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Thread: pump noise solutions, swap?

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    delirium330's Avatar
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    pump noise solutions, swap?

    We're 4 months into pool ownership and all is well on the chemistry side of things, crystal clear for the moment thanks to TFP. We're about to start using the pool for daily swimming and I'm a bit annoyed at the sound level of the main pump. I don't always remember it being this loud, but I do know I probably ran it 5-6 times without priming it first (i.e. filling it up with water) when I first was figuring things out and periodically cleaning the pump basket and also trying to determine/fix an air leak (just had to lube and replace the lid gasket).

    Another piece of information is that I've got two identical pumps in my configuration. One runs the pool, the other is standalone running two waterfalls. I did a rudimentary measurement of decibel level and got ~77 on the waterfall pump and ~81 on the main pool pump.

    I'm trying to assess my options and here is what I've come up with, let me know what you all think of these or any other ideas.

    1. Replace some part of the pump to reduce the noise. I'm fairly handy (have replaced entire cooling systems on vehicles, brakes, etc.) but wouldn't be able to exactly determine which part and have never worked on a pump before. I'm okay with spending ~$100 if there is a 50%+ chance of reducing the noise. Is there a "typical" part that causes excess noise over time, like an impeller?

    2. Swap the pumps (waterfalls -> main pool). Not sure how tricky this would be, but the pumps are identical and I figure the noise of the waterfall would cover up the noise of the louder pump when I decide to run the waterfalls then I would have the quieter pump running the main pool.

    3. Replace the primary pump entirely with something new. Based on some quick research on a nice variable speed pump this would run me about $1k if I figure I can install myself.

    I'm only running the pump 4.5 hours per day total (across two sessions) but assume I will need to run it more with summer coming and I also would prefer to run it while swimming.
    Built 2003, 14k Gallons, IG Pebbletec, Primary Pump: Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Sta-Rite Series 3 S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Fiberstars Jazz Light w/Color Wheel, Polaris 280 Vacuum (Runs Zodiac PB4-60 Booster Pump) and 2 Waterfalls (Run on separate, dedicated 1HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas II Pump).

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: pump noise solutions, swap?

    I think it is usually the bearings that start causing noise and I am not sure how easy they are to replace. I would certainly consider swapping the motors ... actually would be very simple to swap the motors while still attached to the impeller and back half of the pump. Just disconnect power, pull the bolts to split the pumps, swap them, and hook the power back up. This assumes that they are truly identical.
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: pump noise solutions, swap?

    What kind of noise is it? If it's a screech/squeal, it's probably bearings. Based on bullet point #1 above, you could probably handle it. Each pump has a pair of sealed ball bearings. You'd need a puller to get them off and a press (though a hammer with a piece of iron pipe works in a pinch) to get them back on. Bearings are anywhere from $6-15 each, depending on where you buy them.

    Let us know what it sounds like, and how long it's been going on. Also, how old are the pumps?
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    delirium330's Avatar
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    Re: pump noise solutions, swap?

    It's not a screech or a squeal really, more of just "loud" and annoyingly loud versus the other pump which really is identical... maybe a bit of a screech, lower pitch sound that sounds more of a loud machine type of noise versus a squeal. Both still have all of their badges and stickers and from the model # down to the electric specs they are the same. I will note that the waterfall pump has a blue filter basket and the pool pump has a brown filter basket.

    It has been going on for about 2 months now and I don't think it was ever a drastic change, almost crept up on me until I finally decided to do something about it. I believe both pumps are originals with the pool build in 2003.

    If you guys think necessary to record the sound let me know and I'll get a YouTube clip up. Thanks again.
    Built 2003, 14k Gallons, IG Pebbletec, Primary Pump: Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Sta-Rite Series 3 S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Fiberstars Jazz Light w/Color Wheel, Polaris 280 Vacuum (Runs Zodiac PB4-60 Booster Pump) and 2 Waterfalls (Run on separate, dedicated 1HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas II Pump).

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