Sump pumps keep our basements safe and dry. They play a huge role in keeping us from paying thousands of dollars in damages and repairs from water damage. That’s why we tolerate them interrupting our sleep at night.
We let ourselves get used to the constant humming of the motors, the cyclic thuds, and the rattle of the pipes. It’s all part of the deal, right? Well… not necessarily. Here are some easy tips on how to quiet a sump pump:
How to Quiet Sump Pump
1. Eliminate water hammer
Most people that having sump pump noise issues usually have water hammer problems. This phenomenon happens when the water suddenly changes directions in the pipes or when the pump itself stops. The change in pressure causes shockwaves that cause thuds and make the pipes clatter.
It easily becomes annoying and if ignored for a long period of time, it can cause the pipes to fail early and lead to flooding. Luckily, there are two easy ways you can go about this:
Use a silent check valve
A silent check valve uses a strong spring to slow down the opening and closing of the flapper inside. This results in a more gentle change in pressure that should eliminate any thuds happening when starting and stopping the pipe. Oh, and the gurgling sound you hear when the pump stops? This should fix it too.
Install a valve at the discharge
A high power pump will create more vibrations when it runs. To mitigate, install a valve at the outlet to throttle the discharge and minimize the surge of water when starting and stopping the pump. Just make sure not to close the valve too much to avoid reducing efficiency which means wasting electricity while pumping less water.
2. Reduce pipe vibrations
If you notice that the noise comes from the pipes itself when the pump is running, you may need a different set of solutions to solve the problem. You can try either properly setting up the pipe supports or, if you’re not already, use rubber couplings.
Fix the pipe support
Anchoring the pipes properly to the walls stops them from moving and minimizes the overall vibrations in the system. Doing so, you can greatly reduce the noise rattling noise that results from an unstable piping system shaking from all the water passing through.
Use rubber couplings
The pump has a motor that spins an impeller and that impeller pushes the water out into the pipes. The problem is that the motor vibrates when doing so and it can cause the pipes to rattle too.
Rubber couplings can help isolate the pump vibrations in itself and stops it from being transmitted to the pipes. They’re usually installed to connect the check valve to the discharge pipings
3. Replace the pump itself
If neither of the two solutions above can solve your problem, you may need to apply more a more drastic solution to the problem — replacing the pump. It’s going to cost you more but it’s a fair investment to get the peace and quiet you deserve. Here are the things you should consider for your next pump.
Get a smaller pump
If for some reason you have a pump that’s too powerful for your system, then it may be the cause of water hammer. Larger pumps will have a stronger kick due to the amount of energy they exert on the water compared to smaller ones. Most residential applications only need up to ½ HP sump pumps with only a few exceptions.
Consider getting a smaller one if you think this applies to you. Just make sure you can still pump out as much water as you need when the rain comes.
Try a submersible pump
Pedestal pumps are awesome and super reliable but the exposed motor at the top is not only distracting on the eyes but on the ears too. A submersible pump sits low inside of the basin allowing it to be more stable as it runs. On top of that, both the water and the basin cover helps dampen the noise before it even reaches your ears.
Pump with upper and lower ball bearings
High-quality sump pumps often have upper and lower ball bearings installed to help reduce vibrations while running. They’re usually more expensive but the improvement in both the noise and pump longevity is totally worth it.
Has a longer switch range
This is doesn’t exactly reduce the noise directly but it allows the pump to cycle for longer periods of time. What this means is that it doesn’t have to start and stop as often and therefore less thuds and thumps throughout the night.