How to Quiet a Sump Pump: 3 Noise Reduction Steps
I love my basement. It’s so convenient and allows me to store all sorts of useless junk that my husband and kids want to keep around for no good reason. From old toys to keepsakes that no sane person would hoard, it’s a blessing in disguise to be able to placate them by dumping all the unnecessary garbage in there.
However, there is a problem with it, in the form of some flooding, when the rain gets too intense. It’s because our home is on low land, which anyone with homes or even driveways on such land knows is a risk.
Luckily, we have the sump basin and sump pump that carries any excess water through some piping, away from the basement. This way, we avoid any damage that flooding might cause.
However, a sump pump can be loud and that is why we’ll be discussing some possible reasons for that and what kind of noise they could produce. We’ll also go into how to deal with them precisely. First, let’s list the issues:
And many others, but these are the general, big three reasons, so to speak. Let’s delve right into how to quiet down and make sure everything is alright with your sump pump.
How to Quiet a Sump Pump
Always contact the place you bought the pump from. They might be able to replace or upgrade it at a lower cost if your warranty covers it.
Alternatively, if you’re outside of the warranty, try and find the direct manufacturer, since they might have the best means to resolve your problems. It never hurts to ask and they do love doing direct business with customers as well.
Try to collect all the possible information you can that might prove helpful in regards to your issue. You’d be surprised at how much knowledge can be found even if you think the subject is unpopular or unlikely to have anyone discussing it, with the most unlikely of sources providing it, too.
While it's a cliché to say that knowledge is power, in this case, it's very true, since there are enough delicate and moving parts to pose an issue for you, if you don't tread carefully. Rushing things will get you nowhere.
Always be very careful with any changes and fixes, to avoid unnecessary damage and complications.
Things to be Careful Of
Anything that seems like it will end up being an exhaustive undertaking should not be done on your own. Professional help will, unfortunately, be a necessity, if you plan to do any really big innovating with your sump pump, as well as any truly significant repairs.
If the noise, whether it's clanging, motor noise or even gurgling, seems excessively loud, then your problems might be too large to be fixed with anything short of a repair. It may seem excessive, but with something as delicate and vital as this, taking any risks is ill-advised.
If you’re unsure of how things might go, employing some general safety measures beforehand will do wonders for your success, or at least damage minimization. Turning off water and even electricity, if need be, is a prospect you might want to look into.
How to Deal with the 3 Main Types of Noise:
Before we begin, let’s just quickly list a few things you might end up needing, going in, so you’re prepared in advance:
This isn't to say you will definitely need all of these, merely to help you understand what you will be best served looking out for when shopping and perusing online retailers like Amazon. Assessing the problem and then moving on to solutions and what you need to buy to apply them is obviously the best course of action.
While there are more possible problems than the 3 that shall be listed here, these are the most common and the ones you should always check for first, that’s why we will be covering them extensively today. Let’s get right into the big 3 now:
1. Motor Noise
Cover your pump basin using a lid or alternatively using fitted foam insulation. This is usually your first step regardless of what else you do, as it’s very useful and should be easy enough to implement.
The more modern and up to date pump models are fully enclosed and as a rule, come with their own plastic cover that keeps noise pollution to a more manageable level. You can still cover more outdated and older models that unfortunately have exposed basins using a piece of plywood that you fit over the basin as best as you can.
Firmly affix the plywood to the floor all around the sump pump with the use of a rubber gasket in order to create a seal, thus reducing vibrations. Do your best to work out the material that was used to make your pump, as well as the material of the intake and discharge pipes.
The best and the last noisy pumps are made with cast iron as well as being self-lubricating in order to avoid squeaking as well as any unnecessary damage. Should your pump and pipes turn out to be made primarily out of plastic or PVC, you would be wise to think about upgrading to a cast iron model with the aid of a professional.
If you do go this route, pick a submerged sump pump and make sure it has a motor sitting below the lip part in the overall sump basin. Pedestal pumps have a motor sitting above floor level, which allows for motor sounds to make an unholy racket through the room.
2. Loud Vibrations or Clanging Noises
Examine and identify the discharge pipe of the sump pump. As water flows through the length of the discharge pipe, the pipe could be vibrating against parts of the pump basin or even the surrounding wall.
Coat the discharge pipe carefully but thoroughly in foam insulation in order to prevent the possibility of the pipe hitting against the wall. Insulate the joint around where the discharge pipe is set to meet the flooring.
The vibrations of the pipe can be surprisingly loud, should it get in contact with the flooring. Surround the flooring and pipe both with foam insulation and/or other noise damping materials for maximum effect.
Line the entire underside of the pump lid or its cover with the rubber grommets you purchased if the vibration turns out to be due to the pipe hitting the insides of the pump. Rubber grommets help reduce the vibration sounds and motor rattling.
Consider replacing your discharge pipe should it turn out to it include several or major angles. Straighter discharge pipes allow a freer flow of water that’s also quieter, but several joints can create lots of clanging and vibration.
A professional plumber should be able to determine the most logical and worthwhile ways to reroute the sump pump’s piping.
3. Noises that Sound Disturbingly like Gurgling or Slurping
Find the check valve your discharge line needs to have. Standard swing valves may create gurgling noises in the process of water flowing back down the pipe meant for discharge when the pump cycle is complete.
Change out the swing check valve and replace it with a spring loaded one. Spring loaded valves are designed to have the steadiest, most controlled flow of water to reduce the gurgling. If yours is an older model of the spring-loaded valve, make sure to upgrade it to a more modern version and that way you will reduce slurping sounds.
Fine-tune the pump switch with the aim of stopping it from running prior to you fully emptying the basin. If your pump manages to dry out the basin, the drainage pump can create a siphon which in turn makes a gurgling sound, similar to, but decidedly more unpleasant than listening to someone sucking air noisily through a straw.
Allowing for a bit of water in the pump stops the intake of air. This measure should be implemented with caution, as you do not want the water you leave behind to cause problems of its own, due to a mishap with the water itself.
Conclusion: On Quieting Your Sump Pump
This concludes the most pertinent information on how to deal with the noise your sump pump might be making and, more to the point, how to get rid of it. Remember to be careful and methodical and you should be fine.