I installed a water pump in my house quite recently and the vibration/noise emanating from the pump setup kept wrecking my head.
That’s the time I wanted to know how to soundproof a water pump.
I was told that the best idea would be to insulate it but nobody told me how to do it.
My quest to solve the noise problem led to the building of a cardboard box and behold the issue of noise from my water pump became a thing of the past.
Before I share my cardboard building experience with you, I will like to share some interesting facts about water pumps and the problems of vibrations/noise as well as some proven soundproofing techniques to adopt.
As a matter of fact, older and poorly fitted pumps have the tendency to cause loud noises, especially when they are installed in enclosed areas.
Proper installation and keeping a regular maintenance programme are essential for ensuring quieter running of pumps.
Types Of Noise From Water Pumps
Typically, pumps can create two types of noise.
First is vibration noise which emanates from pumps vibrating into the walls or floor where they have been installed.
To mitigate this challenge, it is important to refit the pump with isolation strips. These strips should be fitted in between the structure and the pump to stop the vibrations from reaching the structure at source.
The second type of noise from pumps is airborne noise of the pump motor. This type of noise is generated through the operation of the pump mechanism.
In order to block this type of noise, it is essential to use sound barriers to prevent the noise from entering a structure at the source.
In the case of load pumps, a soundproof cardboard box system is recommended and this will be elaborated in the subsequent sections.
Building A Cardboard Box To Soundproof A Water Pump
As you may well know, sound travels in waves and so the basic trick to soundproofing is to try to trap these waves. You may also deflect the waves until the sound within the confined space lessens.
In building a soundproof cardboard box, its complexity to a large extent depends on the size of the pump you want to cover. It is also the number of decibels the sound produces which in plain language is referred to as the strength of the noise.
For purposes of soundproofing a water pump, you first need to get a box that is several inches bigger than the pump. A plywood box or panels/frames made of acoustic material is ideal for effective deadening of noise.
Indeed acoustic materials are well known to play a significant role in noise control solutions but this is another story for another time.
Usually, a cardboard box works great for objects with lower sound strength. They are effective for soundproofing a water pump. However, you must remember that the thinner the box, the higher the chances of sound escaping.
To get the best out of your cardboard box, cover the interior with a layer of soundproofing material.
Wondering which soundproofing material is ideal? Any dense material with a good texture is appropriate. For instance, car soundproofing mats have been found to work great such as those from Dynamat and Fatmat (Amazon affiliate links).
The cardboard box in the image below has been lined with rug liner foam in the interior.
Remember to set the cardboard box on a foam rubber as this will insulate it from the floor. Do not let it touch the walls.
Some of the materials used in making the cardboard box may be a fire hazard. So, there should be some provisions for cooling particularly when the pump runs for longer periods.
My cardboard box has been amazingly effective as the sound waves are reflected into the on-coming sound waves and are distorting them thereby reducing drastically the sound.
In fact, further alterations could be done by adding more layers of cardboard to enhance its soundproofing quality.
A Few Words About Natural Fibers
Natural fibers have largely been used to produce composite materials that are environmentally friendly and fit for the purposes of soundproofing.
These have come to replace the rather expensive synthetic fibers. So natural fibers including hemp, wood, and coconut shells, are increasingly being used for making acoustic absorption boards.
This is because natural fibers are much more abundant, less expensive and contain natural cellular structure.
Useful Tips for Handling Water Pumps
Before you even think of soundproofing your noisy water pump, here are 5 essential tips for the installation and quieter operation of water pumps.
Positioning of Pump Set
The position of an installed pump set is an important factor in determining the noise level be it in residential buildings or public places.
The pump set should be installed in a plant room with thick walls where applicable to protect the receiver from noise obstruction. The thick walls will indirectly soundproof your water pump.
Pump sets can also be installed behind a huge obstruction or barrier so as to block the line of sight between the equipment and the receiver.
Installing pump sets on paving slaps or solid concrete base can also help to absorb vibration thus allowing pumps to run smoothly.
This technique is useful, particularly for noisy water pumps. Isolation of airborne sound can be achieved by limiting its potential transmission.
Creation of barriers is an important technique as well as decreasing the reflected noise around the source area by employing acoustical absorption around the noise area.
Even though quieter equipment are more expensive to buy, they offer great economic returns in the long run as it is usually expensive to try to modify or soundproof equipment after its purchase.
In addition, always look out for noise level specifications when ordering new pumps.
A routine maintenance schedule should be adopted in a bid to prevent increasing noise from an installed pump set.
The maintenance practices such as lubrication of parts, replacing worn out components, tightening loose parts will help to ensure that the pump is operated at a controlled level of noise/vibration.
Use Acoustic Materials
You can use acoustic mats to enhance pump installation and operation as these materials are capable of absorbing vibration thereby reducing noise levels.
Acoustic enclosure kits, for instance, work great for noise control by decreasing the sound reflection from boundary surfaces.
Acoustics have different properties, there are some acoustic mats that can absorb an echo within an enclosed area. And there are certain acoustic products that can effectively block a sound.
In addition, there are those products referred to as composites which will do both. Again your choice of products depends on your financial muscle.
Water pumping technology has seen widespread use in recent times. You only need to get familiar with water pumping technology to enable you to appreciate the significance of the system.
Water pumps have enormous benefits such as gardening, supplying water to homes and other commercial uses. However, the noise levels that can emanate from these equipment could sometimes be devastating for residents.
The good news is that the problem with noisy water pumps is surmountable through the use of soundproofing techniques.
As indicated in my personal experience, the building of a simple but effective cardboard box brought some relief to my home. This piece effectively discussed the issue of noise/vibration from water pumps and how this can be remedied through soundproofing.
Besides, some useful tips for the effective installation and operation of water pumps mentioned in this article can be more useful for your home.
Thanks for reading! Before you go, take a minute out and check out my top recommendations for soundproofing products.