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Old 04-28-2008, 09:14 AM   #1
Mr_Micro
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Question Quietest 100-150 CFM 4" Exhaust Fan? Elicent Inline or Dayton/ActiveAir Blower?

The long story short is that I'm setting up a very small grow tent in a closet (15.75" x 15.75" x 47") and I want it to be as quiet as humanly possible.

It's going to be equipped with a 150w HPS and a Elf carbon filter, but I have yet to figure out what the quietest exhaust fan would be. Regardless of which exhaust fan I choose I plan to hook it up to a DIY exhaust muffler to reduce the noise as much as possible.


I've searched the ICMag forum over and over trying to gather info on exhaust fans and I've found that most people say that among inline fans Elicent is the quietest. But I'm still wondering about squirrel cage fans like the 4" ActiveAir 180 cfm blower or the Dayton 140.

I've heard really conflicting stories about these blowers. Some people say that squirrel cage blowers are much quieter than inline fans, others say that they are much louder. Some people say that you can run a blower on a speed controller, others say you shouldn't.

So I'm wondering, what is your personal experience in this matter and which do you think is going to be the quietest?

Is a blower more quiet than an inline, or is it the other way around? And can you run a blower on a Speedster type speed controller or will that cause problems?


Any advice would be much appreciated, since this is the last thing that I really have to figure out in my new growbox build

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Old 04-28-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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I feel ya pain Mr.Micro im running a small pc axial fan at 80cfm and it sounds like a small jet engine on takeoff....it works efficiantly with my micro carbon scrubber I made form the DiY but its still a bit loud...good luck
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:12 AM   #3
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have you looked at the Panasonic Whisper fans? super quiet and efficient, it is what i plan on using in my upgrade. they even have low profile ones for smaller spaces.

http://www.westsidewholesale.com/ind...8999.29513@@@@
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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Hey tn!

I've looked at those fans but I've seen a lot of reports of the fans getting louder and louder (and louder) after 3 or 4 months of use so once I found that out I didn't look into them any further. It seems if they have any back pressure on them it wears them out pretty quickly and they become noisy little wind tunnels after just a few months of use.
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:38 PM   #5
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damn that sux, haven't read anything like that. may have to do some more researching or just go the stanley blower route. thanks for the info.
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:40 PM   #6
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The vortex fans are quiet, but they work so good the air being blown sounds like you wouldn't believe, really loud. Maybe blowing into the scrubber will help. I'd say that 4" vortex is overkill for a 150hps, even with a speed control.

You might look into the fantech 4", it's rated around 100cfm.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:32 PM   #7
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Good idea Tex!

I've been thinking that even 100cfm might be seriously overkill for my little 1.3' x 1.3' x 4' tent. In which case I was wondering about getting a 100 cfm fan like you described and using a controller to dial it down to hopefully around 40 cfm or so. If I did that I'd have it pulling through a Can 705 filter (which I already have actually ) which is rated for 39 cfm, and that might be plenty to cool such a small tent even with a 150w HPS in it.

And 40 cfm combined with a DIY exhaust muffler pulling through a carbon filter should be really quiet I'd think. The only thing that bugs me is how gigantic these inline fans all are. When you only have a 16" wide cab than a 9" wide inline fan takes up a whole ton of ceiling space. I don't think it will be a problem really, but I do wish somebody made more compact inline fans that still had decent back pressure.

I would just use a 4" PC fan but even the 110cfm ones wouldn't have enough back pressure to pull through a 40cfm scrubber I don't think. So that's pretty much my problem here... seems like almost everything is way too big for my needs, and the stuff that's small enough (PC fans) doesn't seem to have enough back pressure to do the job.


Anyhoo, thanks for the advice though! I'll run some forum searches on Fantech inlines and see what I turn up
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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I think my fan problems are over!

http://www.hvacquick.com/spfnconfig....8pknkdeb1kpvo5

S&P's TD-Mixvent series inline fans have gotten awesome reviews from everyone on the UK cultivation boards who has used them, run way quieter than any other inline (almost silent on low speeds I've read), have the back pressure needed to pull through carbon filters. Plus they're much more compact than any other inline (5" wide instead of 9"), come with a 5 year warranty, are compatible with all fan controllers, and are way cheaper than any other inline I've found.

So I think my worries are over! I just ordered the 100x version (100-135 cfm) and I'm totally stoked about it. It needs to be wired manually, but all of S&P's TD-Mixvent fans are two speed so depending on which way you want to wire them they can run at two different speeds.

I'll first try it wired for the 100 cfm low setting and just dial it down the speed to match my Can 705 filter (rated for 39 cfm). But if that isn't enough to cool my tent I'll be able to swap out my filter for an Elf filter and rewire the fan to the high speed setting (135 cfm) and I know the fan will have enough speed to pull through the filter properly.


Anyhoo, thanks again for the advice everyone! I can't wait to get my fan and get my tent all set up, I'll let you guys know how it works once I get it

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Old 04-28-2008, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quick Q, how loud would a 4" vortex be in a ngb style cab, if it had a carbon scrubber on both ends? one scrubber in the box connected to a cooltube and one outside the box being pushed for a double clean. Would that make it any quieter?
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Old 04-28-2008, 06:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tngreen
have you looked at the Panasonic Whisper fans? super quiet and efficient, it is what i plan on using in my upgrade. they even have low profile ones for smaller spaces.

http://www.westsidewholesale.com/ind...8999.29513@@@@
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by smoketrichs
Quick Q, how loud would a 4" vortex be in a ngb style cab, if it had a carbon scrubber on both ends? one scrubber in the box connected to a cooltube and one outside the box being pushed for a double clean. Would that make it any quieter?
That's a really good idea. You see, I used the 4" vortex in my last grow and it kicked my ass, it was pulling through a can 33, through a cool tube and out about 10' of insulated duct and still there was a big whooshing noise coming out of the end of the duct. The fan is a monster in a small package. I had to use a speed controller to get it tolerable, wasn't really noisy after that, but then I lost all my stealth.

I never thought to put another scrubber on the end. I bet it would work really well, and I will probably try that my next grow.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mr_Micro
"Sound
Fan sound levels are measured in sones. At this time there are no sone level test standards available through HVI due to the fact that remote mounted fan noise levels are in proportion to the following: type of duct, length of duct, fan distance from the intake source and other random factors. It is generally accepted that remote mounted venting is usually quieter than standard (in room) venting."


This is what concerns me. They dodge the sound level question entirely. Note the comment about Remote Venting. I have the 4" Elicent because it was the quietest of it's type, supposedly quieter than a squirell cage, and it's woosh is LOUD. Triple silenced with muffler, speed control and fan isolation box, I can no longer hear it inside the house but, I can't let anyone in the garage.

These guys won't even give you a clue about dB (or here,sonnes) and then suggest the only way to test quietness is from another room with walls, ceilings and insulation between you and the fan.

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Old 04-28-2008, 09:10 PM   #13
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Well FreezerBoy, I'll be sure to letcha know how quiet or loud it is once I get it and set it up

From what all the Brits are saying this is the quietest inline around, putting the Elicent to shame. There's not a whole lot of info on these fans here on IC Mag but if you do a Google search for "S&P TD" you'll find a lot of growers on other forums report that they are the stealthiest fans around and in most cases don't even need to be muffled if your growbox is in a closet or somewhere that there is a door between you and the fan.

Still though, it almost sounds too good to be true so I'll see how it sounds when I get it. I've gotten very used to the sound of a 25 dBa PC fan right next to me when I'm at my desk so I should be able to gauge based on that how loud it is. Even if the fan itself is very quiet I still plan on building an inline duct muffler to quiet the "woosh" noise from the air leaving the fan on the way out of the tent.

And sorry to hear about all your troubles with the Elicent, but hopefully this S&P TD fan will work out for me (I hope so, because I need almost total silence from my growbox). If it does work out than perhaps you'll have another option to try to cure your noise pollution blues
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:42 PM   #14
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Well FreezerBoy, I'll be sure to letcha know how quiet or loud it is once I get it and set it up

From what all the Brits are saying this is the quietest inline around, putting the Elicent to shame. There's not a whole lot of info on these fans here on IC Mag but if you do a Google search for "S&P TD" you'll find a lot of growers on other forums report that they are the stealthiest fans around and in most cases don't even need to be muffled if your growbox is in a closet or somewhere that there is a door between you and the fan.

Still though, it almost sounds too good to be true so I'll see how it sounds when I get it. I've gotten very used to the sound of a 25 dBa PC fan right next to me when I'm at my desk so I should be able to gauge based on that how loud it is. Even if the fan itself is very quiet I still plan on building an inline duct muffler to quiet the "woosh" noise from the air leaving the fan on the way out of the tent.

And sorry to hear about all your troubles with the Elicent, but hopefully this S&P TD fan will work out for me (I hope so, because I need almost total silence from my growbox). If it does work out than perhaps you'll have another option to try to cure your noise pollution blues

Please do. I was gonna grab a 120 cfm panasonic whisper, but since you said they're not as stealthy as I hoped, I need to think of another solution. Like you, I need as close to complete silence as possible.


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Originally Posted by texsativa
That's a really good idea. You see, I used the 4" vortex in my last grow and it kicked my ass, it was pulling through a can 33, through a cool tube and out about 10' of insulated duct and still there was a big whooshing noise coming out of the end of the duct. The fan is a monster in a small package. I had to use a speed controller to get it tolerable, wasn't really noisy after that, but then I lost all my stealth.

I never thought to put another scrubber on the end. I bet it would work really well, and I will probably try that my next grow.

Cool, 2 heads are better than one they say. Post an update later on in the future to let us know how it goes. Could be on to something here, lol.

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Old 04-29-2008, 04:03 AM   #15
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Well FreezerBoy, I'll be sure to letcha know how quiet or loud it is once I get it and set it up
Good luck and yes, please, share your news with the class. Elicent has just come out with a TP version (techno polymer instead of metal) that supposedly shaves 5-10 dB per model. Yours seems to use the same material so, that may help.

Mufflers are great but there's only so much they can do. Here's an easy DIY that I followed as closely as my local HD would allow except, I used quilt batting/polyfill rather than fiberglass. https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.p...hlight=muffler.

I look forward to your report. When my current grow harvests soon, I'm going to try returning to an axial exhaust, If that didn't do it I was going to try the Whisperfan. I don't need silence but I used to have perfect stealth. The axial sounded just like you'd expect an old freezer to sound. The Elicent sounds like an industrial strength exhaust. There's nothing to take the rap for the noise.
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