Should a hot water pump be this noisy?
July 28, 2009 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Should a hot water pump be this noisy?

I just moved into a new space and noticed a loud noise coming from the utility closet. There's a black pump mounted on top of the water heater making this noise. It runs for a few minutes at a time after I use the hot water for a bit. Im guessing this is the recirculation pump.

This thing is loud. Several times louder than the main HVAC fan. More than Im comfortable with. Is this normal with a pump like this? Ive lived with water heaters in the unit before but dont recall ever having this problem. Thanks.
posted by damn dirty ape to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Can you describe the noise, is it just a rythmic noise or is it grinding or rubbing?
Can you make a recording of it?

How big is the pump, I don't imagine it's very big but pumps in general are fairly noisy? Can you tell the model from a data plate?

Can you post a picture?

I spend too much time troubleshooting pumps
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:46 AM on July 28, 2009

The pump, if it is indeed the recirculating pump, should be well-nigh silent.
posted by notsnot at 11:48 AM on July 28, 2009

I can provide a photo and model info later tonight. Not sure how I would describe it. It just sounds like a loud industrial motor, not really grinding or anything.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:11 PM on July 28, 2009

Is the pump hooked up to the water heater's exhaust pipe, or to the actual water lines themselves? Some water heaters have an exhaust blower and they can be a bit noisy. Such a blower would run whenever the water heater's burner is running, which would occur from time to time anyway but especially after you've used hot water.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 12:37 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Does it look anything like this?

If so, that's not a recirculation pump - that's the "power vent" that exhausts the combustion gases out of your home.

It shouldn't be terribly loud, but it could likely be a bit whiny/high pitched.

Are there multiple units in your building? You could ask a neighbour if they are experiencing the same thing.

If you're concerned, you should have somebody come look at it.
posted by davey_darling at 1:46 PM on July 28, 2009

Yep, its the power vent. Im starting to just get used to the noise. It runs loud, but Im not sure if thats worth justifying a service call. I'll just keep my eye on it for now. Thanks.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:38 AM on July 29, 2009

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