How to Make a Sump Pump Quieter in 5 Easy Steps

The difference between a noisy sump pump and a quiet one is the difference between a good night’s sleep and a bad one. 

Most people notice their sump pump at night when it’s time to go to bed.  There are many different sounds and noises a sump pump can make. 

This heavily depends on what the current issue is with your pump.  I’ve done quite a bit of research to find the most relevant information on how to make a sump pump quieter, and I’ve laid it out in 5 easy steps for you to follow.

These steps don’t need to be taken in any particular order; it’s just the order that I recommend you follow to save yourself some money. 

Sometimes a loud sump pump can actually be fixed if you know what the problem is.  Just because your pump is making some extra noise that it didn’t last year doesn’t mean it’s completely broken.

Anyone can tell you to purchase a brand new sump pump, but not everyone wants to spend that kind of money if there are other ways they can quiet it down. 

Here are a few things you can do to quiet a noisy sump pump.

1. Replace the Check Valve

The check valve is usually the most common item to look at with a nonworking or noisy sump pump.  This is usually due to a broken check valve or one that is not fitted correctly. 

The check valve that comes installed on your sump pump isn’t bulletproof.  Sometimes it can jam due to debris which can cause it to become noisy or cause it to not work properly at all. 

If the valve isn’t working properly, the water will go back into the basin, which can cause a lot of extra noise and stress on the pump.

Check the valve and make sure that you clean any debris that may be clogged in it.  Another thing to make sure is that the valve is pointing away from the pump, not towards it. 

Improper installation can cause a lot more than just noise issues.  The last thing to make sure is that your check valve is tight.

If your sump pump doesn’t have a check valve, then you can add one to the line where it isn’t present.  You will first need to purchase a valve that is the proper size. 

Then you will need to cut a section of the pipe so you can install the valve.  The easiest way to attach a check valve to a section of the pipe is to connect it with a rubber coupling like this one.

The downright best solution to a noisy or broken check valve is to replace it directly with a quiet check valve.  This quiet check valve from amazon is cheap and does exactly what you need it to do. 

There isn’t really a product description saying how this valve actually works, but the many positive customer reviews do that for you.  This product does exactly what it is intended to do.

2. Identify What Noises Your Pump Is Making

There are many different noises your sump pump can make.  This is mainly due to all the different components that are involved in this system. 

There can be motor noises, hose or pipe noises, and water noises.  These all mean different issues and must be addressed individually.  The best way to determine where the noise is coming from is to first identify what noise it is.

Some of the different noises can be banging, clanking, and slurping noises.  Many of these noises can be prevented with a good maintenance schedule. 

Proper maintenance is usually the best way to help keep your sump pump working quietly and properly.  Let’s take a look at some of the different noises your sump pump can make and what to do to fix it.

3. Fix Vibration or Banging Noises

The first thing you want to look at if you have vibration noises is the discharge pipe.  Water flowing through the discharge pipe may cause vibration against the surrounding wall or the pump basin. 

A good way to help prevent this vibration is to wrap the discharge pipe with some form of foam insulation.  Make sure to insulate the joint at the bottom of the floor where the discharge pipe meets. 

When the pipe has direct contact with the floor, it can cause loud vibrations.  Another option is to surround the flooring with sound dampening materials as well.

Another noisy area is the sump pump lid or cover.  The best thing to do in this instance is to line the underside of the lid with rubber grommets.

Rubber grommets act as a form of of shock absorption thus effectively reducing any vibrations.

You may also want to consider replacing or rerouting your discharge pipe if it has many angles. If you have several joints and angles in your discharge pipe, then you will most likely see an increased amount of vibration and banging noises.

Consider replacing it with a straight discharge pipe and try to reduce the number of angles as best as you can.

If you need help with this, then you can consider hiring a plumber to help you determine the best path to reroute your discharge pipe.

4. Fix Gurgling or Slurping Noises

If you hear gurgling or slurping noises, then the first thing you need to do is locate the check valve. 

I discussed a little about the check valve up above and recommended that you replace it with a quiet check valve. 

A standard check valve creates gurgling noises as water flows back down the discharge pipe once the pump cycle completes.  You can fix this with an aftermarket quiet check valve.

A good aftermarket check valve is spring loaded, which allows the most even and controls water flow to help reduce and prevent gurgling. 

If you have an older valve, then I would recommend upgrading to the one I recommended on step 1 to help stop slurping sounds.

The next thing to do is take a look at the pump switch.  Adjust the pump switch so that it stops running before completely emptying the basin. 

If your pump dries up at the basin, the drainage pump will create a siphon.  This siphon will cause a lot of gurgling noises similar to if you were to suck air and water in a straw in an almost empty drink which results in slurping noises. 

To fix this, simply leave a few inches of water in the pump to prevent the intake of air.

5. Consider Upgrading Your Sump Pump

If you have an older pump system, then it may be time to skip all the mess and upgrade to a more modern pump.  This sump pump from amazon is made up of submersible cast iron. 

This sump pump must be submerged in some type of pit in order for it to be activated. 

It has an integrated vertical float switch for easy adjustment.  As the water level rises, so does the float which will turn the pump on.

This pump is very affordable and performs very well based on the many positive user reviews.  It’s able to empty out a lot of water very fast. 

Its rated to remove up to 4,600 gallons of water per hour which is pretty awesome for this little guy.  

Don’t forget to invest in a quiet check valve with this sump pump to fully benefit.

How to Properly Maintain Your Sump Pump

A sump pump is a very important appliance in your house.  It’s one of those appliances that you depend on to work properly when you need it. 

You will need it most when the heavy rain comes if you live in one of these areas.  Some homes are located where the water levels are too high and have poorly draining soils. 

Once the heavy rain comes in, this is a recipe for disaster.  Things will start flooding and stop working, and this is when you will need a working sump pump the most.

All these conditions warrant you to have a sump pump to remove excess water from a basement.  Some homes even have a sump pump installed just in case a flooding situation may happen. 

Things like abnormal rainfall or a plumbing burst are just a few of the problems that someone can encounter where a sump pump will be invaluable.

A sump pump should expel the water to the home’s yard and not to the sewers or other drains. 

These machines often sit for months without use, so it’s very important to do monthly maintenance to make sure they will work properly when they are needed the most. 

The worst thing to have happened is one of the scenarios listed above and having to find out that your sump pump has been broken for months or is not working as intended.  

These are very simple and quick to do and ensures that you have a working sump pump.

The following measure should be done roughly every 3 months to your sump pump.

  • Check the power cord to make sure it is connected to a working power source.
  • Clean and inspect the pump inlet screen.
  • Pour a bucket of water into the sump to raise the float and make sure that the pump is indeed working.

The following measures should be taken about once a year and require a little more work.

  • Remove the sump pump to fully inspect and clean it.
  • Completely clean out the sump pump.
  • Check your owner’s manual to check if any of the parts like the bearings require manual lubrication.  If you don’t have a manual for your pump, you can most likely find one online by doing a quick google search.
  • Replace the pump in the sump.
  • Check to make sure the power cord is connected to a working power source.
  • Test your sump pump by dumping a bucket of water into it to raise the float.  This will turn on the pump so you can make sure it’s working.  Adjust the float if necessary.

Here is a helpful video I found about simple sump pump maintenance:

What Causes a Sump Pump System to Run Continuously Without Turning Off?

Another way to quiet a sump pump is to make sure that it isn’t running continuously for no reason. 

The three main reasons a sump pump will run continuously include: a system malfunction, a plumbing issue, or a high water table. 

On top of being noisy, the main danger of a continuously running pump is that it can overheat and break down.  This is especially true if there is no water in the pit to help cool down the pump.

Most of the issues for a continuously running pump are easy to solve.  It just takes a little bit of investigating to see what the cause is. 

Once the problem is found, it can usually be corrected with some common sense knowledge.

Final Thoughts

A noisy sump pump can definitely keep you awake at night.  Ensuring that you have a quiet and properly working sump pump requires proper maintenance. 

If you don’t already have a quiet check valve, then I highly recommend doing that first before making any expensive purchases. 

A check valve is usually the main culprit of slurping and gurgling noises and can be fixed quickly and cheaply.

Don’t forget to inspect your sump pump every 3 months to make sure it actually still works.  Many people just believe that their sump pump is still working even though it has not been used in months. 

Have you ever left a car to sit for a few months?  There may be a possibility it may not start.  The same thing can happen with your sump pump. 

Something can stop working at some point, and it’s better to find out sooner than later.  On top of the quarterly checkups, also make it a point to do thorough maintenance to it at least once a year. 

This means cleaning everything out and making sure all the moving pieces are properly lubricated as well as replacing defective parts as needed.