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Taco relay loud constant buzz! help!

someone Member Posts: 12

I am a woman who has very little knowledge about this kind of thing, and I often even get the wording of some of it wrong. Had to preface with that, incase I say some of the things wrong ( such as relay box and transformer which is what I think I am talking about).

So, I posted a couple months ago on here that we are building a new house and we had an oil boiler installed with a taco relay box. The taco box has a loud constant buzz sound that drives me absolutely crazy. I am sound sensitive, but this is beyond that- it is so loud I can hear it constantly throughout the whole downstairs.

So, Joe from taco kindly responded and sent me a replacement box. Joe, if you are reading this we are finally having that installed tomorrow and then I can send you back the other one- and thanks again.

Now, to my question. We move in in a few weeks, and I anticipate that the new relay box will be a little quieter but not at all quiet enough to be silent as I want it.

On my other thread some people gave some ideas on how to make it quieter but I was confused by what people were saying.  The last three houses I lived in had a taco box and I guess it is the transformer in it that buzzes-- so they all buzz way too loud for me. But in our new house it I located right under the living room and is extra loud!

So can people please tell me in the simplest terms some things I can do to fix this?

-is there a brand of relay box that is quieter than the taco ?

-if I go with the taco, what can I do to make it quieter? someone said something about putting a rubber something somewhere- I tried to explain it to my plumber but wasn't clear.

can someone give me clear ideas I can relay to my contractors on how to quiet it?

-also, can I have it locate somewhat away from the wall or something like that so the sound transfers less?

-also, what specifically can I use to soundproof it? I mean we could build a soundproof box around it- and what would be the best thing to use?

I literally sit in my living room and hear "buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" constantly and it drives me nuts!

Like I said I hope the new one is quieter but I doubt it will be much quieter and I need to do all I can to make my new house a peaceful haven of quiet!



  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,239
    Glad Joe helped you!

    If you can install it on a concrete wall, that will help. Or stick a piece of foam board behind it. Or put a little dab of silicone on the circuit board mounting posts.

    Maybe the new one won't hum :-)

    You'll know soon!

  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Buzzed up:

    Your Plumber/Heater should have some convex rubber faucet washers. If not, you can buy a cheap universal set at any hardware store. Have the electrician install the rubber bumper/faucet washers between the box and the wood. The rubber washers will act as vibration dampers. I personally would use two on each screw with a flat washer on the inside between the head of the screw and the washer. Try to make all the vibration go through the washers and isolate the vibration from the screw and wood. That's worked for me.

    You'll always get a "Humm" out of a transformer. Once you become aware of it and it bothers you, its hard to get it out of your head. On the Taco boxes, sometimes the vibration comes from the cover. A competent person that cares and takes the time should be able to get it quiet.

  • Joe Mattiello
    Joe Mattiello Member Posts: 707

    Hi Katya

    I hope all is well.  I was a surprised to see this post this morning about a noisy relay box.  As you know, I took your concern seriously, and responded with an offer to replace the control with a new one to analyze the noisy one. 

    It's common for the transformer laminates to produce a noise that would be considered unacceptable if your within a certain radius of the transformer.   The control board in your home, could have a transformer that is beyond the typical decibel acceptable level, so I sent out a replacement, and asked you to return the faulty one for evaluation. 

    Apparently, the control I sent out on 3-11 2014 is waiting for installation, before offering some relief from the constant humming.  I also mentioned transformers do hum, at approximately 2 times the frequency; so a 60 hz transformer hums at 120 hz, and where the control is mounted could exasperate the hum resulting in an unfavorable hum.

    The main issue is you’re not comfortable sitting in your home with the noisy transformer, so I had one tested and sent it out to you to replace the one you have.  Having said that lets, change them out, and then we can have another conversation.  For your reference I provided a link to a tutorial I found on line, which gives a good expiation of why transformers hum.

    Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  thanks your patience while we resolve this issue.

    Joe Mattiello
    N. E. Regional Manger, Commercial Products
    Taco Comfort Solutions
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Rubber vibration dampers:

    And be sure to have the electrician install rubber vibration isolation dampers when they install the box.

    The last house I had, I had built in 2000. All the others, I did completely myself. From the time I moved in, I could hear a Hum on occasion. I could never find it. Years later, it started to bother me so I went looking for it. I found it buried above the ceiling insulation in the cellar. It was for a doorbell. It was screwed to a joist. I put faucet washers between it and the joist and I never heard it again. I did the same for many customers over the years. Whether they complained or not. If it bothered me, I fixed it.

    Cheap good will advertising.
  • someone
    someone Member Posts: 12
    still humming just as loud

    my plumber installed the new box and it is just as loud- he just installed it yesterday. I just emailed him these suggestions on this thread ( again) an dneed to see what he says. I also asked if the electricians would be better suited to it. IT is nuts- the sound is so loud I hear it throughout the downstairs- I hate it!

    It feels like this impossible task to get someone to silence the darn thing . .  ..
  • someone
    someone Member Posts: 12

    I think you guys were suggesting something like this:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_7819729_eliminate-buzzing-electrical-transformers.html is that right?

    Should this be done by an electrician rather than the plumber? or can either person do it and what percentage of sound reduction can I expect? Even a 50% sound reduction would be good--- I plan to eventually put some sort of soundproofing panels in between the whole heating system and the floor above it at some point ( once I figure out what I need to do) but I need to get the relay box quieter asap before we move in if I can. I emailed this to the builder and plumber and will speak to the electrician about it too.
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766

    That'll do it .  As far as soundproofing the first floor from the basement , you may want to take a 2 pronged approach . Ask if it is possible to while insulating the basement ceiling upgrade that insulation to Roxul R-23 Batt , this will also afford you a decent fire resistance along with acting as a sound barrier .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    That might work.

    That might work. Sounds complicated.

    My pea sized brain says to first take the offending control box off and put a convex faucet waster or as many as I needed to isolate the humming metal box from the screws and wood. Any inquisitive mind should be able to do it. Often, it just takes putting a finger on the box to see if it gets quieter or noisier and doing whatever it takes to make it quieter.
  • bill nye_3
    bill nye_3 Member Posts: 307
    I don't understand...

    I don't understand why SOMEONE doesn't install the new relay that Joe from Taco sent on  3-11-2014 ?  It looks to me like the manufacturer stepped up and went out of his way to offer help . Wouldn't Someone at least try the new part? Unless there is more to the story. I think a technician could fix this problem in about as much time as it took me to respond to this thread. ( I am a slow typist) 
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139

    Credit to taco ,when there is a problem they do step up.By the way when I install a boiler I have a boiler electrician do the wiring,plumber,heating tech,electrician etc no-one knows everything.Get a competent electrician to look at problem or else listen to what Icesailor has to say,he is one of the guys here who you should take advice from
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    All Buzzed Up:

    Ever notice the metal wire strings on an electric guitar? The noise comes from plucking the strings with your fingers or a pick. Which is the same as starting a transformer relay. If you screw the relay box to the wood with metal screws, and the screw is in direct contact with the metal box, it will transport the vibrations of the metal box into the wood framing. Kind of like what the resonator part of the guitar. Even if you put something like rubber, between the metal box and the wood, the sound will still travel through the screw head to the wood. You need to isolate the screw head from the box with a washer and faucet washer. Or else, the wood framing will act like a guitar box and resonate the sound throughout the building.

    It won't stop the vibration but it will seriously slow down the frequency hum being transferred into the wood. I did it all the time.