DYI Soundproofing Water Pumps in 5 Steps


Soundproofing the water pump was mandatory as I had installed a new water pump at home and realized that the vibration noises destroyed my sleep completely. Therefore I wanted to share my experience mentioning the most effective ways I followed in soundproofing the water pump myself which I think would be useful for many like me who would be facing this problem in day to day life and believe me soundproofing is not as hard as you think.

Water Pump
(Photo Credit:koiphen.com)

It took me some good time to gather all the necessary points in writing this blog in the most effective way. I hope it works for the readers. In order to my research for a better understanding towards soundproofing water pumps, I interviewed Ms. Lisa Shawn who is a soundproofing consultant and the founder of CISCO Consultants in Florida, with above 18 years of experience to get some insights into this problem and successfully her tips helped me soundproof the water pump myself.

Therefore based on my interview I have summarised the quickest ways to follow in soundproofing a water pump in my blog below. You can always have a look at the detailed description of the pump characteristics which helps you choose the right pump based on your necessity here.

I felt this video below would be helpful as it shows some easy tips in soundproofing the water pump.

As per my study, I have realized the water pumps could of various types but most importantly it would be either an Electric or a Fuel pump. Electric pump by its name would obviously require access to electricity to function whereas the Fuel pump would be of either Petrol or Diesel to function.

What Causes Noise?

Based on the interview Lisa told me the primary thing which I would need to start from is understanding the root cause of the problem for which I need to check the location where the water pump is placed.

Secondly, figure out how the water pump is installed? This is the most common problem which arises for people dealing with soundproofing as most of the times we have a mechanic fixing the pump without understanding the structure of the building, which leads to having improper ventilation for the air to surpass when the pump functions and generates high vibrations due to the heat which is trapped.

Thirdly she even highlighted to check how old are the water pumps? If the pumps make noise more than usual its more likely that the bearings of the water pump have been worn out. It could also be that the pumps have been used for long years and need maintenance. The irregular placing of the pumps is the primary reason for the vibration noise which is generated.

 

Bearings of the Water Pump
(Photo Credit: quora.com)

Types of Noise – Overview

The reason I wanted to highlight the types of noise is to understand the root cause which could be the primary reason we need to soundproof our water pumps. Blindly soundproofing the water pumps without knowing what causes the noise to your water pump is a waste of time and money.

Therefore, in short, Noise reflects through hard surfaces and that makes the equipment sound louder. The higher the density of the panels or walls to cover the water pump the easier it is for stopping the noise to pass out. Insulating the panels is the best remedy for this problem.

There are 2 types of noises generated from the water pumps which are:

  1. Vibration Noise
  2. Airborne Noise
Noise from Water pumps
(Photo Credit:www.indiamart.com)

In my case, the water pump faced Vibration noises which are radiated from the water pumps when they are mounted directly into the walls or ceilings without proper ventilation for the air to pass by when the motor functions which could be an outcome of improper installation of the water pumps due to lack of building structure knowledge.

Having less idea about machines and soundproofing I had mounted the water pump to my wall directly thinking it is a separate room with thick walls so it should be fine but that was my primary problem resulting in the noise generation.

After realizing the issue I moved the water pump in my garden with open space by building a soundproof panel using acoustic materials. After building the panel I placed the water pump finally over rubber pads with isolation strips which would accumulate the vibration sound and do not cause any noise disturbance outside. These strips should be placed between the panels and the water pump which doesn’t let the noise fall out.

So this way I found the temporary solution to soundproof my water pump.

Generally, Airborne noise could be another issue for some as these are the noises generated from the motor when the water pump operates. The best responses I read in the articles for avoiding the equipment noises, it would be essential in building the panels using acoustic materials that are efficient in absorbing the sound and do not cause any disturbance. These materials are easily available on online portals. You could find more details on the product listing and prices on Amazon.

To minimize this noise it is essential in building soundproof barriers. Buiding thicker walls which are larger than the water pump easily eliminates noise to enter any premises and cause unwanted disturbances.

While building panels (eg: a cardboard box) for the water pump have proper ventilation for the air to move in and out easily without any restraints. If there is no proper circulation the heat generated will make the water pump noisy. Let the box have the ventilation open facing towards the other side of the house for the air to pass easily without troubling the people in the house.

Picture view of placing a Water Pump

Overview of Placing a water pump

(Photo Credit:www.soundservice.co.uk)

The view of how a water pump should be placed is the purpose of this image attached. I have mentioned it for readers reference as it gets you an idea of the key points while building the panels to effectively soundproof the water pump. I referred to this image before mounting my water pump. I installed a 10mm thick M10AD anti-vibration mat between the bottom of the pump and the base on which it sits as will absorb much of the vibration-based noise often experienced.

Picture View of Ventilation for the Water Pump

Overview of Ventilation for the Water Pump

(Photo Credit:www.soundservice.co.uk)

The ventilation ducts provided for the natural ventilation of the enclosure should be sealed with noise-absorbing materials. Pipes through the walls or floors are carefully sealed with elastic materials (mineral wool, porous fiberboard, etc.). I checked the exhaust vent holes for the water pump having 4-5 cm in diameter larger than the pipe diameter. Ventilation should be a key concern as this lets the air pass to and from the water pump without any blockage. Easy ventilation will not lead the water pump to get heated and cause any kind of electric shocks.

Materials for building Panels for Water Pumps

1. Cardboard Box 

Cardboard Box
(Photo Credit:www.pinterest.com)

Cardboard Boxes helps in reducing the flow of noise. The air spaces in the cardboard are key to its acoustic insulation ability. Despite the fact that cardboard would not absorb the noise completely it will significantly reduce the transfer of noise if the boxes are well connected with no gaps. Although we can have panels with two layers or 2 cardboard boxes which could be thicker in density and will further be effective to soundproof the water pump to nearly 40%.

We can build a thick insulated cardboard box using Dynamat or Alpha Composite Materials for soundproofing purposes. All the Acoustic Materials are easily available on online portals at feasible prices. Furthermore one can use two-three cardboard boxes to overlap. One box to cover the water pump and additional boxes to overlap and cover the first box so the density becomes thicker and more soundproof.

If 2 or more boxes are being used one has to make sure no gaps between the boxes are left out and the boxes are well covered with glue and tapes as any little gap would let the air escape which would adhere to the occurrence of unwanted noise.

 

2. Plyboards 

Ply boards

Ply is a very good conductor of absorbing at least 50% of the overall noise a water pump generates. Similar to the cardboard box using screws, glue, and plyboard we can construct a box again with dimensions measured. Once the box is built use engine silencers placed towards the inside of the box to avoid noise to a great extent. You can use either of them.

The common thing is when you use a plyboard or cardboard the procedure remains the same. In fact, the products and also constructing the panels would follow the same pattern as of cardboards. I have just given 2 examples to choose from.

We just have to remember that sound passes in the form of waves and the trick to soundproof our equipment would be to trap these waves to flow outside our panels. You may cover up the waves until the sound within the restricted spaces decreases.

3. Acoustic Insulation Materials

As I had mentioned above acoustic materials are specifically used for soundproofing any machinery. They work best for noise dampening and decoupling. For insulation purposes, you can use the inner layer with some Acoustic insulation materials which would help in noise absorption. It helps in giving a greater comfort for the safety of inhabitants and also reduces the noise levels both inside and outside the premises to a great measure.

Fiber Board
(Photo Credit: www.insulationsuperstore.co.uk)

4. Soundproof Glue

One would think soundproofing glues may look like any other normal glues which were the same I had thought of until I read about the soundproofing glues online, that these adhesives are designed significantly to reduce mechanical sound transmission through layers. It’s not expensive to buy, furthermore, it works by putting extra distance between two layers of hard-line materials such as plasterboards.

We can use glues and screws to mount the insulation layer to the inner side of the cardboard box. I had purchased them online here incase if you want to buy online as well.

Acoustic Adhesive Glue
(Photo Credits: www.insulationsuperstore.co.uk)

5. Anti-Vibration Pad

Anti-Vibration Pad helps to protect the ground and flooring, inhabitants in and around the premises, and prominently the soundproofing machinery itself by insulating vibrations by minimizing the noise and preserving the machinery well against shock forces. You can use any other acoustic materials I have mentioned above.

Once the box is assembled using the acoustic materials the final job I had to do was to place the water pump on the anti-vibration pad which helps in controlling the vibration sound generated when the water pump functions. These can also be bought online on Amazon.

Anti Vibration Pads
(Photo Credit: www.insulationsuperstore.co.uk)    

I have always mentioned about insulating the panels for mitigating noise to flow outside. The major relief for us would be by placing Silencers inside the panels we build which are the most useful devices used for soundproofing any machinery. It cuts down major noise generated during combustion from the water pump engine.

For an in-depth idea about silencers and which one to opt for you can read it here. The silencers again are easily available on Amazon.                                     

              

Silencers

                                                       (Photo Credit: www.amazon.co.uk)   

Five Steps to Soundproof WaterPumps

Step 1:

Build a soundproofing water pump panel by using acoustic materials which are very effective for sound dampening. Cardboards or plyboards as shown above are majorly used. Measure the dimensions of the water pump and according to the measurements build the boxes a little bigger so it covers the water pump properly.

If you use more than one box make sure the boxes are joined to each other completely with screws and glue leaving no gaps for the noise to be generated.

Step 2:

Install the water pump in the right direction without letting the water pump touch the thicker walls or the floor surfaces. Then, mount the engine silencers towards the inner side of the box which is important in sound absorption. It is always better to install the motors or water pumps on rubber pads, spring isolators, or Anti Vibration Pads or concrete bricks depending on the structure of how the house or building is designed.

Having the water pumps installed on hard grounds or concrete slabs would be effective in sound reduction. In my case, I had placed the water pump on an Anti-Vibration Pad which has a high density for the noise to be blocked from the vibrations generated when the motor functions and the heat is generated.

Step 3:

While building the box keep proper ventilation so that there are easy air circulations. Air circulation has to be clear so that the heat is not trapped between the panels causing the water pump to get heated or resulting in any kind of electric shocks.

The cooler the air near the water pump the better it functions. Avoid the use of highly flammable types of equipment while you cover the water pump. Avoid the contact surface between the ceiling surface or walls and the water pump. Do not install the water pump in confined areas with restrictive ventilation.

Step 4:

The location to place the water pump has to be based on the level of noise you hear. The farther the water pump is located to the areas where there are barriers and thick walls they are better to function than in the areas where you sit, play or sleep to avoid any kind of noise discomfort.

Place it in an area away from you where you intend not to spend more time in the case of small houses. If placing a water pump within a house make sure the walls around you are thick. If you need a clear understanding of soundproofing the walls near you have a look at this blog.

Step 5:

Regular maintenance of your water pumps is very important. The majority of the noise can also be due to poor check on the water level or regular monitoring of how the water pump is functioning. Avoid exhaust blockage for the water and fuel pipes which are connected to the water pump. Check the normal water flow from taps, tanks with no leakage.

Infrequent water flows can cause the water pump to generate noise. Regular maintenance of the motor in order to have the water pump function properly. Check the bolts and screws by tightening or losing them when required so that there are no cracking sounds.

Conclusion

Buy a quieter water pump if you are planning to buy one. Personally, electric water pumps are noise friendly instead of fuel water pumps. You can also buy water pumps with inverter technology that produces less noise as compared to conventional generators. For information regarding detailed comparisons between the two technologies click the link here which I felt useful for me to decide which pump to opt for.

6 Pro Tips for Soundproofing Water Pump

  1. Build thick panels either with cardboard or plyboard whichever has a high density so the noise cannot pass outside.
  2. Use acoustic materials when building panels to cover the water pump.
  3. Insulate the inner side of the panels with silencers to reduce the level of noise.
  4. Place the water pump on an anti-vibration pad for better soundproofing.
  5. Check the regular water supply from the taps connected to the water pump.
  6. Key focus on the location, maintenance, and proper ventilation in order to let the heat pass easily when the water pump functions.

I hope my blog has clearly explained the types of noise and vibrations a water pump may have and what remedies to follow in order to resolve them. To conclude, if your budget is comparatively minimal, I would strongly recommend one to soundproof the water pump by themselves using these 5 tips I have mentioned above.

Happy Soundproofing.. 🙂

 

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