Pool pump noise

contendo

New member
Nov 22, 2020
3
Colleyville Texas
Hi,

I recently contacted my neighbor over excessive noise emitted from his pool pump. Unfortunately, he does not think it's an issue and stated his pool company said his pump is fine. My neighbor stated that pool pumps make noise....

The neighbor recently had pool plumbing leaks repaired and pool resurfaced. Prior to repairs the pump was sucking air (cavitation) for about a year.

The noise from my neighbors pool pump prevents me from the "quiet enjoyment" of my backyard and can be heard inside my house. I suspect the pump impeller is damaged or contains debris. Attached is a short video comparing an old pool pump (tan) in the local area with his (black).

Before pressing the issue, I want to make sure that my noise concern is based upon "ordinary sensibilities".

The video of his pump was shot over the fence from my yard after his plumbing repairs.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback / analysis on the pump noise from the experts in the forum. Any suggestions on how to resolve and be a good neighbor would be great, too. I want to assure I'm not being a picky neighbor before I move forward with HOA and / or city.

Thank you in advance.





 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,547
That's really loud and annoying. They should deal with it.

They should go to a new variable speed pump.

To quiet this pump, if they choose not to cooperate, you could build a box around the pump and fill the box with wet concrete. That should dampen the noise substantially.

But seriously, if they don't cooperate, you are justified in filing a complaint, in my opinion. Or, just do the concrete thing.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,738
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hi and welcome to TFP! Wow, you have a lot more patience than I would. You should not have to deal with that kind of noise in your yard. If you can hear it in your house, then that is beyond reasonable. The problem, as you know, is resolving the issue without destroying your relationship with your neighbor.

You should start by exploring what noise ordinances are provided by Colleyville. Understanding that will do two things: assure you that you have grounds to complain about the noise if it comes to that, and arm you with the facts if it becomes necessary to enlighten your neighbor about same. Hopefully your city will have something you can use.

Then the obligatory conversation with the neighbor. Though it sounds like you've tried that. If he disagrees that you don't have a right to enjoy peace and quiet inside your home, then James is right, you'll have to get the police involved, and/or file a complaint. But before you do that...

Another tack you might take: give us your energy rates. Get them off your electricity bill. Determine how many hours a day your neighbor runs his pump. If you can get the pump's horsepower rating, or a close up pic of it, that would help. Maybe your neighbor would volunteer that if you tell him you're exploring ways to resolve this "friendly dispute." Armed with that info, we can help you calculate about how much he's spending on electricity for that pump. Then do some research to see if your city, state or power company are offering any rebates for installing a variable speed pump. Here's where I'm going with all this. You might be able to demonstrate to him that by replacing his existing pump with a variable speed pump, it will not only make it quieter for him and you, but it will pay for itself in X-number of years, and then save him money after that. That would be a very reasonable good-neighbor effort to solve this problem. You can even decide if it's worth it to you to kick in some of the cost (I wouldn't). Variable speed pumps are soooo quiet you can hardly tell they are running standing right next to them. Yes they get loud at high RPMs, but you rarely if ever need to run a pool pump at high RPMs.

That's all I got. If that doesn't work, then call the cops. Air conditioners and pool pumps and lawn mowers and leaf blowers and kids all make noise. We must accept a level of that if we are to live in a neighborhood. But I draw the line at hearing anything over a hint while inside my house with doors and windows closed. I think the law would be on your side should it come to that.
 
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mgtfp

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2020
574
Melbourne, Australia
Pool Size
66000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
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Astral VX 7T
The neighbour seems to be a bit stubborn, how could anyone think that this noise was normal...

I bet, his family is also quite annoyed by that noise. Maybe you can play your neighbour through his wife? Let her know that there are pumps around that you can barely hear, and that in the long run they would actually safe money.
 
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setsailsoon

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Oct 25, 2015
3,655
Stuart/FL
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Plaster
Chlorine
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CircuPool RJ-30 Plus
Wow! This is kind of tough. Normally cavitation will cause damage and result in failure pretty soon. Unfortunately a combination of minor cavitation, imbalance, partially obstructed installations just make a lot of noise for quite a long time before failure. Where noise levels are controlled by city ordinance they are usually set at 85 db at the closest property line. This avoids ear damage but can still be very aggravating.

I really think your neighbor is being very inconsiderate but I don't think it's worth your effort and aggravation to try to make him fix it. If he won't reason with you maybe consider building a partial fence or installing some dense shrubs or add a water feature that will help with "white noise" that comfortably masks nuisance noises. It won't silence the noise but will be way more cost effective than any other options.

Wish I had better advice for you.

Chris
 
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duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
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Apr 1, 2007
34,477
Sebring, Florida
Forcing him to comply through another authority will drag on and on and create an enemy for life. If you can deal with that, that is a path that will work but cause you a lot of heartburn.

A sit down with him in which you both can agree to work on the issue (maybe by helping him purchase a new VS pump) might be a more peaceful option long term.

If he gets a new pump and you get peace of mind you both can win, but the HOA will only deepen your problem.
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
376
NE Oklahoma
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Dear Lord, I don't understand how your neighbor can live with that. I had a little squeak in my water feature pump, only at startup, and that bugged the heck out of me!

There are dB meter apps for smartphones. You could download one of those, and at your fence line, measure the noise. If it is above 85dBA, then I would say that you have a right to push the issue further. That is the level set by OSHA for an 8 hour continuous exposure, and is also a generally acceptable level for noise limits. I know for most of the process plants I work on/in, the fence line dBA must not exceed 85.

If it is louder than 85dBA, then your discussion point would be more focused on hearing safety for his family, and yours, which may be much better accepted by him.

I do agree with Dave, in that engaging the HOA and/or the authorities will definitely not help matters.

Neighbors like that is why I now live on a 1.5 acre property at the edge of town. I had inconsiderate neighbors who would leave their dogs out barking at all hours of the night. And others who wouldn't keep their dogs on their property. I swear I almost ran over one in my driveway, at least a half dozen times. A little thing, Pomeranian or something. He always managed to get out of the way.

-- Jeff
 
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contendo

New member
Nov 22, 2020
3
Colleyville Texas
Wow! This is kind of tough. Normally cavitation will cause damage and result in failure pretty soon. Unfortunately a combination of minor cavitation, imbalance, partially obstructed installations just make a lot of noise for quite a long time before failure. Where noise levels are controlled by city ordinance they are usually set at 85 db at the closest property line. This avoids ear damage but can still be very aggravating.

I really think your neighbor is being very inconsiderate but I don't think it's worth your effort and aggravation to try to make him fix it. If he won't reason with you maybe consider building a partial fence or installing some dense shrubs or add a water feature that will help with "white noise" that comfortably masks nuisance noises. It won't silence the noise but will be way more cost effective than any other options.

Wish I had better advice for you.

Chris
That's really loud and annoying. They should deal with it.

They should go to a new variable speed pump.

To quiet this pump, if they choose not to cooperate, you could build a box around the pump and fill the box with wet concrete. That should dampen the noise substantially.

But seriously, if they don't cooperate, you are justified in filing a complaint, in my opinion. Or, just do the concrete thing.
 

contendo

New member
Nov 22, 2020
3
Colleyville Texas
Wow! This is kind of tough. Normally cavitation will cause damage and result in failure pretty soon. Unfortunately a combination of minor cavitation, imbalance, partially obstructed installations just make a lot of noise for quite a long time before failure. Where noise levels are controlled by city ordinance they are usually set at 85 db at the closest property line. This avoids ear damage but can still be very aggravating.

I really think your neighbor is being very inconsiderate but I don't think it's worth your effort and aggravation to try to make him fix it. If he won't reason with you maybe consider building a partial fence or installing some dense shrubs or add a water feature that will help with "white noise" that comfortably masks nuisance noises. It won't silence the noise but will be way more cost effective than any other options.

Wish I had better advice for you.

Chris
Thanks Chris, I built a double stack picket cedar fence, installed 2x6 baseboard along fence line, installed the baseboards with mud and river rock to the top and planted Nellie R Hollies bushed to no avail. I am surprised his pump hasn't imploded yet. The city and HOA only use the terms "quiet enjoyment" and "nuisance"....subjective. Thanks