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Spirotop was causing the air handler to howl ??

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Dave Carpentier
Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
edited November 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
So I had a coupla years of our air handler howling but only when it was in heating mode (no a/c installed, but it didnt howl in just air blower mode). Heat output was fine.

Things I tried; cleaned blower fins, pressed on all the exterior panels, checked for air leaks, changed the rotor in the internal circulator.. nope still howls. I feared it was the rad clogging up.
This year I took the nearby 1/2" spirotop off (4 ft away). The tiny vent port was clogged. Disassembled the thing and cleaned it out nice.
The howling is gone.

So.. what was causing the howling ? The sound sure sounded like it was originating in the air handler. Was the clogged spirotop causing up a vibrating column of water that translated out to the air handler ?

30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
Currently in building maintenance.

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,394
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    New one on me. Inside that device I think some float disc hang on a wire rod, perhaps they were vibrating in an air pocket?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,157
    edited November 2022
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    This close to Halloween, We find all kinds of Ghost Flow problems, so Howling might not be so far off from the normal operation for this time of year.
    This post was not intended to be at all helpful

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    Grallert
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,157
    edited November 2022
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    Okay, here is the helpful post. Think about what might be different between operating the fan only and operating the fan with heat in the coil. The first thing that comes to my mind is expansion of something. when heated the coil is a fraction of an inch larger in a couple of directions. Is there a chance that there is a grommet that seals the hot water coil pipes that enters the air handler? Will that fraction of an inch cause the grommet to allow for a whistle, or vibration to increase in volume? Does the coil detach internally on the mounting inside the air handler or ductwork enough to cause the air flow around the perimeter of the coil to bypass without the noise, then close up enough to restrict air flow to cause the noise?

    Although it may not look as nice, I would think about mastic or mastic tape and painting all the joints seams and connections of the ductwork and pipe access. One step at a time. One seam at a time. eventually the noise will diminish and perhaps go completely away. If you seal up 10 places and it stops, you wont know which of the 10 were the actual cause. By doing them one at a time, you will pinpoint the cause. That way, if it comes back, you will know where to start.

    This reminds me of of another story... I'll post it in "You want to hear a good one?"

    Edit: I just read the last part of your post where it says "Howling is gone" ...SO,

    NEVERMIND




    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    Dave Carpentier