Vibrating Pumps - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Vibrating Pumps

My new 125 has a wet/dry sump. After some initial wobbles, the plumbing is all done and looks fairly solid. However, I'm getting a ridiculous amount of vibration from the return pumps. They are 2
Quiet One Lifegard Aquarium Pumps, 758-Gallon Per Hour units. I've torn out and re-configured the returns to use spa-flex instead of pipe, hoping the more flexible material would dampen the vibrations somewhat, to no avail. Initially, one return made much more noise than the other - after the second redo, they both make the same amount, so less, but not quiet enough to be in the middle of the living room.

Any ideas what I could do to make these quieter? Do I need to get different pumps?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 05:39 PM
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You can put them on silicone pads which will help. You switched to flexible hosing which is good. Other than that there isn't much else I can think of besides getting more expensive quieter pumps. DC pumps are supposedly much quieter and there are a number of economic options these days. I think the Jebao pumps are the most popular. Not sure on what the actual difference in noise level is though.


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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I tried putting foam under them - it had approximately zero impact on the noise.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 12:43 AM
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The Quiet One Lifegard Aquarium Pumps are kind of noted for vibration. However there are a few things you can do. Often the sump or stand can act like a soundboard and amplify any vibration or noise the pump makes. Using foam or other soft material can help but it's not always enough, as you have seen.

What you can also do is shock mount the pump. This is done by mounting the pump to a small board and then hanging the board from above using nylon string and springs. You can get that stuff at Home Depot or similar store. Now the pump is not touching any part of the systems, and since you have already used spa flex to plump it, thing should be quiet.

Now if money is no object, those variable speed DC pumps are fantastic. Here is one example (offsite link) - http://www.amazon.com/Jebao-DC-12000-Return-Pump-Aquarium/dp/B00INTDJDA
Note they cost a lot more then a conventional pump. Also, shop around carefully. You will find that many of the pumps look alike. This is because many are made in China by the same company and are just repackaged by the vendors.

One of the few exceptions are the Royal Exclusiv Red Dragon pumps, which are made in Germany, and is also way out of sight expensive. (Yes, I know, Red Dragon sure does sound like something made in China)
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 01:07 AM
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Have you checked for back pressure problems, or reduced intake volume. Both ill make a pump vibrate

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MCSLABS View Post
Have you checked for back pressure problems, or reduced intake volume. Both ill make a pump vibrate
No. How would I go about doing that. They're pumping through 3/4" spa flex, head height is about 4'.


DaveK, compared to the Tunze pumps I'd convinced myself I needed last night, those Jebao ones are a bargain. The Red Dragon ones, on the other hand - holy wow!
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 03:23 AM
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Does the vibration go away if you disconnect it from the plumbing and run it in the sump? Sometimes pumps just have a vibration that your plumbing just doesn't like. Pumps themselves could be quiet. I've swapped different brands of very quiet pumps like eheim and sicce. One just works better for my plumbing.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, the pumps do vibrate even disconnected. I'm going up to my LFS tomorrow to buy plants - I'll ask the owner if he has any ideas.

On the bright side, I was able to do a 20% water change in about 10 minutes this morning (and that was refilling the sump at a paranoid trickle) thanks to the taps and drain I had put in behind the tanks, so that's its own little bit of awesome.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 12:19 AM
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In that case you will need a vibration pad. You can take a small lid from say a shoe box or similar, something the size of the pumps foot print that has at least 1 inch sides. Fill it full of silicone, cheapest stuff you can find, level it off and let it harden. Set this on top of a piece of foam drawer liner then set your pump on top. This should isolate the vibration to the pump only.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 01:57 PM
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If you go to a DC pump go at least twice the size you need. There head height and volume listed is way over rated. When you look at head height elbows count towards that too.

Your connect to your pump with a hose not pvc? Does anything touch that such as a top or cover. I have had vibration when that hose touch something else. Have tried unhooking the return line and just running it in your sump to see if it has to do with your head height? With piece of foam didn't make any difference it got be in your return line pressure.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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The pumps are connected with pvc fittings to spa flex. I may try adding a run of hose to that to see if I can isolate the vibration to the pumps. If that works, the silicone pads may be enough to quiet the buzz from the pumps..
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Ran about 8" of hose from the pumps to the spa flex. It's slightly quieter, but not good enough. Just ordered a couple of eheim oumps. If they don't solve this, I'm going to have to switch out the sump for a couple of canister filters, which I really don't want to do. However, my husband literally can't stand to be in the living room at the moment, so if the sump can't be made silent, it's going to have to go. (And,yes, I do think that he's being a bit over dramatic with the sulking upstairs because of the noise. It's not, IMO that bad. However, I know him well enough to know that once he's decided he doesn't like something, that's it - it either gets fixed or it's got to go)
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 06:24 PM
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Hmmmm. I went through something similar with the cube I put in the corner of the den. An LED pendant over it and a dead-silent Rena Filstar canister (I run 3 that are just silent). The open top tank, slight ripple at the water surface, and the pendant led to a nice shimmer across the ceiling in the corner of the room. My wife immediately declared it distracting while watching TV and boycotted the den for months. All I can say is she got used to it over time. Honestly....... I see a pair of canisters in your future.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 06:43 PM
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I used to just wrap mine in foam, it will quiet them down for sure.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I ordered a couple of Eheim pumps. If they're quiet enough, we're good. If they're not, back they go and the sump goes on craigslist. Too bad - I really like being able to keep all the crap out of the tank.
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