Become a TFP Supporter Welcome to our new server and new forum software. Pool School
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bothell (near Seattle), WA
    Posts
    45

    Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    I have a Waterco 2HP (max rated) pump that came with my 12'x24'x54" AG Pool. The pump is oversized (as is typical of AG pool bundles per my reading in TFP and PF) and has a noisy hum during normal operation. The best solution would be to get a dual speed or Pentair Whisperflo pump, but my piggy bank and priorities favor electrical upgrades and deck before replacing the pump.

    I found one related TFP thread with keyword "soundproofing" but it didn't have good description of appropriate materials such as MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl). After spending an hour or so searching TFP and various web searches I think I found a decent solution at http://www.soundproofing.org/infopages/generator.htm:
    We've upgraded the basic generator soundproofing info from the book: "Quieting: a practical guide to noise control". The new system is shown below. It is based on the fact that air will go around corners well, whereas sound doesn't like to. This baffling method works well for pool pumps and many other kinds of noise sources.

    Enclosure is best made of panels of "Soundboard" or "Homasote" (from the hardwood store), with corner support strips of wood (not shown). screwed, (not just nailed) and glued for strength. Plywood is not recommended because wood transmits sound so readily. "MDF" Medium Density Fiberboard is best. A lined, triple wall box as shown is the most effective, but sometimes a double box may work well enough, depending on the level of sound control needed.

    For maximum effect, use the 2" thick "Super Soundproofing Mat" for lining your box. Make sure the box is entirely covered: no gaps. Cement edges for a tight fit. If in a damp environment, use our contact cement as it has a mildew resistant retardant in it. See the "Prices" page for ordering and price info. (On the sidebar). Cut strips of mat for the airtight seal for the bottom edge.
    Leave about an inch between the inner and outer boxes for air circulation.

    Lead or mass loaded vinyl can be attached over the box for even more sound control. Edges must be sealed! Use lead tape and the non-hardening acoustical caulk available on our prices page.


    ...
    There is additional good info on this http://www.soundproofing.org page so check it out if you need all the details. (I'm all for quoting then linking to original source resources.) Please reply with your thoughts and especially if you have experience (success or failures) deadening sound from an existing pump.

    Gratuitous related keywords (for those like myself who search before posting ): reducing noise of, sound reduction of, sound pump noise, sound proof, soundproof, sound proofing.
    Thanks! ZephanS
    AG 12'x24'x54" "Diamond Star" (wilbar) bought 2007 from http://www.sunenterprise.com as kit with waterco 2hp (max) pump (too big+noisy) & WaterCo T450 150lb sand filter (filled w/ 75lbs zeobrite). Pool installed 2007. 160 sq ft solar array installed (2009) on custom metal deck roof (2008). Purchase, Site prep, & installation 100% DYI thanks to PF and TFP. Wrap-around deck, small swg, electrical upgrade, and 8' water slide still pending install.

  2. #2
    Senior Member In the Industry
    Pool Clown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    799

    Re: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    My only worry is the fresh air that the motor would need or, not get. Is this diagram for a generator(temp use)? Keep in mind that generators may not run every day(power outages only?) where as pool pumps run everyday. You could make the outer boxes a little bigger for more air flow. If i were doing this, I would get one of those wireless temp sensors and stick it to the inside of one of the boxes and monitor the temps. But first, Set the remote under the pump motor before you make any encloser first to get some sort of baseline temp so you can see how much the temp rises when in the box. Also, the foam would concern me as well because the foam will act as insulation to keep the heat in. Sorry to discourage...
    Factory Warranty Station for:
    Jandy, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    326

    Re: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    Quite often, just doing something as simple as putting a solid barrier between the pump and the bedroom will reduce the noise enough that you won't hear it any more. Just a short wall of some sort, close to the pump will reflect most of the noise the other way.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bothell (near Seattle), WA
    Posts
    45

    Re: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    I found putting weight on the top of the motor reduces some noise (by reducing ability to vibrate). My plan is to buy some MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl) and some stiff wire. I'll construct a set of half- cylinder "hangers" with one open end using stiff wire as my framing, then drape MLV over the hangers. My idea is that free form wire frame construction will better match the round motor and piping challenges than building boxes.

    I definitely want to make sure there is sufficient air flow and ventilation, so I'll make sure there is two fresh air ports located near motor ventilation intake. I may make a right turn out of MLV to muffle noise from these inlets. I also need to make sure the MLV (or whatever material I end up using) will withstand high temperatures (to avoid burning up everything).

    Project will likely happen next spring. Too many other projects in progress right now to worry about noise. Perhaps I should just invest in ear plugs and call it done until I can buy a lower HP/noise motor .
    Thanks! ZephanS
    AG 12'x24'x54" "Diamond Star" (wilbar) bought 2007 from http://www.sunenterprise.com as kit with waterco 2hp (max) pump (too big+noisy) & WaterCo T450 150lb sand filter (filled w/ 75lbs zeobrite). Pool installed 2007. 160 sq ft solar array installed (2009) on custom metal deck roof (2008). Purchase, Site prep, & installation 100% DYI thanks to PF and TFP. Wrap-around deck, small swg, electrical upgrade, and 8' water slide still pending install.

  5. #5
    Senior Member polyvue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, California USA
    Posts
    1,219

    Re: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    Quote Originally Posted by zephans
    My idea is that free form wire frame construction will better match the round motor and piping challenges than building boxes.
    A true DIY solution!

    In California, lot sizes in urban/suburban areas are often too small for a pool, nevermind a pool & spa, landscaping, deck and a 10 x 6 ft equipment pad... The filter/pump pad for my pool was relocated in the planning stage from the back fence/property line to my sideyard, poured to meet the foundation and adjacent to the kitchen wall (this, to address one neighbor's criticism that the pumps would be too close to their kitchen.) Though hours of operation are not excessive, confined to day-time except for the occasional night swim, the noise generated by the main pump and booster is quite noticeable - not just in the kitchen, but in living/family rooms as well. Worse, I've noticed that neighbors I've been close to for years and really like, an elderly couple, whose patio is perhaps 10 or 12 feet distant from the pad, have stopped using it for al fresco dining. Pretty sure I know why.

    Building an enclosure to isolate the pumps in my situation would be challenging to say the least. I have three pumps to contend with, all set close to each other and entangled in a spider's nest of 2" plumbing, sensor leads, electrical cabling and control units. I've long thought that installing some sort of sound-absorbant material on the redwood fence that separates me from the "good" neighbors coupled with sound panels attached to exterior kitchen wall (inches away from the pumps) might help reduce the dB. Also, a low sound wall perpendicular to wall/fence at the end of the pad, to deflect noise directed toward the pool and deck back down the length of the side yard.

    Most promising solutions turn out to be illusory in that the absorbent material such as acoustic panels and strips are not designed for outdoor use. Your post motivated me to dig a bit deeper and I have found a couple of web sites of interest.

    http://www.soundproofingamerica.com/ contains some interesting material, including this article: Soundproofing Pool Pumps And Filter Motors. I think I may have finally stumbled upon an acoustical tile product that can be used outdoors. (See Silent Panel PDF format)

    Another web site to explore is Acoustical Surfaces, starting with 4 Ways To Quiet a Noisy Machine

    Many thanks, zephans, for starting this thread.

    Greg
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bothell (near Seattle), WA
    Posts
    45

    Re: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    Thanks for posting the additional reference links Greg. It sounds like your lot size constraint is tighter than my 1/4 acre corner lot . I like the idea of using a computer fan to provide positive ventillation (as mentioned on soundproofingamerica.com link). I might also use the flexible ducting idea. I'll post an update when I get around to this project. In the mean time I'd like to see a few people who have tried tackling pump noise post their experience (good or bad) so everyone can learn how well your designs worked or didn't work.

    Don't be shy! You learn from success... but everyone learns much more from failure! Just ask Thomas Edison.
    Thanks! ZephanS
    AG 12'x24'x54" "Diamond Star" (wilbar) bought 2007 from http://www.sunenterprise.com as kit with waterco 2hp (max) pump (too big+noisy) & WaterCo T450 150lb sand filter (filled w/ 75lbs zeobrite). Pool installed 2007. 160 sq ft solar array installed (2009) on custom metal deck roof (2008). Purchase, Site prep, & installation 100% DYI thanks to PF and TFP. Wrap-around deck, small swg, electrical upgrade, and 8' water slide still pending install.

  7. #7
    Senior Member In the Industry

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    London and France
    Posts
    580

    Re: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    An interesting idea I came accross the other day, using a submerged pump rather than the usual surface mounted.

    Several good points:

    The pump is almost silent as it is underwater.
    You use a lot less electricity for the same flow rate with a submerged pump.
    No overheating problems.
    No winter draining down (pump mounted below freezing depth)

  8. #8
    Senior Member In the Industry
    Pool Clown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    799

    Re: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    I'm not sure submerged pumps are continuous duty rated, The affordable ones that is, I may be wrong.

    For a possible fix that wouldn't take long at all, is a rubber mat under the pump to help w/ vibration, (1/8 to 3/8 in thickness). Maybe shoving the rubber mat under would shim the pump just enough to tighten up the vibrations (like when you put pressure on the motor)
    Factory Warranty Station for:
    Jandy, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rockville, CA
    Posts
    99

    Re: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    One source for an appropriate material designed for motor soundproofing is the boating industry. A google check using "marine soundproofing" showed a couple of promising sites offering materials that seem perfect for pool equipment pad applications. One such, http://www.marinefoam.com/engine-sou...-soundproofing even has material you use under your pump to dampen vibration. Designing an appropriate structure to allow access to the filter for disassembly and cleaning and to provide clearance for the heater is my current sticking point.
    20K inground gunite w/ Aqua Logic automation and chlorination Sta-Rite 400 K natural gas heater and cartridge filter 2 HP pump 1.5 HP spa bubbler for spillover spa 1 HP dedicated Letro Legend cleaner
    H2O: two parts Heart and one part Obsession. ~Author Unknown

  10. #10
    Senior Member spishex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Hillsborough, NC
    Posts
    1,377

    Re: Soundproofing to reduce pump noise

    As poolclown and flintstone mentioned, a rubber mat goes a long way. If you're getting any noise from vibration you need to isolate that first rather than trying to block the noise that's being generated. Drain mats work very well for that.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •