73

        I don't think im going to install isolation kit, as it defeats the leak detection. All this effort into making this thing not loud is not worth it and I cant believe Rheem keeps selling them even knowing about it. Im going to return it to HD and hook up my 12yr old water heater.

    2. Brandon21 | | #77

      Isolation pads did absolutely nothing to dampen the sound. Time for another call to rheem

  30. tgtech | | #65

    I did some pretty extensive research on the sound problem and was able to reduce it somewhat. I posted a PDF of my saga at

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/15AbxYCowloRsAuCNfjPAZcDhmtOyJINC/view?usp=sharing

    In it you will find pictures, "before and after" sound measurements, sound spectra plots and much more.

    Hope you find it useful!
    tgtech

    1. johngfc | | #71

      Thanks for the great analysis, write-up, and data.

    2. walta100 | | #74

      Very impressive report.

      Walta

    3. aunsafe2015 | | #75

      Outstanding. Please send to Rheem. Also, from what I'm reading about this unit, Rheem should strongly consider returning to their Gen 4 model. Seems like almost everybody on this forum would be willing to sacrifice a tiny bit of efficiency for a 10-20 dB reduction in sound levels.
      In fact many of us would not even consider buying the Gen 5 due to its noise issues, but would have happily purchased a quiet Gen 4.

      1. user-5946022 | | #76

        @Aun Safe: +1!!

    4. jonathanb | | #78

      Thanks, tgtech! This matches my experience exactly. I had a 65G Rheem hybrid installed in June 2021 that was horribly loud. I warranty replaced it twice, and both replacement units had the same problem. The most recent replacement was manufactured in Aug 2021. Rheem doesn't seem to have solved their serious manufacturing problem yet.

      Does anyone have a recommendation about using the scheduling to limit the noise nuisance to hours when nobody is home, or time-of-use rates are lowest? If I heat the water to, say 135, then turn it off for the rest of the day, is that likely to keep the temperature above 120 for the rest of the day, under normal usage?

      I'm giving it a try now. Would love to hear anyone else's experience!

      1. PatrickH | | #130

        I use mine on a schedule because like many others here, the noise is loud and annoying.

        I have mine installed in my garage. I can hear the fan noise thru the wall into my adjacent family room. Right above my garage is my son’s room where the noise resonates and is hard for him to go to sleep. The noise is almost as loud in his room compared to the garage.

        I’ve schedule mine on heat pump only from 9am-9pm at 125 degrees. I have the 80 gal version. 3 out of 4 family members take showers in the evening. I do take a shower as well after playing tennis a few days in the evenings during the week. Most days, I only take a shower in the mornings around 520am. Therefore, a few days out of the work week, I’m taking a shower at night and then another shower the following morning typically when the unit is not scheduled to run or be on.

        The hot was that remains in the tank after 9pm is still very hot by 520am the next morning. We’ve noticed that with our 80 gal unit, there is enough hot water for 7 showers and the 8th being a bit cold. We only noticed this when one of us gets caught with the cold shower because for some reason the water heater schedule never came on the day before. So to remedy this, I do check the app daily.

        Another reason why I run it from 9am-9pm is we have solar. I noticed that the heat pump in the unit adds about .4kwH to the current house load. Not too bad. It’s not too much electricity and my solar panels can keep up. When the sun goes down, my Tesla Powerwall can easily keep up allowing for the hybrid water to still run. I’ve also noticed that the unit kicks on at 9am and runs to about 12 noon and then the tank is full of hot water. Even though I set the schedule from 9am-9pm, the unit isn’t always on the whole 12 hours. It shuts off when it is filled and turns on when it senses a demand.

        The scheduling makes the fan noise tolerable. The fan noise is intolerable when the household starts to go to bed and there is less noise around to mix with the fan noise when it is on.

        I hope this helps someone. Bottom line: there is plenty of insulation around the water tank that the hot water “made” is still hot 8-9 or more hours later.

        I really like the unit besides the noise. My solar runs it and this unit doesn’t cost me anything every month. I live in Nor Cal.

        Patrick

    5. etiennef | | #202

      Hi Everyone, I've been reading this thread and there is a lot of good information, I just wanted to update you with my experience.
      So as read (here or somewhere else) it seems that Rheem/Ruud did improve the units recently. Mine was built in May 2022 and I'm happy to report that the noise is actually not too bad.
      The fan is definitely not noisy, I mean it make a fan noise, but not any worst that a ventilator.
      The main noise comes from the compressor, and I would say it's similar to a low end fridge.
      The insulation looks identical to what tgtech reported on his amazing document.
      BUT there is an added piece of molded rigid styrofoam in between the casing and the compressor. The same type of styrofoam from those single use coolers.
      The noise wasn't so bad, I would have left it as is, but I did order some Kilmat and some foam eggcrate sound proofing (similar to: https://www.amazon.com/Upgraded-Self-adhesive-Sound-Proof-Panels/dp/B09Q8JFBX7/ref=sr_1_7?crid=237RE7J1L9JUV&keywords=sound+proof+foam&qid=1668447617&sprefix=sound+proof+foam%2Caps%2C104&sr=8-7)

      So I did line the interior of the enclosure with one layer of Kilmat and then added the foam where I could without tampering with the airflow and touching the heat pump exposed "plumbing".

      Here's the result (base on a basic phone app).
      Right next to the unit:
      Original 60dB, Kilmat 56dB, Kilmat + Foam 54dB
      About 20 feet away, with the utility room door closed:
      Original 38dB, Kilmat 36dB, Kilmat + Foam 35dB

      Next I tried to place the foam on top of the unit (similar to tgtech "hat") and THAT seems to be the most efficient solution. So my next step will be to do my own version of the hat, mine will be slopped, as this will deflect the sound inside the utility room rather than at the ceiling above or the door next to the unit.
      I'll report back once done, but it might be a while since the noise is definitely not a nuisance right now...

      Cheers, thanks to everyone who pitched in on this issue.

  31. kmp007 | | #79

    Hi all,

    I'm having the same noise problems with our newly installed Rheem hybrid heater (ProTerra 40 gal). I had assumed the ridiculous level of noise was due to the fact that our basement is cold in winter (in midcoast Maine) and that it would be quieter in summer, but after reading this thread, I fear that may not be the case.

    I have a slightly unrelated question: my answer to the noise so far has simply been to run the heater in "ELECTRIC" mode. However, the heater seems to switch itself back to Heat Pump mode after a certain, indeterminate period of time. I have to go down to the basement every other day or so (when I hear the noise rumbling through the floorboards) and switch it back to electric only.

    Anyone else have this happen? Any idea how to keep it on electric mode only until we can try to solve the noise problem? It was almost impossible to find a plumber to install this unit in the first place (we bought it over the summer and it sat in the basement waiting to be installed for months) so replacing or repairing is a long-term prospect.

    We've tried the obvious - turning it off and on, disconnecting WiFi. The temp is set at 125 F.

    We have tried to contact Rheem several times already and never gotten though to actually speak with someone.

    Thanks much for any advice!

    1. walta100 | | #80

      Seems like a waste of money to pay for a HPWH and run it in electric mode 24-7-365.

      Is it too late to return it and get a refund?

      Seems to me Rheem has no incentive to fix the problem or update the specifications unless they start see returns.

      Walta

      1. kmp007 | | #82

        Hi Walta,

        I don't disagree, but I did not anticipate the noise. It's a non-starter. We will try to discuss with Rheem, but it doesn't sound like anyone on this thread has had much luck even replacing a whole unit.

        Since the unit we replaced looked to be from the 90's (the house is new to us), I'm assuming even on full electric it'll be more efficient than it was.

        The install cost $600. If we can even return it at this point (as we bought it over the summer, I doubt it), we'd have to pay for a plumber to disconnect and then pay again for another install.

        I am hoping the noise is not so drastic over the summer, when there is heat in the basement to fuel the heat pump.

    2. jonathanb | | #81

      @kmp007: if you setup the Econet app, you can program a schedule, and the water heater will stay in whatever mode you select according to the schedule. There's also a way to force it to stay in the chosen mode. It might be long-pressing the Mode button. I can't remember for sure, but it should be in the manual.

      Each time I've called Rheem support, it typically takes about 20-30 min on hold. Note too that they have a separate number for support for heat pump water heaters, and if you call the main support number, they can't help you and you'll have to call and wait again.

      If you can get through to Rheem customer support, they will give you one of two options:
      - replace the fan; they'll ship the part to you and pay someone to install it
      - replace the unit; they'll issue a warranty claim number and cover the cost of the replacement unit and a licensed plumber for the labor.

      They'll probably offer the fan first. In our case, it didn't make any difference. We replaced the fan, and then the whole unit. That also didn't make any difference, because they have a manufacturing quality problem and apparently no fix yet.

      They don't accept returns, as far as I know. Maybe your plumbing supply store? I strongly recommend returning it, if your plumbing supply store accepts it.

      FYI, running it overnight in heat pump mode, and in electric mode during the day did not work well for us. We don't take showers or wash laundry or dishes overnight, and it wasn't much better than running it in electric mode all day -- which costs nearly 3x what heat pump mode costs. These units are very efficient.

      It's possible we could put it in vacation mode during the day. We shower at night though, and I haven't been willing to risk an unhappy spouse if we're out of hot water by then.

      1. kmp007 | | #83

        Thanks, Jonathan - I did finally manage to get the EcoNet app set up and scheduled all timepoints to "electric." We'll see if that works. I would put it in heat pump mode overnight but I can still hear it even 2 floors above in our bedroom. I might try Vacation mode overnight when it's not quite so cold (-5 F tonight in midcoast Maine!).

  32. kieran973 | | #84

    Does anyone know the surge wattage for the 65 gallon Rheem ProTerra Prestige? The model number is PROPH65 T2 RH375 -30.

    I'm trying to size a backup battery that can handle the water heater's load during a power outage. The sticker on the side of it says the compressor pulls 12 amps, but it doesn't say anything more about surge vs continuous. This is a 240 volt model. Thanks.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #85

      Kieran,

      Are you sure backup is necessary? We have extended outages here and get by fine on what's hot in the tank when the power goes out.

  33. kieran973 | | #86

    Interesting. Good point - yeah, probably. I'm interested in adding a 10 kWh Enphase solar battery to our LG solar array. With the IQ8 Enphase microinverters, you can apparently discharge and recharge the Enphase battery indefinitely during power outages. So in the event of a catastrophic grid failure (like say multiple days to weeks, however unlikely that may be right now), I'm trying to see if the Enphase 10 has enough surge capacity to run my Rheem water heater, 9K mini-split, and 15K mini-split all at the same time. It looks like no, but I could maybe run two of those at the same time.

    1. Tim03 | | #154

      Hi Kieran, I'm looking to do almost the exact same thing but on a smaller scale for a 480 sq ft cottage. I considered the Enphase battery but now I'm thinking of using my EV (has vehicle to load) instead. I'll use the solar/IQ8s to recharge the EV during the day, use EV as a giant battery at night (connect the V2L to Enphase IQ System Controller 2 through the "generator" circuit). Also wondering how much I will be able to run on the 1,900W I can get from the V2L! I'll probably have to pick and choose what to run when and maybe get a couple soft starters to limit surges. Very curious to hear how you get on with your project.

      Cheers,
      Tim

  34. cloister | | #87

    An update on our situation. Rheem finally upped the amount of money (from $150 to $250) they would offer for an independent technician to come and swap out the original fan for the replacement ball-bearing "builder fan" and add a foam kit on our 50 gal, ProTerra unit (already a replacement unit). Pro tip: if you call enough, apparently Rheem will eventually relent and increase compensation. Because Rheem doesn't have any technicians in my state the onus was on me to find and schedule someone. First person I called "doesn't service Rheem crap" - their words. Second wouldn't touch it for the $150 compensation. With the increased $250 I had a certified HVAC friend come over and help ($225 cost to me that Rheem will supposedly reimburse in 4-8 weeks) - he also avoids Rheem and directed me to a 2017 Bradford White heat pump unit at a neighbor's house that was significantly quieter. Since you need to remove the entire upper shroud, it's hard to imagine a practical installation scenario where you won't need to drain and disconnect the unit to replace the fan. The foam kit appears identical to the factory foam so it felt like a futile exercise to scrape and replace it but we did anyway. Reassembled and installed, the builder fan is *marginally* quieter that the original but, if anything, with the reduction in white noise from the fan, the compressor whine is just as loud and more pronounced. My tech's assessment is that the predominant noise issues are from the compressor and that the insulation bag around it (detailed in tgtech's post #65 earlier in this thread) is completely inadequate. I'm exhausted and at a loss. With easily a dozen uncompensated hours of my time replacing units and parts and dealing with Rheem tech support I'm out of steam on this. We're living with it for now but it's a constant aggravation. When I find time, I'll likely just return this to HD and reluctantly go back to our old on-demand propane water heater that I've fortunately left intact. There's a role for Rheem to help advance efficient domestic water heating and it seemed like their Gen4 units were quiet, but they're just not being accountable about these new units and their noise issues and are going to sour a lot of people to hybrid water heaters in the process. I don't have the energy for it but if a class action emerges, I'm ready to sign on. Caveat emptor . . .

    1. tgtech | | #90

      I summarized a few steps people might consider taking to reduce noise levels. Results all depend on how much time/energy/$ you want to "invest" to achieve different levels of noise reduction.

      Outlined are steps to
      - Add sound deadening mats
      - Add wall/cavity insulation
      - Add compressor insulation
      - Change the fan
      - Add a "hat" to the inlet to redirect sound
      - Hang sound deadening blankets
      - Add sound absorbing panels
      - Add sound isolation under the bottom of the tank
      - Add ducting

      Do I agree Rheem should address the complaints? Absolutely! Should owners have to undertake significant efforts to solve the problem? No!

      I agree that Rheem should consider design/component changes to prevent the issue from occurring in the first place.

      See attached. I hope it may help a few of you.

      1. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #92

        tgtech,

        Thanks for posting that. It's very useful.

      2. user-6915996 | | #105

        Followed the steps to install the replacement fan and added sound deadening mats. Interestingly I'm now getting condensation on the exterior of the water heater near the air outlet. Didn't occur before to my knowledge. Happens especially with high humidity in the garage and long heat pump run times when metal gets cold. Anyone else seen this after new fan install?

  35. johnstith | | #88

    Any reason to think the "15-amp" models are much quieter than the "30-amp"?

    I looked through all the Energy Start listings, and the only hybrid water heaters available to put on a 15- or 20-amp circuit are the Rheem/Ruud and the SANCO2 split system.

  36. user-7042182 | | #89

    Has anyone thought about going with a Bradford White unit? Seems like Rheem shouldn't be considered until they release a redesign.

    https://www.bradfordwhite.com/professionals/usa-residential-heat-pump/aerotherm-series-heat-pump-model-re#prettyPhoto

    1. brad_rh | | #94

      I have a GE HPWH, no complaints. They sold out to Bradford White and the one you linked to does look like the one I have

  37. Brandon21 | | #91

    Just got my 11/21 water heater replaced with a 1/22 dated one and the loud humming is gone. What I found that was making most of the noise was the compressor vibrating on the side of the unit. Before it was replaced it was around 68db three feet away. Now its 57db. FYI rheem rep stated 55-60db was what the actual reading would be, 49db is in perfect conditions in a lab, which is impossible. I am very happy now.

    1. cloister | | #93

      Congrats on a successful resolution, Brandon. Can you detail what the replacement process was like for you (did Rheem cover any of the labor cost)? I've replaced my unit once with no improvement on the sound but I had to do the actual labor of pulling, returning, and reinstalling the new unit myself and am reluctant to do it again.

      1. Brandon21 | | #95

        It was a lot of back and forth with rheem on the replacement process. What ended up happening was a plumbing company came out and we determined that the unit was defective. I had to reorder a new water heater. Plumber disconnected water heater and we returned it at the store. At the same time he picked up the new water heater and installed it. Rheem covered the labor cost but there was a 250 dollar price difference. Rheem has a price change form. I filled it out and I will be reimbursed the difference soon.

        1. baraider | | #96

          @brandon21, is there a manufacture date outside of the box? We want to order 2 from HD but they don't have it in store so we have to get it shipped home. I would like to inspect the box and see if it's a 2022 build before we unbox.

          1. fred_m | | #98

            I believe the build date should be on the box. Or you can tell from the serial number Qxxyyzzzzz, which means it's built the xxth week of year 20yy.

    2. fred_m | | #99

      Brandon, so glad that you got a good replacement unit. Congrats!

      Really appreciate the information as there is a hope that Rheem fixed the humming noise issue in 2022. After numerous contacts with Rheem, a replacement unit is authorized. It has to go through via a wholesaler with my plumber. I will pay attention to the build date.

    3. jonathanb | | #125

      I'm glad the 57 improves your situation!

      I don't believe the Rheem rep though. There are videos online measuring 49 dB for an installed Gen 4 unit. 57 dB is definitely a major regression from the previous model, and I don't recommend anyone take the chance of buying one. Try the AO Smith if it fits!

  38. welrgjqpelrmgwkmf | | #97

    tgtech, Great analysis! Also looking to get one of these installed but leery of noise with gen 5. A few thoughts:
    I had my 5 ton AC capacitor replaced when it failed and the compressor noise afterwards was significantly reduced. I wonder if maybe the capacitors for the compressor or the fan are not to spec, or underspecd.
    Pretty sure that fan is a 2 speed and wonder if it ever operates at the lower speed. A garage install would not need a fan that can provide airflow through an additional 50 feet of ducting!

    Thanks!

  39. pnwnerd | | #100

    It's the compressor which isn't replaceable. They'd have to replace the entire water heater. It's cheaper to run the squeaky wheels around in circles with red herrings while Rheem tries to find a different supplier. Difficult in this age of component shortages and high appliance demand. The "premium" fan... lying on its side too long... isolation feet... foam shrouds... all customer service BS to keep a lid on this until they solve the root cause without shutting down the production line entirely. Happens all the time.

    1. tgtech | | #101

      It would be a project ($$$) to replace the compressor as it would involve cutting refrigerant piping, recovering refrigerant, putting on a fitting, rebrazing, pulling a vacuum, refilling refrigerant, etc. Not for the faint hearted.

      I have wondered if replacing the rubber vibration isolation mounts under the compressor would help.

      Also, I *may* build a sound baffle at the fan outlet as the compressor noise emanates from there along with the fan noise.

      Some of the sound abatement measures in my post #90 have worked fairly well, but it should not have taken the additional time and $$$ to work around the issue. Rheem is better than that (or maybe they aren't?)

      I would encourage people to submit reviews to the big box store websites and the Rheem website describing their experience.

  40. fred_m | | #106

    I just received my Rheem replacement Hybrid Water Heater, 50 gal, built in Feb 2022. I need to schedule an installation time with my plumber. I will tell if the new one is quieter.

  41. tgtech | | #107

    Looking forward to your update! I hope you get a better unit - and if you can, use your dB app to do a before/after reading. Good luck!

    1. fred_m | | #108

      The replacement new unit (PROPH50 T2 RH375-30, built in Feb 2022) was just installed in the garage. I am so relieved.

      As the water heater is in a small raised 30x30 den in the garage right next to the living room, we also installed the vibration isolation kit this time. I think the new unit is improved. And the vibration isolation kit dramatically helps reduce the vibration noise inside the house.

      Here are a few data points while the heat pump is running:

      Before
      • Noise level is around 63 dBA, 3 ft away for the outlet
      • Noise level is around 51 dBA, inside the house, across a wall from the water heater.

      Now:
      • Noise level is around 57 dBA, 3 ft away for the outlet
      • Noise level is around 44 dBA, inside the house, across a wall from the water heater.

      By no means the new unit is quiet. It's just less noisy. We don't hear the annoying humming noise inside the house anymore.

      1. baraider | | #109

        Very happy to hear the good news about the Feb 2022 build that you received, Fred.
        We received the 80 Gal ProTerra model a few weeks ago but haven't installed yet. It also built in Feb 2022.

        Can you link me to the vibration kit that you installed? Do you have to buy a drain pan?
        The ProTerra seems to have a leak detector wire but it does not come with the drain pan.

        And also the expansion tank as well that you need to buy?

        1. fred_m | | #110

          The vibration isolation kit (SP20883) is needed only if the water heater is on non-concrete floors. Here is a link for your reference
          https://www.gpconservation.com/product/rheem-vibration-isolation-kit/

          A drain pan and an expansion tank are required by city code. These were installed by my plumber. If your model comes with leak detector, I guess you need a drain pan to make it work.

          The vibration isolation kit is actually 4 pieces of isolators. They need to be adhered inside the drain pan and then the water heater sits on top of them. They need to be leveled very precisely. Center the water heater as much as possible to get desired quiet operation result.

          Your 80 Gal ProTerra model likely has similar noise level. Good luck!

  42. bjarthur | | #111

    would be helpful if everyone could supply the following information:

    build date: 3721. (37th week of 2021; this is the first four digits in the serial number after the first letter, should be on the sticker on the tank)

    noise level: 58 dB overall at chest level 2 feet in front of the display, with a peak in the spectrum at ~190 Hz. the spectrum we got from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.intoorbit.spectrum, and a screenshot is attached. the overall dB is from different app.

    fan part #: W1G200-EC91-84A

    satisfactory? NO

    as background, i had this unit installed in march of 2022. complained to rheem on a 3-way call with our plumber, and they sent a replacement fan and vibration isolation kit free of charge. as the fan that arrived was the same part number as the one already installed, and rubber pads we learned were not meant for concrete floors, we installed neither. trying to decide whether it is worth pursuing further.

    does anyone have a unit that is closer to the advertised spec of 49 dB. thanks!

    1. fred_m | | #114

      Since our water heater is in the garage, our key measurement of noise level is from inside the house instead of 3ft away from the water heater in the garage. And whether the water heater's operation actually impacts our daily life and while sleeping.

      It took us 6 months to get a replacement unit. And from my post #108, one can tell the objective noise level comparison. Subjectively, we are very happy with the replacement unit. We had to turn the original unit to "Electric" most of the time as we could not stand the annoying humming vibration noise. Now, with the new unit, we leave it on "Energy Saver" and don't even notice whether it's running or not - just like the older gas water heater. Daily electricity consumption is around 2.5 kWh and the garage is cool on hot days.

      It depends on your specific situation to decide if it's worth pursuing further. There is no guarantee that you will be happy with the replacement.

  43. bjarthur | | #112

    has anyone tried or thought about adding a muffler to the exhaust to mitigate the fan noise?

    i found this interesting paper on how mufflers work:

    https://www.acoustics.asn.au/conference_proceedings/AAS2005/papers/34.pdf

    figure 9 and the text above it (see attached screenshot) describe how a resonator can be used to deaden the sound at a specific frequency. one could imagine buying the duct kit for the rheem and building a bespoke muffler based on this design.

    our unit has a sharp peak in the spectrum at 190 Hz. the wavelength corresponding to that frequency is about 6 feet. so the side branch would need to be 1.5 feet long. not sure whether i'd need to do this to the intake grill as well though.

    1. tgtech | | #113

      Hi - sorry to hear of your noise issue. I had the same problem. A new fan was a *little* quieter, but not much. My unit was a Nov 2021 manufacture date.

      Much of the noise is due to the compressor (at line frequency of ~60Hz and at a harmonic of ~120Hz) and some due to the fan (~185Hz) - see the PDF in my post #65 and sound abatement methods in #90. A tuned cavity (muffler) would probably help, but a lot of the noise comes out of the inlet on the top, too. You'd also need to consider the amount of air flow restriction. I sent the data to Rheem, but haven't heard anything.

      I don't think you can get to 49dBA - I got it down from 64dBA to 57dBA with some of the abatements I described which was a significant reduction, but it took a lot of time.

  44. rpertusio | | #115

    Rheem 80G ProXE80T10HS45U0 manufactured 08 March 2022, serial number starting Q1022 (10th week of 2022) doesn't seem to have an 'excessive' noise issue. I only have a GE GeoSpring to compare it to. I would consider the Rheem slightly less noisy than a GeoSpring.

    For those keeping track of Fan Model #'s, this one is:
    ebmpapst model W1G200-EC89-86 with a date code of 46/21 (46th week of 2021... mid-Nov?)

  45. Bluemoonkel | | #116

    I was wondering if anyone had updated info on the Rheem noise issue and whether Rheem has actually done anything practically with its more recent builds. I called to confirm whether their builds after March 2022 had addressed the underlying issue, but the rep could not confirm that any changes had been made. He also asked his supervisor and got the same response. Perhaps this is a "neither confirm nor deny" situation. Per my other thread I'm weighing the Rheem 65 gal vs Bradford White. Rheem is more efficient on paper than BW. The BW advertises 55 dBA vs Rheem's 49, but if the 49 isn't really accurate I might go with the BW because don't want to go through what many are describing here!

    1. fred_m | | #117

      My impression is that the Rheem noise issue was fixed for July 2021 built, came back for Sept 2021 built and then fixed again for Jan 2022 built (and afterward we would hope). You may check reviews in the Home Depot website to reflect the same observation. Will the issue come back again? No one knows.

      Having said so, you have a way better chance to get a less noisy Rheem than in 2021. However, If SMART WiFi control is not your main consideration then Bradford White is a safer choice. If SMART WiFi control is a major consideration (including cost and efficiency etc.) and you can install water heater by yourself, then you may try Rheem.

      1. jonathanb | | #126

        That's what I thought too, but ... no. It was not fixed in July. I thought so, and did a warranty replacement with a unit made in August. Same problem. And then I found out that the person who reported it had been fixed still had excessive noise, just not quite as excessive as the first time around. They gave up and decided to live with it.

        I've seen no real evidence that it has been fixed, only Rheem defining their sound performance down, and setting expectations that 49 dB -- which real customers used to get in their homes -- is not going to be achieved.

        Buy an AO Smith! Or try electric on-demand water heaters, if your electric panel can handle it.

  46. brad_rh | | #118

    From what I've read the Rheem won't operate on 100% heat pump mode? If that's true I'm not sure how it could be more efficient than the Bradford WH.

    1. rpertusio | | #119

      It will operate in Heat Pump mode.
      But the "energy saver" is mostly heat pump with pulses of resistance heat.

      In my (non scientific) electricity usage monitoring, the "pulses" of resistance heating only started occurring every 15 min (for about 1-2 min) only after the heat pump had been trying to reach desired temp for a while unsuccessfully.

      My guess is that running the heat pump at 300w all day is more costly than heat pump + pulsing occasionally with a 3000w resistance heat.

      1. brad_rh | | #120

        "My guess is that running the heat pump at 300w all day is more costly than heat pump + pulsing occasionally with a 3000w resistance heat."
        I don't think so. I don't see how pulsing resistance can ever be more efficient. It will heat the water faster though.
        I'm pretty sure the Bradford White is what used to be GE which is what I have. It doesn't ever run all day, or use the resistance heat.
        I had to by a wifi dongle, & use IFTTT to schedule it though, so if Rheem has that built in that's a big plus. I would hope that BW would have that by now since so many utilities are going to time-of-use rates.

        1. rpertusio | | #121

          Brad, you're right. I can't imagine resistance heat would be any more efficient.

          Unfortunately, it seems the ECONET app & Manual are 'wrong'. (Or there's more to the energy usage than meets the eye.)

          ECONET App: If I set it to "Heat Pump" mode, it pops an Alert that I should set to Energy Saving mode for the most efficiency.

          Manual says:
          Electric: Very Low Efficiency, Fast Recovery
          Heat Pump: High Efficiency, Very Slow Recovery
          High Demand: Low Efficiency, Very Fast Recovery
          Energy Saver: Very High Efficiency, Fast Recovery
          Vacation: Very High Efficiency, No Recovery

          (See attached manual image)

          1. brad_rh | | #123

            If you have some way to measure electric consumption it would make for an interesting test

          2. etiennef | | #201

            I just installed mine a few weeks ago,
            I cant tell if Energy Saver does use the resistive elements, but it would make sense according to the description where it says the recovery is fast, the only way to have a fast recovery is by using the resistive elements.
            Also, I noticed that when on Energy Saver, the unit does allow the temperature to go down quite a bit (just by touching the water, haven't measured it yet). And then when there's a big demand in water the Heat Pump and the elements kicks in. But we did have a few evenings when there was a few showers back to back where the last shower was getting cold, the unit wasn't fast enough to recover.
            When in Heat Pump mode, it will ONLY use the heat pump, BUT it will maintain the temperature at the requested set point (and not allow it to go down too much).
            My solution, I set a schedule where it's always on Energy Saver. (temp does go down). But an hour before everyone gets home, I set it to Heat Pump which instantly triggers the Heat Pump and almost reach the set temperature as the evening shower parade starts.
            So far so good, I'm getting a very low energy consumption, and never had a cold shower since.

      2. walta100 | | #124

        When I read Rheem’s patent it was clear the resistance element may operate in every mode.

        First there is a “min temp” for the water tank if the tank falls below that undisclosed number the resistance element will be use to being up the temp of the tank above the min number regardless of the mode selected.

        The patent made it clear that the other mode would turn on the resistance element if for any reason the heat pump fails to bring the tank up to the set temp after some amount of undisclosed time. In the electric mode the time limit is zero. We can only guess at the rest but “high demand” would have a short timer, “energy saver” would be longer, “heat pump” would be even longer. From the wording “no recovery” we might guess the “vacation mode may not use the element.

        You will note Rheem was very carful not to say “heat pump only” mode.

        I do not own this Rheem product but I do operate a Rheem heat pump to heat my home. I feel the Rheem engineers have written my HPs programing in ways that will maximize comfort at the expense of efficiency. I would suspect they made similar choices when they wrote this software.

  47. bjarthur | | #122

    i have a rheem manufactured in 9/2021 and it is 60 dB at chest height a meter away and the sound is a 190 Hz tone. a friend has a GE geospring manufactured in 7/2016 and it is 50 dB and white noise. we have complained up a storm about the noise and fortunately our installer is going to replace it for free with a regular electric one.

    one way to check if you can handle the noise before purchasing one is to figure out a way to play a 190 Hz tone from a speaker and then adjust the volume until it is 60 dB as measured with your phone. then go to the living areas and see if it's bearable. i wish we had done this.

    1. jonathanb | | #127

      Agree the noise is horrible. We have ours set to electric during waking hours, and heat pump at night. But at the opposite end of the house, if we're not already asleep when it kicks on, it has an unpleasant whine to it.

      We're getting no energy savings with this unit. We've replaced the fan once, and the whole unit twice, and it's been no use. At this point, we're saving up money for an AO Smith. 51 dB would be wonderful.

  48. welrgjqpelrmgwkmf | | #128

    Following this thread with great interest! We ordered a 65 gallon and just installed it this past week.

    It is loud, 64 db at 3 feet from the unit at the top. It’s installed in a corner of the garage that backs up to a bedroom. Sound is noticeable inside (42 db on, and 30 db off 3 feet from the wall). I have garage cabinets that form a wall on the third side so only 36 inches of the bedroom wall is exposed to heater noise. I was careful to not have wall contact to the heater to keep vibration from the house.

    I feel the fan is too powerful for the unit, and probably over-spec’d for excessive ducting capability which we won’t do unless it gets too cold in the garage in the winter. It may be a 2 speed fan but I have not heard it on low, and have never seen any condensate in 10 days (not a teaspoon). The whooshing from the fan is annoying even in the garage. In the bedroom a pulsing sound (6 pulses in 4 seconds) is also noticeable on top of the low hum

    The unit is a XE65T10H45U0, manufactured in Mexico 15 Mar 2022.

    The fan is ebm papst W1G200-EC59-86 and I find no info when I search for it. I did find info for the W1G200-EC91-45 which some have reported receiving. It shows a 1500/2100 min/max rpm. Anyone have an idea how to force the fan to the lower speed?

    I wonder if all the models are manufactured in the same place?

    I also had a very difficult time connecting the app. Which works well, not that I got it connected.

    After I get the permit signed off, I will try some noise mitigation efforts similar to those of tgtech and maybe call Rheem.

    If you are considering putting one of these where the noise will bother you, beware. I don’t think they have corrected the issue(s)!

    The heater works well. I even installed a recirc system which turns on 6 -15 minute periods from 7 AM to 6 PM, and I can see it is triggering the compressor.

    The old 50 gal gas heater was over 20 years old, and we have solar (free electric) so I expect to trim $300 to 400 off my gas bill.

  49. CharlieO123 | | #129

    Hi all, I’m hoping to get some guidance here though I realize that this may simply not be possible.
    I have a 918 sq ft house on the north shore of LI, a 30-35 yr old Utica boiler with an aqua booster (John Wood). The aqua booster is showing rust and it’s time to replace. I’d like to move towards a hybrid water heater, and would have done so already if not for the noise issue with the Gen5 Rheem (looking at the pro/non- Home Depot version).

    I called Rheem a week or so ago, and was told that I might get a good one or a bad one, and if a bad one, they’ll send a replacement fan (nothing else). The unit is on concrete slab so I assume that isolation feet won’t matter. I was also told that there won’t be a build-date after which they’ve fixed this, and no answer as to when the Gen-6 will come out. I’m surprised they seem to be so casual about this, and that despite the noise concern, everybody seems to still want the Rheem.
    I read that the trade off with the Gen-6 being 120V is lower 1st-hour ratings, and since I’ll have someone installing this for me, I don’t see 120V as being of much benefit to me. Not sure what else might have been improved, but you’d have to expect the noise issue will be a primary focus.

    I’m assuming that the Stiebel-Eltron has gone up in price as much as everything else so that’s still not an option.
    A while back I had gotten a good price from a local plumber on a Bradford White Hybrid, but at that time, they had installed a total of 1 of these, so I wasn’t inclined to go with them.

    I’d hate to buy a Rheem and find that I can’t stand the noise, I found my old SPL meter so I’m going to look into that. Someone somewhere noted the specific/dominant frequency of the noise, hopefully I can find a test CD or something on YouTube to duplicate that. My basement seems pretty well isolated sound-wise, and the boiler room is on the far end of the house, under the living room but away from the bedrooms.

    Does anyone have any suggestions besides the Gen-5 Rheem? Would you consider going back to a Gen-4?
    I believe that the main difference with the 5 is a bit more efficiency, a lot more noise, and an app. Is the app the main draw of the Gen-5 Rheem? I’m not sure the benefit of the app, I had assumed I’d set this to the most efficient setting and leave it at that.
    Are you running it when the house is empty because of the noise? (ironic) Maybe at night when rates are down?

    Anyway, thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have.

    1. brad_rh | | #132

      Consider the Bradford White. It doesn't appear to have an app though.

    2. sorka95032 | | #138

      The Gen 5 is not more efficient than the Gen 4. There is no option going to a Gen 4. They are not available anywhere. The Gen 4 is built like a tank. High quality solid and quite unit with integrated ducting collars built in. There's nothing better about the Gen 5 over the Gen 4.

      1. aunsafe2015 | | #140

        Gotta love it when the "next gen" product is worse in every way from the previous gen!

      2. walta100 | | #141

        “The Gen 5 is not more efficient than the Gen 4.”

        Sorka I am not sure this statement is true. As I recall Rheem did not begin to claim a UEF of 4 until after the gen 5 was released.

        If you have a chart listing the UEFs of by generation please post a link to it.

        Walta

        1. sorka95032 | | #146

          https://web.archive.org/web/20190202081215/https://www.rheem.com/products/residential/water-heating/hybrid/

          The Gen 4 ALWAYs claimed UEF of 4.

          Even the current Gen 5 claims 3.45 to 4.00 depending on the gen 5 model that you pick. No different than the Gen 4.

  50. PatrickH | | #131

    I use mine on a schedule because like many others here, the noise is loud and annoying.

    I have mine installed in my garage last year I. march 2021. I can hear the fan noise thru the wall into my adjacent family room. Right above my garage is my son’s room where the noise resonates and is hard for him to go to sleep. The noise is almost as loud in his room compared to the garage.

    I’ve schedule mine on heat pump only from 9am-9pm at 125 degrees. Outside of the ON schedule, the unit is set to 120 degrees and OFF. I have the 80 gal version. 3 out of 4 family members take showers in the evening. I do take a shower as well, after playing tennis a few days during the week, in the evenings. Most days, I only take a shower in the mornings around 520am. Therefore, a few days out of the work week, I’m taking a shower at night and then another shower the following morning typically when the unit is not scheduled to run or be on.

    The hot water that remains in the tank after 9pm is still very hot by 520am the next morning. We’ve noticed that with our 80 gal unit, there is enough hot water for 7 showers and the 8th being a bit cold. We only noticed this when one of us gets caught with the cold shower because for some reason the water heater schedule never came on the day before. So to remedy this, I do check the app daily.

    Another reason why I run it from 9am-9pm is we have solar. I noticed that the heat pump in the unit adds about .4kwH to the current house load. Not too bad. It’s not too much electricity and my solar panels can keep up. When the sun goes down, my Tesla Powerwall can easily keep up allowing for the hybrid water to still run. I’ve also noticed that the unit kicks on at 9am and runs to about 12 noon and then the tank is full of hot water. Even though I set the schedule from 9am-9pm, the unit isn’t always on the whole 12 hours. It shuts off when it is filled and turns on when it senses a demand.

    The scheduling makes the fan noise tolerable. The fan noise is intolerable when the household starts to go to bed and there is less noise around to mix with the fan noise when it is on.

    I hope this helps someone. Bottom line: there is plenty of insulation around the water tank that the hot water “made” is still hot 8-9 or more hours later.

    I really like the unit besides the noise. My solar runs it and this unit doesn’t cost me anything every month. Before going with solar, the unit was costing me about $1/day at about 3kwH electricity consumption per day. I live in Nor Cal.

    Patrick

    1. JoeNorthFork | | #133

      We were going to take a chance on the 80 gallon Rheem pro model from a plumbing supply house but they were on long back order. Ended up cancelling and going with the AO Smith. It's rated at 51 DB (quieter than the Bradford White), a couple inches greater diameter than the Rheem, similar features, but no app. Will report on performance after it is installed.

      1. jonathanb | | #134

        Wise choice! Rheem hasn't fixed the problem. The units range from loud to very loud, and apparently there are enough buyers who are not complaining, so they don't seem to have prioritized fixing the issue.

        Let us know how the AO Smith works out!

      2. tgtech | | #135

        Also interested to know of your experience with AO Smith. My utility just raised electricity rates and with ever increasing energy prices, I am glad I got the hybrid heater. I try to think of the noise as the heater telling me "here I go again, saving you money!" ... but having it yell is annoying ;)

  51. CharlieO123 | | #136

    Am I correct in thinking that if the app is not a concern, the quality of Rheem, AO Smith and Bradford White are all comparable? The way Rheem has dealt with this makes me question why I would give them my $.

    Just an FYI/ update: I spoke with Rheem again the other day, I'm told that all new units are coming with the new fan, and where I was told previously that Gen4's were still available this time I was told that they are not.

    1. sorka95032 | | #139

      They told me over a year ago that gen 4's were no longer available. I looked everywhere. I'd pay double to get a gen 4 over the gen 5. There are NO gen 4 complaints to be found anywhere.

  52. walta100 | | #137

    I think you will find Rheem water heaters 4.0 is the highest UEF rating for anything within 300% of its cost.

    Bradford white looks to be 3.48 so it uses 13% more energy.

    Walta

  53. bigred | | #142

    I am sure glad I got the Gen 4. I've had it about 2 1/2 years now and have had no issues. Just measured the noise level the other day and pegged 52 db just inches from the unit. It is really quiet. Hard to believe Rheem could screw this next gen so badly. BTW, the Gen 4 does come with the app.

    1. jonathanb | | #143

      My guess is they "updated" the design to reduce the cost and moved the manufacturing to a lower wage location. The quality has suffered. Is it only the sound level, or also the reliability that will be a problem? It looks like we'll have to wait for the Gen 6 for hope of a fix.

  54. walta100 | | #144

    Let’s not kick Rheem while they are down. If the competitive products could meet Rheem’s performance at its price point this thread would have gone silent long ago.

    Jonathan, I have seen no evidence of a move.

    My guess is Rheem went to a vapor injected compressor like the hyper heat mini’s use in an effort to get higher UEF numbers and it makes more noise.

    From reading the reports in this thread both the fan and the compressor seem be equally noisy on most units.

    Walta

  55. cloister | | #145

    There is a Gen 4 unit on display at one of my local big box stores. It's dusty and bolted down with L brackets but I've considered asking if they'd let me have it as an exchange for my Gen 5. I'd feel more generous towards Rheem if they were less evasive and more accountable about their noise issues.

  56. Mahreko | | #147

    I think there isn't much choice but for everyone, myself included, to just wait until they release a 6th gen unit. Can everyone participating in this thread keep their eyes peeled for a next-generation unit so we can get information on that as soon as possible? I am willing to buy a 6th gen unit when one comes out and provide my findings. Rheem appears to be the only option for me sadly due to wanting HomeAssistant integration, so all I can do is wait. I can handle 49db, not 60....

  57. fred_m | | #148

    A very interesting article to mitigate Rheem HPWH Noise:

    https://www.paloaltoonline.com/blogs/p/2022/05/22/what-to-do-if-you-get-a-noisy-rheemruud-heat-pump-water-heater

    Read the "Update!"... 3 layers of MLV... very tempting to try.

    1. jonathanb | | #149

      Great article! Unfortunately, much as I want to believe there's such a simple fix, I'm very skeptical that 3 layers of mass-loaded vinyl will reduce the noise to 48 dB.

      If you look at the photo, they wrapped MLV around the side of the compressor area, but there's nothing to stop sound from going straight up -- which others have pointed out is the loudest direction -- or outward in the direction of the exhaust vent. Sound radiates in all directions and flows like water.

      Even if the compressor emitted no sound from the side walls of the water heater, I measure 64 dB coming straight out of the exhaust vent on my unit. (And yes, I've replaced the fan already.) The MLV will do nothing to stop that sound. At minimum, I'd also suggest putting insulated flex duct on both the intake and outtake to try to block at least a little of the noise. I already have a duct on the exhaust, and at best it reduces the noise to 60-62 dB.

      My skepticism is based on my own experience hiring professionals to do soundproofing using MLV, QuietRock drywall, Safe and Sound mineral wool insulation, and Green Glue. I hired them to soundproof an outdoor heat pump compressor near our bedroom. The outdoor unit is only 55 dB -- much quieter than the Rheem water heater that's inside the walls of our house. I have some leftover MLV from that project that I could strap on exactly like in the picture, if only to rule out the possibility that it miraculously works.

      I really do want to believe! If anyone finds a magical solution and verifies it, please share.

    2. sorka95032 | | #164

      I was just coming here to post that!!!! :)

  58. jacktheknife | | #150

    I'm new to Rheem hybrid water heater. Just went for it because my oil burn water heater started to leak. After a month of usage what I can say that the app is a meh and noise making by it is getting started to be annoying.

    I have average 67dB about 6 feet away, mostly from the intake, but most annoying sound is kind of a hum/buzz which I can hear around the house and even outside. The pitch of it is about 190Hz. No clue if that comes from a fan or a compressor so my question is how can I do that test running the unit w/o fan to check what is the source of the noise before I will call Rheem tech support. My unit was manufactured end of Jan 2022.

    1. tgtech | | #151

      Jack - Even if you tell Rheem you've found the source, they will only offer to replace the fan which is only one contributor. You could simply turn off the heater, put a dowel in the fan grill to prevent the fan from turning, turn on the heater and hear/measure the compressor. Blocking the fan for a very short time probably won't hurt anything, but that is your call ... What you'll find is most of the compressor noise is at 120Hz and the fan at 190Hz.

      I've read every post in this (long) thread and there is no "magic" answer nor any apparent manufacturing breakthroughs from Rheem, but with some effort you could reduce the sound somewhat. See my posts #65 and #90.

      Good luck!

      1. Dewnay | | #152

        Has any conclusion been reached as to which of the two replacement evaporator fans, the "AP20519 - FAN MOTOR PREMIUM" or the "AS48782 - ASSY BALL BEARING FAN MOTOR" is quieter? My fan went out yesterday leaving just the compressor running. I called Rheem HPWH Support this morning and they are overnighting a new fan. They assured me that I was receiving the "improved" version. When I received my packing list email, I saw that they were sending an AP20519.

        I noticed that on the parts.rheem.com website the AP20519 lists for $120 while the AS48782 lists for $75. Both are in stock. So cost would not be a reason for sending the AP20519.

        My current fan is an ebmpapst model W1G200-EC91-84A. The build date of my XE80T10H45U0 is 18NOV2021 and it was installed on May 28, 2022.

        BTW, with the compressor only running, I measured 49-50 db right at the outlet. When the fan was working, I measured around 57 db three feet from the outlet. That's not as loud as some people are reporting so I'm wondering if my original fan was an "improved" version.

        Thanks!

        1. Dewnay | | #155

          Just received the AP20519 replacement fan. It is a ebmpapst model W1G200-EC89-86. I'll provide an update if it is quieter than the original fan.

          1. glebonator | | #156

            How is it? I just got a replacement fan of the same model number... manufactured 33/21.

            Did yours come with random metallic clips on some parts of the fan? They are somewhat loose, are these supposed to be taken off or are they for balancing the weight somehow? Two are on the leading edge of the blade lol

          2. Dewnay | | #159

            Hi glebonator,

            I believe those metallic clips are used to balance the fan blades so do not remove them. My fan had a lot more clips than yours.

            If you are replacing the fan yourself, please note that the instructions are incorrect. In step 10, it says to "Remove the screws from around the bottom of the outside of the cabinet. This is where the top meets the tank." Step 11 says to "Carefully lift the top off of the water heater." There should be an additional step between 10 and 11 that says to remove the screws at the top of the cover otherwise it is impossible to lift it off.

            I found that the new fan reduced the amount of noise by a couple of db to around 55. Better but not to spec.

          3. glebonator | | #161

            I can't reply to your other comment for some reason, so doing it here.

            Thanks for the instructions and letting me know about the clips, I actually got nothing with the fan, it was sitting there naked and alone in a cardboard box, even looking used lol.

            I'm waiting to get their foam kit just to do everything at once, so given that there wasn't even a shipping notification for that that's likely backordered...

          4. Dewnay | | #162

            I asked about the foam kit and the vibration kit and they said that both were out of stock and backordered.

      2. jacktheknife | | #153

        OK, I have tried to do that - put a pencil to stop the fan but it looks like compressor will not run w/o fan when is "jammed" so it must to have some security measurements on the board. I did not heard anything from working compression even I have heard "click" to star the heat pump.

        1. walta100 | | #160

          JackTheKnife Did you read post #43 about how to enter the test mode and run the fan and compressor one at a time?

          Walta

          1. jacktheknife | | #163

            Yeah, it goes into "lock mode" not to run fan only.

  59. CharlieO123 | | #157

    I'm wondering if anyone has returned the Rheem and replaced it with AO Smith?
    I'm on the verge of ordering the AO Smith, but would hate to find out it's about as loud and I don't have the ability to run it while I'm at work. AO Smith also offers no sound level spec.

    While reviews of both units report both 'quiet' and 'loud' sound levels, the AO Smith seems biased towards 'quiet' while the Rheem is biased towards 'loud' (besides being the subject of forum threads such as this one...).

  60. here_to_learn_more | | #158

    My brother has a Bradford White HPWH. He installed it a years ago when they first came out for his all electric home. He has never complained about the sound, and I have never heard it when visiting.

  61. CharlieO123 | | #165

    So I finally moved forward with this and had an AO Smith FPTU-50 installed. I would have gone for the HPTU with the 10 year warranty but I needed to get this done and the HPTU was not readily available. According to AO Smith, the units are identical down to the anode and glass lining (I believe that the Rheem is not glass lined.)

    When I first heard it running I asked: "is that it?" Noise was not bad at all.
    I did read the following: 6': 54-56 db; 3': 60-62; 1': 68 db.
    The heater is is the basement on the other side of my small 918 sq ft house, so I don't hear it from the bedroom.
    My living room is directly above it, my couch is 8-10 feet away. From the couch, I hear a slight bit of noise, standing directly over the unit, it can hear a whooshing sound which would be noticeable if I had to sit directly above it.

    What I'd like to do now is minimize how often my 35 year old boiler turns on just to maintain temp in the middle of summer. It has a Honeywell L7224U and the HL is set to 180, LL is at 160. These can be set as low as 130 and 110 respectively: I assume this would reduce oil consumption during the summer, but is it safe/advisable to do?
    I'm guessing that all other settings stay the same.

    I was told that I could probably turn the boiler off during the summer, but it was suggested that if this didn't result in the interior rusting, it would be tough on the seals, and leaks would probably result.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated, and thanks for the feedback.

    1. charlie_sullivan | | #166

      With the HP water heater in the same space as the boiler, you will have reduced humidity and lower risk of rust. How low, I don't know, but I think it's worth the risk.

      1. CharlieO123 | | #171

        Good point, thanks Charlie.

  62. user-2310254 | | #167

    Has anyone heard about big price increases from Rheem? Because of the noise issue, I’ve been holding out for a 2022 50 gallon unit. Well, it’s finally here, and the plumber’s supplier is quoting a price that is close to double previous models. I was prepared to accept the outrageous cost until the delivery guy handed me a copy of the invoice, which showed the HPWH priced at around $1800. Something seems fishy, no?

  63. greenright | | #168

    Just installed an 80 gallon ProTerra in the basement.

    It is virtually silent to the point I need to be 10 feet or less next to it to determine if it is running. I bought it from the big orange store about a month ago.

    1. jonathanb | | #169

      When the compressor and fan aren't running, it is virtually silent, it's true. Is it also quiet when both are running?

      1. aunsafe2015 | | #170

        Since he said he needs to be right next to it to "determine if it is running," I assume he means that it is very quiet even when both are running.

        Regardless, until there are widespread reports of reasonably quiet units, or until Rheem itself acknowledges the problem and says that it has been fixed, I'll be very skeptical that there's a fix, and I'll just assume a few units here and there got lucky and are quiet. I would not risk it with a Rheem at this point, personally.

    2. [email protected] | | #172

      Can you tell us what the manufacturing date of your unit is?

      I have a Proterra 80 gallon that we just installed yesterday but manufactured in 02 2021 (ordered in December 2021, very long installation delay) that is quite loud (70db about a foot above) and 60-62db 3 feet away on the sides.

      It’s not as horrible as some other have described, but still nowhere near the promised 49db.

      I had a rather smooth experience with Rheem technical support who initiated a replacement authorization in a few minutes. They told me the issue has been resolved for the 2022 units.

      Going through the thread, it definitely seems like it was hit or miss in 2022 as well and some units are even louder than mine.

      I just want to increase the odds of getting a better unit if I go through with the replacement.

      Thanks

      1. user-2310254 | | #174

        My recently installed Rheem Professional 50 gallon was manufactured on March 26, 2022. With my Radio Shack sound meter, I measure 58-59 dB at about 3 feet from the air intake. At approximately 6 feet distance, I measure around 54 dB. Fortunately, the noise is not generally noticeable from inside the house.

        1. jacktheknife | | #175

          Recently I have called support because after switching back from vacation mode unit got louder and they have told me to measure noise from 30 ft away :D

          1. [email protected] | | #177

            I guess it really depends on who you talk to. I had a total of less than 30 mins of discussion over 2 calls with the same technician at service support before they authorized an exchange. Are you thinking about asking for a new unit at this point? Yours already seemed to be on the high side without the increase in noise.

  64. tgtech | | #173

    I wouldn't bet much on it actually being "resolved" - I haven't seen any mention of what Rheem has done to resolve the issue for 2022 units. I'd love to see a list of the specific changes they made to reduce noise. Have they changed the compressor make/model? Added more sound insulation to the compressor? Implemented a variable (vs fixed) speed fan? Changed the fan design/make/model? Changed the compressor mounting vibration isolation mounts? Other changes?

  65. utah_matt | | #176

    I am building my home now and need to buy a water heater in 4 months. I wanted a Rheem but this thread is scary. AO Smith my best option? Thanks!

    1. aunsafe2015 | | #178

      Steibel Eltron also makes one. Don't think I've seen any specific reports of its noise levels, although I do think the company generally has a good reputation.

    2. user-2310254 | | #179

      If you are building a new house, try to place the mechanical room in an area that is as far away from the bedrooms as possible. I'd also consider installing a solid door that seals well and insulating the walls. If none of those steps are practicable, I'd probably avoid any of the current HPWH and instead install a Rheem Marathon. If not as efficient as a HPWH, but it's completely silent.

  66. Jim | | #180

    I recently had a Rheem 50 HPWH installed in my water heater closet in my garage with the vibration isolation kit. The sticker on it shows July 1, 2022 for manufacturer date. The db reading next to it by outlet vent is around 65 db. Since the closet is smaller then the recommended 700 cu feet, I have a louvered door on this closet. The db reading on the outside of the closed louvered door is about 55 db, which is about 2 feet from the outlet vent. In my house on the other side of the insulated wall, I am seeing a 35-40 db reading. It is a faint humming. I can not hear it in any other room. So inside my house the noise is not an issue. In the garage it seems tolerable for now, but of course it does not run very long in the summer. Maybe that will change in winter. I am using the energy saving mode.

    1. [email protected] | | #181

      Hi Jim,

      Have you tried to measure the sound above the HPWH?

      Do you know if it's a 5t h or 6th gen Rheem?

      If it is a 6th gen, it doesn't seem like they fixed the issue. It might be better, but it' still far from the 50 db right beside the unit from 4th gen Rheem HPWH.

      1. Jim | | #182

        I think this is 5th generation. It is a 30A model: not the new 15A model. The model number on the label is PROPH50 T2 RH375-30.

        It is around 65 dB at the top inlet.

        1. [email protected] | | #187

          Would you mind sharing the first 4 digits of your serial number? My retailer received my replacement HPWH manufactured on the 28th week of 2022, I’m thinking of asking them to return it and get a newer one if it’s close to yours, which it should be.

          Thanks!

  67. charles3 | | #183

    Following.

  68. baraider | | #184

    Anyone has any update on the noise of the heatpump? They have a new version come out with 15A plug so I wonder if there is any difference in noise.

    1. walta100 | | #185

      I would not expected the 240 volt 15 amp models heat pump to be much different than the 30 amp model only the backup heater are different.

      There is a 120 volt model coming but it is aimed at being a replacement for a gas heaters and being able to operate from an existing outlet in order to avoid running new wires and or panel upgrades.

      https://www.rheem.com/water-heating/articles/rheem-proterra-plug-in-heat-pump-water-heaters-designed-for-easy-gas-unit-replacement-2/

      Walta

  69. shade00 | | #186

    I'm very interested in the new 120v dedicated circuit model. On the spec sheet Rheem lists a 55 dba sound level. They do not list the sound level for the 120v shared circuit plug-in model. I want to replace my natural gas water heater but sound is a big concern for me since my current water heater sits in essentially a utility closet between kitchen and living room. It's actually right beside the air handler for my Mitsubishi heat pump (SVZ-KP30NA) but I don't want anything insanely loud there. It appears these units are too new to have any reviews or information yet. They also state for ambient air > 37 in January; since mine would pull air from conditioned living space, I'm thinking it would probably be fine despite living on the Front Range in Colorado.

    1. Thor2022 | | #189

      Shadeoo, we installed a Rheem hybrid hot water heater yesterday in a hot water closet off of our kitchen, in the center of our house. The unit is so loud you can hear it from upstairs and outside. It is as loud as a hair dryer. This isn't going to work for us.

      1. user-5946022 | | #195

        @Thor2022: Is the unit you installed a 120v or a 240v?

      2. shade00 | | #197

        I'm assuming this is the current model, not the new 120v plug-in model?

  70. Thor2022 | | #188

    Yesterday my wife and I replaced our old hot water heater with a Rheem hybrid. The hot water closet is located off of a hallway next to our kitchen in the center of our house. I turn the unit on and the heat pump turned on and the noise was like that of a loud hair dryer. The water closet is in the center of the first floor of our house. Yet you could hear the noise from upstairs and outside. Trying to talk in the kitchen was like trying to talk to somebody above the noise of an idling Harley Davidson motorcycle.

    Rheem, this hot water heater was not ready for release to the public. I'm going to contact Rheem on Monday for a refund.

    1. aunsafe2015 | | #191

      Very disappointing to here. My conclusion remains that if you are in the market for a heat pump hot water heater, Rheem is unfortunately the absolute last brand you should pick if you care at all about noise. It still seems to be a lottery, with most people losing.

      1. DCContrarian | | #192

        I have an AO Smith and it can be heard in every room of a four-bedroom house.

        1. aunsafe2015 | | #196

          Wow, so perhaps just as bad as Rheem? Seems like in the 2018-2020 or so era, people were impressed by how quiet the Rheems were. Has everything just gone down hill?

          I'd like to hear a first hand report on the noise level of the Steibel-Eltrons but I don't think anybody on this forum owns one (or at least, has never reported on it).

          1. DCContrarian | | #198

            In fairness, in my old house I had a direct vent natural gas heater that was objectively louder. But it ran a lot less. And there's something about the quality of the sound of a heat pump that is more intrusive.

          2. DCContrarian | | #199

            I just downloaded a quickie smart phone noise meter and at a distance of 5 ft it reads 60 db.

          3. DCContrarian | | #200

            To put that number in perspective, using the same meter I get 31 db as the background noise level of my house. When the outdoor heat pump is running it's about 35 db.

            I live fairly close to National Airport, and when the weather conditions are right we sometimes get air traffic above. Planes will typically be under 3,000 ft on their approach. This morning I measured a 747 directly overhead at 37 db. A helicopter at a few hundred feet was 60 db. So yeah, I have a quiet house. And the water heater is like having a helicopter a few hundred feet overhead.

            Keep in mind this is an uncalibrated smartphone meter.

  71. fred_m | | #190

    It would be very difficult to get a quiet operation of the heat pump water heater if the closet is in the center of your house.

    If you had a professional installer, you should have been warned about the noise level.

    My experience with the HPWH started in August 2021. First unit buzzed more than half of the 2-story house though the water heater is in garage on the first floor (message #23).

    Then in March 2022, I got a replacement from Rheem and added the vibration isolation kit ( message #108), which improved the noise level by 6-7 dBA both in the garage and inside the house across a wall from the water heater.

    Last Friday, I followed the article (https://www.paloaltoonline.com/blogs/p/2022/05/22/what-to-do-if-you-get-a-noisy-rheemruud-heat-pump-water-heater) to wrap the top portion of the water heater with one layer of this MLV ( the 3/8 inch, 9 sf roll) (https://www.secondskinaudio.com/specials/b-stock/b-stock-mlv). The noise level in the garage remains the same. However, inside the house, the noise level reduced from 44 dBA to 38 dBA.

  72. tgtech | | #193

    I follow this thread, but it is getting too long and unwieldy.
    There are some really helpful gems in the almost 200 posts, but they are getting harder to find and I doubt people read most of them. It is also clear many people have put hours of time and money into this issue and were gracious enough to provide links, analyses and potential solutions.
    This thread is the #1 hit when googling "noisy rheem hybrid water heater"
    The website admin could consider creating a TLDR up top with a summary of "issues" "potential solutions" pointing to specific post numbers to help readers.
    Just my 2 cents.

    1. Expert Member
      AKOS TOTH | | #194

      Tgtech,

      You make an excellent point. It also detailed technical analysis and testing such as the one you provided are the things that make this site so informative.

  73. StephenSheehy | | #203

    In early October, we had a 50 gallon Ruud Hybrid Heat Pump WH installed in our mechanical/laundry room. Noise isn't bad at all. If we mostly close the door to the room (cat's litter box is in the room) it's noticeable, but really not a bother.
    I think Ruud is either owned by Rheem owns it. The unit looks a lot like the Rheems I've seen.
    So far, we're happy with it. It uses around 2kwh per day.

  74. walta100 | | #204

    Stephen would you consider down loading one of the sound level apps and posting your readings. The sound being not bad is subjective the apps are not calibrated but any real data is useful.

    Also post the date of manufacture from your unit.

    Walta

    1. StephenSheehy | | #205

      Walta: Date of manufacture is 3/18/2022.
      At around five feet from the WH, reading is 60 db. Our TV/office/ guest room shares a wall with the room the WH is in, but doesn't have a common door. In that room, you can't hear the WH at all, db reading of 40. There's just two of us, so the heat pump isn't on that much anyway. It's certainly tolerable.
      I looked it up and Rheem and Ruud are owned by the same company. The manual that came with the unit has Rheem as the manufacturer.

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