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Thread: HR92 - noise observations

  1. #1
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    Default HR92 - noise observations

    We have 16 HR92's, (12 + 2) are fitted to fairly modern double panel radiators and 2 to stainless steel towel radiators.

    HR92 actuation noise was considered in this household (by XYL) to be a problem, but now the noise has all but gone! What's changed?

    The old Ideal Standard boiler was replaced last week with a Bosch System-i type and the system is now pressurised to 1.5bar, to my surprise now all the HR92's noise has reduced so much they are barely audible.

    So, the radiators used to be under no discernible water pressure maybe 0.5bar from the header/expansion tank, this has now been removed and the new system is pressurised from the mains water pressure to 1.75bar.

    My theory is the radiators acted as a sound amplifier and noise from the HR92's was conducted through the radiator body to the walls which then moved and amplified the sound, but now under pressure the radiators don't move. The towel radiators never gave out any noise from the HR92.

    Therefore an unintended consequence of a boiler change has provided a significant reduction in HR actuation noise, but they no-longer wake me in the morning and so I've put the alarm back on and the silence is spooky.
    Last edited by g6ejd; 14th February 2019 at 10:55 AM.

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    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    Interesting theory. I hadn't put two and two together but yes, you're right. When we went from S-Plan to Combi the noise did reduce.

    Probably didn't notice it because I never found the noise obtrusive.

    But yes - it's even quieter now.

    Good spot!

  3. #3
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    Like you, I never found the noise intrusive, now I have the irony of my wife saying everyday ‘have you noticed how quiet the radiators are now’ when everyday it was ‘do they have to be that loud’😀

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    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    I'm sure you're right that it's mostly resonance.

    The load on the motor will also have changed - slightly. But due to the gearing I'm not sure it'd make a huge difference.

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    Have to say i've often wondered what all the fuss was about with the noise but we only ever fit them on Sealed Systems and not open vented ones.

    Mine doesn't even wake me up in a morning, I have to question if it's even been on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtmcgavock View Post
    Have to say i've often wondered what all the fuss was about with the noise but we only ever fit them on Sealed Systems and not open vented ones.

    Mine doesn't even wake me up in a morning, I have to question if it's even been on!
    Mine have never bothered me. Our bedroom one is noticeable but then it comes on when the whole house is quiet and one tends to be more conscious of it. However, the concept of sound being affected by water pressure is an interesting one and I wonder whether we have any sound engineers in the forum who could advise. I have never considered it before but I suppose, yes, if the water in the radiator is under a higher pressure that must affect the movement of sound and the resonance of the radiator.

    Gee, life is going to be very quiet as and when my boiler has to be replaced!!

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    My system is open vented and I don't have any problems with the noise but I haven't heard Evohome on a closed pressurised system as a comparison.

    I think room acoustics (damped vs live) and ambient noise level still play the biggest role in whether they are perceived to be noisy. For example we sleep with the window open slightly and are close to a somewhat busy road, even with the window only open about an inch or two the traffic noise is far louder than the HR92. So we are probably conditioned to sleep through traffic noise thus don't hear the HR92.

    I suspect some of the people with issues with HR92 noise have "modern" style homes that are very lacking in acoustic damping - eg hard floors and walls, glass coffee tables, leather sofa instead of fabric etc...

    As an avid Hi-Fi fan with some experience of room acoustics treatment and design I was a bit disappointed (but not surprised) that the acoustics of our living room for music took a definite turn for the worse when we went from soft fabric sofas to harder leather sofas recently. The room was already a bit "live" for my tastes (I prefer reasonably well damped) but has now ventured well into "too live" for optimal music reproduction. While I knew it would have an effect I didn't think the effect would be as big as it was. Still contemplating what my WAF friendly countermeasures to get the damping back to where it should be might be!

    My point is room acoustics is not something most people think about and many don't understand, but the way a house is built and in particular furnished has a massive effect on the acoustics of a room, and any room that is lacking in damping is going to magnify every tiny noise in the room whether it's an HR92, a ticking grandfather clock or a creaky door hinge! Rooms with good outdoor sound isolation (or living in a very quiet street) magnify this issue by lowering the background ambient noise.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 16th February 2019 at 10:54 AM.

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    ...and what you say is why I do not like some restaurants as, furnished with hard floors, lots of glass and no soft furnishings, throughout my life I have suffered from the most uncomfortable sound levels such produce. Add to that people talking, who because of the reflected sound, start shouting to each other, and its some issue to endure. Some say it’s just because I am old, I suppose I am, but I have suffered all my life with it.

    Recently our living room carpet was replaced. Due to a fault in manufacture the first fitting was aborted and we had to wait 14 days for a replacement. We were left with just the underlay and what a difference that made to sounds. My 2 HR92s did seem louder but I did at least know why. New carpet laid and life is good again.

    Now if you play We Will Rock You at maximum sound you definitely won’t hear your HR92s, nor anything else!

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    Quote Originally Posted by G4RHL View Post
    ...and what you say is why I do not like some restaurants as, furnished with hard floors, lots of glass and no soft furnishings, throughout my life I have suffered from the most uncomfortable sound levels such produce. Add to that people talking, who because of the reflected sound, start shouting to each other, and its some issue to endure. Some say it’s just because I am old, I suppose I am, but I have suffered all my life with it.
    Well I'm only in my 40's and at least until a few years ago considered myself to have pretty sharp hearing, but I've always struggled to understand conversation in noisy restaurants or bars like you describe from anyone who wasn't directly next to me or directly across from me, with anyone else being drowned out by the ambient noise of everyone else talking and all the echo/reflections you describe. How some of these other people could still hold a conversation in these conditions I don't know...

    Recently our living room carpet was replaced. Due to a fault in manufacture the first fitting was aborted and we had to wait 14 days for a replacement. We were left with just the underlay and what a difference that made to sounds. My 2 HR92s did seem louder but I did at least know why. New carpet laid and life is good again.
    When we first moved in our living room floor was hard laminate and the acoustics of the room were absolutely dreadful for music. So bad that the room suffered from "slap echo" even with fabric sofas installed. Knowing that my WAF compatible choices for room damping were limited I put my foot down and insisted that we get carpet for the room, and it completely transformed the acoustics of the room for music, even though the walls are still pretty bare. Going from the fabric sofas to leather was a retrograde step on the sound front though... for critical listening sessions (when I have the room to myself) I throw a blanket over the side sofa to emulate the now gone fabric sofa.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 16th February 2019 at 09:59 PM.

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    This conversation started here caused me yesterday to check my radiators. Whilst the HR92s have never bothered me, and whilst I stress what I did was hardly a scientific check, I simply listened to each one operate. There was a difference in noise level from the HR92s, it was mainly noticeable with the double panel radiator where it was very slightly louder. Presumably greater resonance from the double panel, “chamber” effect. The noise is not an issue for me but this conversation clearly highlights how individual circumstances and living conditions, fitting etc. will have a bearing on noise levels. Just like putting a speaker on the floor, depending on the type of floor, can enhance the bass resonance. With Apple HomePod speakers they are too bassy on my floor (chipboard over a concrete raft) whereas on a side table they are fine.

    I suppose the response to the problem is do not immediately blame the TRV, it could be other attributes in a room and how radiators (and their type) are installed that cause the issue.

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