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Soundproofing a Pump

Noisy domestic pumps is often a problem that is disturbing from small domestic pumps to much larger industrial pumps but the soundproofing solution to reduce the noise from affecting others is basically the same regardless of size.  Noise from small domestic pumps is one of the biggest problems often encountered, because these are usually found in the home moving domestic water either to taps or showers.  These pumps are usually high speed can generate a lot of noise that is easily transmitted around the home by both airborne noise and structure borne noise.  Airborne noise is the type of noise that you can easily hear when you are closer to where the pump is sited whereas structure borne sound is when you can still hear the pump regardless of where you are in the building.  As the term suggests, structure borne sound is when the sound is transmitted through the structure of the building so the building is acting as a conduit.  The same principle of sound travel applies to larger industrial pumps as well.  Now for the solution to reduce the noise from pumps by applying the correct soundproofing materials.  It is important that the correct materials are used to obtain maximum soundproofing performance.

It is best to plan the best position to site any pump before installation which is particularly important with domestic pumps so it can more easily be soundproofed.  A pump that is fitted beneath a bath, in an airing cupboard or similar enclosed space cannot effectively be treated for noise.  Siting in a loft or a large cupboard with lots of space around the pump will be much better and will more easily allow acoustic treatment which will entail the following.

For best results a concrete slab should be used which will contain much of the vibration energy emitted from the pump.  The slab can be a paving slab or a simple patio slab depending on the size of the pump.  For large industrial pumps, a cast concrete slab will be required.  The slab should be isolated from the ground or floor where it is based with an anti-vibration pad.  These are 10mm thick pads produced from recycled rubber and help reduce structure borne sound from travelling through the building.  On top of the slab should be glued another anti-vibration pad with a 12mm ply board glued on top.  The pump can then be mounted on the ply and fixed.  Flexible hose connections should be used to connect the lump to the plumbing which will further reduce flanking noise.  Now all that remains is to enclose the pump within an acoustic enclosure that will help contain the airborne noise.  A minimum of 18mm MDF or ply should be used and constructed as large as possible.  The larger it is the more efficient the soundproofing will be and less likelihood of the pump overheating.  The inside of the enclosure can then be lined with our 32mm SA25FF/B/6 soundproofing foam and that’s it, job done!  Except if ventilation is required, this can be through passive vents, one on each side allowing a throughput of air.  The vents must be created so that there is no direct line of sight into the enclosure and the inside of the vents should also be lined with the soundproofing foam mentioned earlier.   For more information on how to soundproof a pump go to our web page on www.keepitquiet.co.uk.