How to Soundproof an Outdoor Pool Pump: Beginner’s Guide

A noisy pool pump can be quite a problem to deal with.  Not only is a noisy outdoor pool pump annoying, but it is also expensive. 

Spending all that money on a pool pump should mean that it will be quiet, right?  Not all the time.  There’s a lot of different information on the internet on how to soundproof an outdoor pool pump. 

I have done plenty of research and found the best ways to quiet an outdoor pool pump, even if you are a beginner at soundproofing.

This may seem like an odd topic to talk about, but I have actually seen a loud pool pump in action.  I don’t have a pool at my house, but my mother has one. 

One day we were outside in the backyard barbecuing for the holidays when a loud humming noise started to surface. 

My mom simply brushed it off and said that her pool does that all the time and that it’s normal.  I decided that this wasn’t normal after the amount of money she told me she spent on the pool pump alone.

I decided to take it upon myself to research this topic further in order to help my mother out. 

This wouldn’t be the first time I helped her since I was actually able to help her stop the wind noise in her chimney a few months before this.

Here is what I have learned when it comes to soundproofing an outdoor pool pump.

Inspect Your Pool Pump for an Uneven Installation

Inspecting the installation of your pool pump is one of the first things you should check.  This step is pretty straightforward and is also free.

You want to check to make sure that your pool pump was installed on a flat, even surface.  Pumps are installed on many different surfaces. 

My mother’s pool pump was installed in the dirt and was flat, so this problem didn’t apply to her pool.  But this doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to yours. 

Some pools are installed on wooden planks, grass, or even concrete and may be off the balance if not installed properly.

If your pool pump is installed on a hard surface, then it may be one of the causes of why it’s so loud. 

Vibrations will echo louder and farther on a hard surface compared to a soft surface like dirt. 

Not only will a hard, uneven surface cause a noisier pool pump, but it may even compromise the integrity of your pool pump due to it having to work against gravity.

The easiest way to check to make sure your pool pump is installed correctly is to use a level on it.  This level from amazon works perfectly for many situations, including this one. 

If you find that your pool pump is uneven, go ahead and take the necessary actions to try and level it as much as possible.

Identify the Noises Your Pool Pump Is Making

If you have made sure your pump is level but are still hearing way too much noise, then the next step is to identify what is making the noise.

This sounds simple enough, but it can be a little difficult if you don’t know what you are looking for. 

Different noises like vibrations, high-pitched screeching, struggling noises, and rattling noises can all mean very different things.

The problem may be as simple as tightening a few loose bolts.  Or the problem can be so difficult to where you will just need to install some sort of soundproof enclosure in order to deaden the sounds.

Here are a few things you can check depending on the type of noise your pool pump is exhibiting.

Cavitation Noises

What exactly is cavitation noise?  This is when the pump is too large for the pipe size or a number of pipes that are bringing water into the pump, causing the pump to become starved of water. 

This means that is receiving less water than is required for it to work properly and efficiently.  Cavitation produces low, raspy sounds that can be very noisy if left untreated.

Other problems that can cause cavitation noises are things like a clogged impeller, broken or full pump basket, closed suction valves, and a broken skimmer line are all other issues that can lead to this type of noise.

Tighten the Hardware

This is a very simple fix that is practically free.  Be sure to inspect all areas of your pool pump that have the hardware, such as nuts and bolts. 

You will want to make sure they are all tight and not loose.  Loose hardware can cause your pump to make excess rattling sounds and may even cause unnecessary vibration.

Checking to make sure your pool pump hardware is tight on a regular basis can help prevent costly repairs.  The constant vibration from the pump may cause pieces to loosen over time. 

This can cause bigger issues down the road if not addressed early.  I actually found a few bolts that I was able to tighten on my mother’s pool pump. 

This didn’t seem to have much effect on the excess noise it was producing in her case.

Check for Worn out or Dirty Bearings

Broken bearings can cause a few different types of noises.  You may either hear loud screeching sounds or loud grinding noises depending on how worn out or dirty your pump’s bearings are. 

Replacing a bearing in your pump’s motor can be costly if you don’t know how to do it yourself.

Before replacing the bearing, I would recommend giving your motor a few smacks with a rubber mallet to make sure there just wasn’t any loose dirt, debris, or rust causing it to run poorly. 

If they are still making noise, then it would be best to open up the pump motor and take a visual look at the bearing.  Check the casing to see if it’s cracked or damaged.  Also, make sure the bearings spin freely and do not get hung up.

If you still believe that the problem resides in the bearing, then it will need to be replaced. 

If you have an average tool set lying around in your house, then you should be able to change out the bearing yourself. 

Some pool pump bearings also tend to be on the noisier side, even after being replaced.

If you are thinking about replacing the bearings, then I highly recommend you replace them with something like these quiet pool pump bearings from amazon to get rid of the issue for good.

I found the following video very helpful if you decide to replace your pool pump’s bearing on your own.  The video is part of a two-part series showing you how to replace a bearing in a pool pump motor.

Install Vibration Pads

If your pool is nice and level but still suffers from excess vibrations, then you may need to install vibration pads like these ones.  Installation is pretty straightforward with the vibration pads. 

Simply place a pad underneath each foot of the pump.  These pads will effectively absorb the vibrations that your pool pump is giving off.

If your pump is properly lag bolted to the concrete ground or a wooden deck, then you would need to cut out or drill a hole in the pad to account for it. 

The easiest way to do this without having to unbolt your pool pump is to create slits in the vibration pads so you can simply slide them into place.

Change Your Pool Pump

If your pool pump is old and worn out, then it may be time to upgrade it.  Older or dying pumps tend to make a lot more noise due to broken or run-down parts. 

Parts like broken bearings, defective seals, clogged propellers, and other parts can cause your pump to be noisy.

Many of these parts are replaceable, but if you don’t have the know-how or time to do it, then your best option may be to upgrade the pump entirely to a variable speed pump like this one from amazon.

Not only is this pool pump a lot quieter due to the variable speed technology, but it also takes fewer resources to operate. 

This results in a cheaper utility bill at the end of the month.  So what makes this pool pump quieter than the average pump?  It runs at three different speeds that you are able to set manually.

Check the Water Level of Your Pool

This is something that you can check this very minute.  Something as simple as checking your pool’s water level may solve your noisy pool pump issue. 

If the water level of your pool drops too low, this can allow unwanted air to get sucked into your pool’s filter.  Excess air in a filter will cause the pump to have to work harder. 

A harder-working pump will increase the amount of noise it will make.

A simple way to make sure your pool has enough water is to fill your pool until the water level rises to at least the top third of your skimmer’s faceplate.

Deflect the Sound from Your Pool Pump

A different approach to soundproofing a pool pump is to build a small wall between the pump and the pool. 

You can use the wall to deflect the sound to another area that is away from your pool or backyard. 

The best way to approach this is to build 3 walls in order to direct the sound in one direction.

Some people add vegetation like plants and bushes, but this actually does little to deflect the sound.  A solid wall or a low fence is the most effective way to deflect the sound. 

Concrete or stucco walls will perform much better than wood or metal walls because they echo much less.

DIY Sound Enclosure Box

This is a great alternative to building a wall around your pool pump.  Creating your own sound enclosure for your pool pump can save you a lot of money while at the same time solving your issue of a noisy pump. 

This simply works by creating a box or cover that fits around your pool pump.  This large plastic tub is big enough to cover most pool pumps.

Once you have a large tub, you will then need to line the inside with sound-deadening material like mass-loaded vinyl.  Adding this material to the inside of the tub will help keep the sound inside the box.

Once you have a large enough tub and sound-deadening material, you will then need to construct the enclosure.  Start by placing the tub next to your pool pump. 

This is so you can get an idea of what parts need to be cut out of the tub.  Use a marker to make marks along every portion of the tub that you will need to cut. 

Cutting out pieces of the tub will ensure that the cover will fit correctly over the pool pump.  Don’t forget to use a measuring tape to make sure your cuts will be accurate.

Once you have cut out all the necessary pieces on the tub, go ahead and insert the sound-deadening material on the inside.

Place the cover over your entire pool pump to make sure it fits securely.  Cut out any extra plastic from the tub if you run into any fitment issues.

Check out this company that actually makes pool pump covers to get a better visual of how your cover should look when it is complete. 

If you are not the DIY type of person, then you can simply purchase a cover directly from their website.  Purchasing a cover that is professionally made will help you avoid any mistakes you may make yourself.

Final Thoughts

There are many variables that come into play with a noisy pool pump.  The smartest way to tackle this is to figure out what is causing the excess noise of your pool pump. 

One of the most common problems with pool pumps is excessive vibration.  This can usually be fixed by adding vibration pads underneath the pump. 

It’s a cheap simple fix that does not require you to purchase a brand new pump.

Always start with the cheaper fixes before moving on to the more expensive fixes.  This is good advice to take for all forms of soundproofing. 

Sometimes spending less money can get you the same results as spending a whole lot of money.