How To Soundproof A Pool Pump

How To Soundproof A Pool Pump

A few years ago, I replaced my pool pump because it wouldn’t do its job. Even when the replacement went well, it took me days to make peace with losing around $700 for something as simple as a new pool pump.

After a few months, my new pump started making a low hissing sound. While not that disturbing, I couldn’t bear it for more than a few minutes. I then realized how unfair even a minor inconvenience like this was after spending such a significant amount on pool pumps.

So guess what? I started searching for budget-friendly ways to get rid of the noise. Luckily, I came across some useful information and some simple ways to soundproof a pool pump. After searching more and finding a few cost-effective methods to soundproof my pool pump, I tried out a few of them. 

To my surprise, almost all the methods I tried to make my pool pump quieter worked for me. So, I shared some of my tried and tested pool pump soundproofing tricks with you guys. I hope this article can help you with your pool pump ventures. 

Given below is almost all that you should know about pool pumps and soundproofing. So, let’s begin.

Why Does A Pool Pump Make Noise?

There is no definite reason behind a noisy pool pump. Your pool pump produces a loud vibratory sound even when it has very basic working issues.

Other times, you might notice subtle screeches resulting from a severe problem. Regardless of the cause, you need to treat your noisy pump as soon as possible. Otherwise, the issues at the back can get serious, hence ruining your pool in several ways.

But can you even treat a problem without knowing its root cause?

Even if you can, I’d suggest you don’t do that. Rather, a better idea would be to first check what’s making the pool pump noisy. You can only choose the best soundproofing method for your pool pump after knowing the exact cause for the noise.

By this point, you may think that finding the cause of your pool pump’s noisiness would be very tiring. But, what if I tell you that doing so is very easy? In fact, you might be able to guess the right noise-causing agent within just a few minutes. 

To help know where to look, here are a few reasons why pool pumps make sounds:

1. The Pump Isn’t Sitting At The Right Level

Most of the time, a pool pump makes a hissing or a consistent vibratory sound. This usually happens when the pool pump is not sitting on leveled ground. You may experience such a noise in your pool area if you’ve recently moved the pool pump or installed a new one. 

Sometimes, the pump also hisses if it is loosely connected inside the pool. Such issues are very common with most pool pumps but are luckily also very easy to deal with. 

2. The Pump Needs Maintenance or Replacement 

Sometimes, the problem behind a noisy pump is the pump itself. If you can hear a loud grinding noise that sounds like stones are rattling somewhere under the water, you need to check the pool pump for any damage.

A noise like this is produced when the pump baskets have no space or when the water isn’t properly moving across the pump. Your pump might also sound like a grinder when its suctions pipes are broken or blocked. The pump’s impeller, when not properly fixed, can cause this rattling sound as well.

Such internal issues are quite serious and need quick fixing. Hence, it’s best to quickly check the pool pump and arrange for its maintenance after you hear it making such grinding noises. 

3. The Pump Is Working Harder Than It Should

Your pump’s operation can get severely affected if the skimmers and debris baskets are overflowing or have something stuck in them. In such a situation, the pump needs to work harder by applying more force than it should. This leads to the pump making a weirdly loud noise at irregular intervals. 

Such an abnormal operation also causes the pump to stop for a few minutes and then start working for some time, after which its stops again. If that’s the case, you can feel the pool pump making noise for some time and then staying quieter for a few minutes.

All these noises occur when water is irregularly moving across the pump, and the pump isn’t working at a smooth rate. You can take out the baskets and clean them to resolve such an issue. Even then, the pump might make a little noise no matter what. This is why you should consider soundproofing your pool pump.

4. There’s A Blockage Inside the Pump

This seems fairly obvious, and a pool pump blockage is a common event. Mostly, the obstruction clears after some time by itself. But not all blockages are this simple. Rather, sometimes the pump’s blockage could be so severe that it starts disrupting water flow. In that case, you might hear your pool pump screeching and whining.

However, an old pump can make somewhat similar noises too. If you hear these sounds, your first step should be checking the pump for blockages. If nothing helps, then you’re only left with soundproofing tactics to get rid of the annoyance that comes with a whining pump.

Soundproofing a Pool Pump 

At times, your pool pump can be perfectly alright but will still make some noise. You can ensure regular repairs, no blockage, and leveled placement, but there can still be something causing the pump to hiss.

Rather than bearing with whatever noise disturbs your peace, you can choose to soundproof the pump once and for all. Doing so ensures the perfect pool surroundings, with nothing to bother you when you’re swimming or laying by the calm water on your recliner. 

The only down-side of soundproofing a pool pump could be that you’re forgoing having a noisy alarm to inform you about the pump’s improper functioning. However, you can deal with this by regularly checking the pump to see if it’s working properly and clean it after every few days.

There are a few different methods to soundproof your pool pump. While one of these ensures perfect soundproofing, the other easier ones can reduce the sound to a great extent, making it almost silent.

My favorite one is the DIY enclosure method that I’m going to share with you today. After discussing it in detail, I’ll summarize a few other easier pump soundproofing methods that might work for you too. 

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Materials Needed

Almost all these soundproofing methods will require you to have basic-level equipment. The most important materials that you need by your side are as follows:

  • Measuring tape
  • Sharp cutter
  • Soundboard or Fiber sheets 
  • Hammer
  • Nails 
  • Ducting material
  • Small fan
  • Wires
  • Soundproofing Material
  • Adhesive Glue
  • Mass loaded vinyl sheets
  • Nut bolt 
  • Pool bearings  

Method 1: Enclosing the Pool Pump 

Not all of us can afford to install a soundproofing wall around the pool pump. However, this simple DIY can do a job that’s similar to what’s done by an expensive soundproofing wall. 

Let’s go step by step, building our pool pump enclosing box together: 

Step 1: Measure the Pool Pump

Take a waterproof measuring tape and roughly measure the pump from all sides. This will help you define the size of a box that can enclose this pump without touching it from anywhere. Even though many people ignore this step, it’s better to start with some measurements in your mind.

If you don’t feel like measuring the pump, you can search for your pump’s size from the internet. Make sure you know the exact model number of your pool pump if you’re going with this option. If you do, just type in the model name, and the pump’s dimensions may show up. 

Note all these measurements on paper to ensure that you won’t forget them later.

Step 2: Build a Pump Enclosure Box

Now that you know the measurements of the pump, it’s time to make a box that can cover the pump from all sides. The only hurdle at this point can be indecisiveness with regards to what material the box should be made from. I suggest investing a bit at this point and picking materials such as soundboard, fiber, or any other thicker material. 

These are likely to stay intact for long and are also resistant to water damage. Once you cut the material in the needed sizes, you just have to attach everything to give it a box-like shape. It’s better to use a hammer and nails over an adhesive to join the board pieces to ensure sturdiness.

You might prefer investing in a cheaper box-material like plywood or plastic if you’re on a tight budget. However, I suggest you don’t do that no matter what. Such inexpensive materials are weak and have a lower sound absorption that reduces their value underwater.

Step 3: Customize the Box to Suit Your Pump’s Specifications 

Some pool pumps need space for ventilation to keep on working at their best capacity. Others need added ventilation near their motor area. When building an enclosure box, you need to keep all the particular needs of your pool pump in mind. 

So, it’s better to add a ventilating duct to the box so that the pump doesn’t burn. You can do so by adding some ducting material at one end of the box or by wiring a small fan to a duct that faces the motor and ensures proper ventilation. 

Step 4: Lining the Enclosure Box 

Here comes the most important step, lining the box from inside with soundproofing material. You can pick anything from simple soundproof paint to a thicker soundproofing fiber sheet. Cut the material exactly similar in size to the box and firmly attach it with the box using strong glue.

If you want added protection for this layer and stronger soundproofing, you can sandwich this soundproofing layer between the two layers of box fiber. Doing so may seem like too much hard work, but it’s all worth the effort.

In the end, you can leave the DIY box to dry for a day or two. After that, place this box around the pump at the right level, and, TA-DA, your pool pump is now soundproof.

Method 2: Leveling the Pool Pump

You can go for this method if your pool pump makes very little noise that is easily bearable, but you still want to hush it. For this one, move your pool pump a little and spread a layer or two of mass loaded vinyl sheets. Doing so ensures that the pump’s legs are at a smooth surface and it can work at its best.

Also, these sheets have good absorption properties. This makes it hard for the produced sound waves to reach the pool’s surface, and they die out right after their production. 

Method 3: Replacing the Old Bearings

Sometimes old, broken, and loose pump bearings can make different annoying noises. Mostly, the sound produced due to these bearings is bearable enough for people to ignore it. However, it’s still better to deal with such sounds before they get louder and start annoying everyone.

You can deal with this issue by checking the bearings and other connecting parts of your pool pump. If you see a broken bearing, replace it immediately with the one that’s the same size and fits in its place.

However, you may not feel like investing in new ones if your old bearings are in acceptable condition. In that case, you can take a nut bolt to tighten every bearing and any other connecting bolt in the pump. 

I also begin with tightening the bearings whenever I feel my pool pump being noisy. This step is often fruitful and saves me the trouble of building an enclosed box. That’s nothing less than a bonus for someone as lazy as me. 

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