The Ultimate Guide for Soundproofing a Noisy Water Pump
Noisy water pump? No problem! With this guide, you’ll soundproof your water pump in no time!
Everyone with a water pump knows how unpleasant the noise level can sometimes get. Although water pumps have great benefits, especially if you’re into gardening, sometimes you may wish you never bought it in the first place. What’s more, the noise is not only a nuisance for you, but for your surroundings as well! You’re probably sick of your neighbors complaining about the noise all the time.
So, is there really a foolproof way to fix this problem, or should you keep on enduring both the noise and the complaints? No, there isn’t one. There’s actually more than one way you can reduce the amount of noise your water pump is producing. Yes, you read that correctly. But first, let’s see what you need to do before you start soundproofing.
Determine what type of noise a water pump is producing
First of all, you need to know what type of noise you’re dealing with. Obviously, you need to figure out what the problem is, in order to know how to deal with it. A water pump can produce two types of noise:
- Vibration noise
- Airborne noise
Vibration noise is also known as impact or structure-borne noise. If you’re not familiar with what that is, here’s a brief overview.
This type of noise is produced when the vibrations of the pump bounce off the walls, ceiling, and floor where the pump is installed. This noise is quite honestly extremely annoying. However, there is a silver lining. Vibration noise is easy to soundproof!
In order to check if this is the type of noise that’s causing all your headaches, you need to take these steps:
- Check the unbalance
- Check the alignment
The unbalance is the most common malfunction when it comes to water pumps, so check it first. It’s the primary mechanism to transfer the rotational energy into the vibration.
As for the alignment, it’s the second most common reason why your water pump might be experiencing high vibrations. Misalignment can cause a radial force and could also lead to a high loading on the water pump bearings.
How to fix the problem:
If you’ve determined that the noise is being caused by vibrations, then the solution to your problems is simple!
All you have to do is refit your pump using isolation strips. Just remember, the strips need to be put in between the pump and the structure in order to keep the vibrations from reaching the structure.
Airborne noise is produced through the operation of the pump mechanism. Unfortunately, this type of noise is a bit more difficult to get rid of than the previous one. But, don’t worry, it’s far from impossible!
In order to determine whether this is the type of noise you’re experiencing, all you need to do is listen to the frequency of it. Is it a mid or high-frequency noise? Is it transmitted only through the air? If so, then your pump is producing airborne noise.
This type of noise does not cause any vibrations in the ceiling, wall, floor, or any other surfaces it’s surrounding, so you should be able to tell it apart from vibrating noise quite easily.
How to fix the problem:
Unlike with vibration noise, there is more than one way to fix this problem. First of all, you can insulate the noise with acoustic absorbers, or soundproof blankets. On the other hand, you can also install it to a concrete surface.
Let’s start with the simplest solution.
• Insulate the noise
You can insulate the noise by using acoustic absorbers to cover the noisy areas. Namely, acoustic panels and soundproof blankets are a great way to soundproof your water pump!
• Install it to a concrete surface
As we mentioned, if you install your water pump to a steady, concrete surface, this will help minimize the noise.
• Place it on thick materials
Yet another great idea that will help reduce the noise level is to place the water pump onto some thick material. For example, a thick rug would do nicely in this situation, or if you don’t have one, you could also use thick blankets. Furthermore, you can also use anti-vibration pads. Remember, the more material you place under your water pump, the better.
Place your water pump inside a soundproof box
We’ve discussed a number of different ways to soundproof your water pump. However, the best way to do this is to place it in a soundproof box.
Now, you obviously cannot use the box it came in since it’s not big enough for this purpose. So, it’s time for some DIY! Here is a simple way to make a soundproof box for your water pump.
How to make a soundproof box for your water pump
First of all, you need to gather some tools and materials. You will need the following:
- Some measuring tape
- A saw
- A drill
- An oscillating multi-tool
- A leveling tool
- Some screws
- Three panels (3’x5’)
- Three furring strip boards (2”x2”x8’)
- Soundproof insulation
- High heat spray paint
- A handle
If you prefer, you can make the box from cardboard. Just remember, if you’re doing it, you will need to use several layers of cardboard in order for it to be functional.
Now you’re ready to start making a soundproof box for your water pump!
Measure the water pump
Before you start sawing, you need to measure your water pump. It’s best if you write the measurements on a piece of paper, and then add a few inches to each side.
The reason why you’re doing this is that the pump shouldn’t be touching any side of the box.
Create a frame and panels for the box
You need to create a frame for the box by cutting the furring stripboard. You can make the panels using a lightweight foam backer board. Remember, you need to leave the bottom side open. You can start by making two pairs of legs from the stripboards.
Next, cut up some blocks from the furring stripboard, and screw them onto each side of the center of each leg. You will be using these blocks for the inner panels.
Screw together each pair of legs with a top plate. The purpose of the side panels is to hold the box together. Afterward, measure the distance between the frames of the legs.
Cut the inner and outer panels according to the measurements of the frame. Screw the outer panels to the frame, and add small blocks to screw on the inner panels onto them.
Use insulation to stuff the space between the inner and outer panels. Then, turn your box bottom-side up, and add the furring strip boards. Basically, use as much material as possible.
Paint the box and install the handle
First, paint your box with the heat-resistant spray paint. Once the paint has thoroughly dried, you can install the handle. The handle is optional, but it makes the box easy to transport if needed.
Simply screw a small block of the furring stripboard on the top panel, and then screw on the handle from the outside.
And that’s it! Now you have a fully-functional soundproof box for your water pump!
Additional tips for preventing noise
Tip #1: Prevention
If you want to prevent any noise problems from occurring, there is a way to do that. You might even be surprised at how easy it is! All you need to do is select the right pump.
Just think about it. If you’ve purchased a pump that was cheaper than usual, you may have thought you hit the jackpot. However, after a while, you started noticing that it was getting noisier and noisier. Then you had to soundproof it, which proved to be an additional expense.
Every pump should have a noise level specification included with the instructions manual, or even on the box, so pay extra attention to that.
Overall, if you invest in a more expensive, quieter one, you might even end up saving money.
Tip #2: Maintenance
Once you’ve installed your new pump, and used it for the first time, you need to remember to check on it regularly. By this, we mean that you need to check and see if any parts are worn out and need to be replaced, or if they need tightening. Next, you need to remember to lubricate any parts that are prone to corrosion. Basically what you’re doing is preventing your pump from malfunctioning.
Overall, you should establish some kind of water pump maintenance routine to keep it running smoothly.
Tip #3: Use all of the mentioned soundproof methods
Yet another great way to keep your water pump from malfunctioning thus causing it to become extremely noisy is to use all of the methods we discussed. For example, you can buy a quality pump, check the specifications, and establish a maintenance routine.
In addition to that, you can also build a soundproof box for your pump, as we instructed. Also, if you’re not really into the idea of building the box by yourself, you can purchase one. Just be sure to measure your pump beforehand, so you don’t end up with a box that’s too small.
Once you place the pump inside the box, you can put the box on a thick carpet or blanket. Just remember to check on it regularly, so it doesn’t overheat.
As you can see, there are plenty of different ways to soundproof your water pump. First of all, if you haven’t bought a water pump yet, then this guide should give you a good idea of how to prevent any noise-related problems.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t be thinking primarily about your budget when you’re out shopping for a quality water pump. If you buy one for a bargain price, chances are you’ll be spending all the money you managed to save on soundproofing the pump.
Furthermore, maintenance is essential if you want to keep your water pump running smoothly. Make it a habit to check on it regularly. Replace the worn-out parts, and lubricate some of the other parts to keep them from corroding.
In the end, even if you do purchase a quiet pump, it’s still a good idea to build a soundproof box. Soundproofing your water pump is another way to keep it up and running for as long as possible.
Hopefully, these methods will help you get some peace and quiet, both from the pump, and your neighbors!