Neighbors for Neighbors

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Hi all -- I was wondering if anyone has had experience with the JP noise ordinances recently?  The main gist of the issue is this: our building was gutted a few years ago to be turned into condos and the developer put in water heaters that vent to the side of the house that are specifically encouraged by state building codes because they are much "greener" and more energy efficient than older heaters.  The building passed city inspection, but city inspection (at least 3-4yrs ago) did not require that the building pass any kind of noise tests.

The sound of the water heaters bothers our neighbor who filed a complaint against the homeowners' association (the heaters do make slightly more noise than the legal limit which i think is 50decibels -- something along the lines of 60).  After extensive research, the HOA found that there was absolutely no way to "re-vent" the heaters so the only solution to the noise issue is to replace very new, functioning water heaters with older model, less energy-efficient ones. 

I'm new to the HOA but it seems that the long-standing members have been working tirelessly to resolve this.  They are extremely frustrated that the state basically incentivized the use of these heaters and that the city gave the stamp of approval to the building, but that it is now re-negging that approval. 

I figured that with all the recent re-development going on in JP these days, that someone else must have come across a similar problem?  Does anyone have any advice or ideas to share?  Any advice in dealing with the city government?

Thanks!

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I have no answer, but you're not the only one who's asking. This sounds like the same thing.
http://community.livejournal.com/davis_square/2413079.html
My first apartment in JP had a tankless water heater. They're not cheap...but one of the wonderful things: constant, never-ending supply of hot water. They're highly efficient, in particular because they don't waste energy storing hot water. The one for my unit was in the basement, but was quieter than a lot of gas tank heaters. In europe and asia, they're often inside the unit itself, not in the basement.

If you want a silent unit, they make electric tankless heaters, but they require a very heavy-duty electric supply, electric is more expensive than gas, etc. Mine was gas, and when running full tilt (ie filling the tub), it was still quieter than the noise from water flowing through the pipes.

Some even have fancy remote controls that allow you to tweak the temperature setting from your apartment. They are also designed to last much longer than tank heaters (but they do require periodic cleaning to remain efficient.)

They require careful installation (there are requirements on the venting) and must be the appropriate # of BTUs; make sure to do the math out, measure how much water your tub/shower use, etc. For example, during the winter, the water coming in is considerably colder...

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