SunSun HW-302 Noise - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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SunSun HW-302 Noise

I've been troubleshooting some noise coming from my filter. There seems to be a slight rattle caused by the impeller. I've made sure that the canister filter is completely sealed and tipped/tilted the filter a few times per day for at least a week to make sure that there isn't any air trapped inside. I've also tried lubing the seal on the pump head as well as the impeller with vaseline. The vaseline seems to help quiet the impeller for a while after each time that it's applied; even with a bit of air left in the system after setting it back up, it's near silent. After around ten minutes, though, the rattling returns (I've also tried with vegetable oil and gotten a similar result; the vaseline seems to last a bit longer). I'm assuming that some (or most) of the vaseline is being washed off as the impeller spins.

I'm not sure what I should do next. Would it be worth purchasing something like Eheim's maintenance spray to see if it'd be more effective than vaseline? Are there any other options that I should try? I've read a few times on TPT that some members have completely silent SunSun filters so I'm sure it's possible to silence mine. Any advice or tips are greatly appreciated!

Some additional information: the noise can be heard but is very quiet from about ten feet away. At around twenty feet away it starts to become inaudible. It is inside a closed stand. I've tried setting the filter on a towel to reduce vibration but this doesn't seem to help. There is very little excess tubing; I have reduced from 5/8" to 1/2" tubing to use a set of lily pipes. The only inline equipment is a hydor heater. I've tried running the filter in a bucket with only the 5/8" tubing and without the heater and the noise is the same, though.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 05:06 AM
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Mine are dead silent. Only time I have heard people have noise if air is trapped inside, but sounds like you've ruled that out.
I would say it could possibly be loose media blowing and bumping around (if the trays aren't packed), but it seems you have some noise reduction with applying vaseline to the impeller.

So, I am thinking something is just causing your impeller to sit unevenly or it is hitting something.

Take the head off the unit and shake it around gently to hear if anything is caught inside the head unit.
Then I would inspect the impeller to make sure it sits flush/evenly like it's supposed to and check that it is not rubbing anything. Especially check those little rubber boots that the impeller sits into (one at each end of the impeller stick/shaft). Lube up the impeller magnet as well. It's possible something has a imperfection (slight raise or something is split/broken causing it to be uneven).

Other than that I am not sure what it may be. Has it been like that since day one? It might just have a defect/imperfection from a poor plastic mold or rubber part and might be fixable with some sanding.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 05:23 AM
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How long ago did you set it up? This same thing happened with my aquaclear filters (including me adding vaseline and having it work until it wore off soon after) but after some slime built up on the impeller it was silent. It took a week or two.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WaterLife View Post
Mine are dead silent. Only time I have heard people have noise if air is trapped inside, but sounds like you've ruled that out.
I would say it could possibly be loose media blowing and bumping around (if the trays aren't packed), but it seems you have some noise reduction with applying vaseline to the impeller.

So, I am thinking something is just causing your impeller to sit unevenly or it is hitting something.

Take the head off the unit and shake it around gently to hear if anything is caught inside the head unit.
Then I would inspect the impeller to make sure it sits flush/evenly like it's supposed to and check that it is not rubbing anything. Especially check those little rubber boots that the impeller sits into (one at each end of the impeller stick/shaft). Lube up the impeller magnet as well. It's possible something has a imperfection (slight raise or something is split/broken causing it to be uneven).

Other than that I am not sure what it may be. Has it been like that since day one? It might just have a defect/imperfection from a poor plastic mold or rubber part and might be fixable with some sanding.
Thanks for the info! I just made sure that my media was all packed tightly and looked for imperfections on the pump head. The impeller seems to sit evenly. I lubed up the impeller and magnet and once again the filter is operating almost silently. If it starts to get louder again I'll take a closer look for imperfections and maybe do a bit of sanding. My best guess is that the sound is caused by the impeller hitting something so a bit of strategic sanding might do the trick.

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Originally Posted by noseprint View Post
How long ago did you set it up? This same thing happened with my aquaclear filters (including me adding vaseline and having it work until it wore off soon after) but after some slime built up on the impeller it was silent. It took a week or two.
It's been set up for about three weeks now. I haven't really given the impeller a chance to build up any slime with my constant troubleshooting with vaseline and so forth. If nothing else works out I might try leaving it for a while to see if that works.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 04:47 PM
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Since it is quiet and then after a time begins to be noisy, this may not help but a thought for the next time you have it open. I'm not up on what type impeller shaft the Sun-Sun uses. It might be worth a look at the shaft. Laying the shaft down on a flat surface with a bright light on the far side, roll the shaft slowly and look for light leaking through under the shaft. Metal shafts are prone to having a small amount of wear or bent very slightly. The ceramic shafts like Eheim are fragile if we drop them but wear much better and don't wear as fast or bend. On an older filter, a bit of sand might have gotten in the space between the shaft and impeller but not likely on new. Trying a new shaft and impeller would be one way to test for this noise but quite expensive.
Another item which I find may cause me trouble is when the media is too dense or a bit clogged so that the water doesn't flow through well. I find this can cause the outgoing water to be pumped out faster than the water comes in and it makes something of a "cavitation" type noise. Perhaps removing some of the media trays for a test when the filter is making noise would help spot this? Not suggesting removing the media and leaving it out but just remove, reinstall the filter and test for the noise. Then reinstall or adjust the media if it tells you anything. Some way, too much media makes a couple of my canisters suck in air, even though I can't find a leak under other conditions. I first noticed this when I changed media and had trouble priming a filter which had never given me trouble before.
Growing plants and fish teaches patience if nothing else??
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Since it is quiet and then after a time begins to be noisy, this may not help but a thought for the next time you have it open. I'm not up on what type impeller shaft the Sun-Sun uses. It might be worth a look at the shaft. Laying the shaft down on a flat surface with a bright light on the far side, roll the shaft slowly and look for light leaking through under the shaft. Metal shafts are prone to having a small amount of wear or bent very slightly. The ceramic shafts like Eheim are fragile if we drop them but wear much better and don't wear as fast or bend. On an older filter, a bit of sand might have gotten in the space between the shaft and impeller but not likely on new. Trying a new shaft and impeller would be one way to test for this noise but quite expensive.
Another item which I find may cause me trouble is when the media is too dense or a bit clogged so that the water doesn't flow through well. I find this can cause the outgoing water to be pumped out faster than the water comes in and it makes something of a "cavitation" type noise. Perhaps removing some of the media trays for a test when the filter is making noise would help spot this? Not suggesting removing the media and leaving it out but just remove, reinstall the filter and test for the noise. Then reinstall or adjust the media if it tells you anything. Some way, too much media makes a couple of my canisters suck in air, even though I can't find a leak under other conditions. I first noticed this when I changed media and had trouble priming a filter which had never given me trouble before.
Growing plants and fish teaches patience if nothing else??
Thanks for the ideas. For now I'm just going to try getting all of the air out of the system again. If that doesn't work after a few days, I'll try rearranging the media a bit. I do have a pretty tightly packed layer of filter floss but it's nothing out of the ordinary as far as I know. If that doesn't work then I'm back to inspecting the impeller or maybe doing a bit of sanding on the pump head.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 09:40 PM
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I haven't read all the replies, but i have the same filter model and i had a rattling noise a few weeks ago. It turned out that the impeller cover was not fully tightened, so the impeller was bouncing around inside of its housing, making a pretty loud noise.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 09:50 PM
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I might take a look at the filter floss sooner rather than later. It is good for removing small bits of stuff but that also makes it get stopped up much quicker. The small spaces which catch the debris are easy to stop up. I use a blue white bonded pad that I cut to fit rather than the typical filter floss. The floss was a constant nuisance as it sogs up and wads together too much for me. I like to let my can run at least a coupe months before I have to open them. The bonded pad has a stiffener of some sort added to keep it standing open better.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I might take a look at the filter floss sooner rather than later. It is good for removing small bits of stuff but that also makes it get stopped up much quicker. The small spaces which catch the debris are easy to stop up. I use a blue white bonded pad that I cut to fit rather than the typical filter floss. The floss was a constant nuisance as it sogs up and wads together too much for me. I like to let my can run at least a coupe months before I have to open them. The bonded pad has a stiffener of some sort added to keep it standing open better.
I took out most of the mechanical media and even with great flow inside the canister it's still producing the same sound. At this point I'm almost completely sure that the impeller itself is causing the noise.

I took out the impeller shaft and it appears to be completely straight, no imperfections or anything. After putting everything back together and lubing it up again, the filter seems to be a little more quiet than before even after a day. Now the noise is barely audible from about ten feet away where as before it was still pretty noticeable.

Any suggestions for what I should try next? Also, the magnetic part of the impeller spins freely about 180 degrees; I just wanted to confirm that it is meant to do that.

Also, if the sound stays as-is I might look into reducing the noise acoustically. Does anyone have suggestions about how to effectively soundproof an aquarium stand?

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Originally Posted by sohankpatel View Post
I haven't read all the replies, but i have the same filter model and i had a rattling noise a few weeks ago. It turned out that the impeller cover was not fully tightened, so the impeller was bouncing around inside of its housing, making a pretty loud noise.
I'm almost 100% sure that the impeller cover is on securely and correctly. I'll make sure to double check next time I open up the filter.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 02:43 PM
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About the only idea I would have for next is to replace both the impeller and shaft but that is always a bite on the money end. If it is not real bother, I might wait and hope it improves.
But then in the meantime some work on the stand may help. I had a Cascade 1000 that hums a tune that could be heard across the room. It might help to find any spot where vibrations from the filter can be transferred to the stand or other parts. When my filter was on a hard floor, it made more noise than on a large mouse pad foam. Adding a little thin foam between any part of the tubing and the tank or stand helped. But the final thing for me was adding a second layer of soundboard to the inside of the stand. That was not the filter but the stand was built too light and they had used 1/4" plywood to skin it. The plywood picked up any vibration and made is something like a drum.
I would try to isolate and insulate any of that type noise and if all else failed then change the impeller and shaft. They can make noise even when we can't see the defect.

It is correct that the mag should be loose on the other part of the impeller but not turn all the way around. It has to do with the extremely low torque that mag drive motors have. When starting, they let the impeller start turning before the full load of moving the water hits. Kind of a running start? That is why it is worth the time to occasionally take the impeller off the shaft and really clean it totally. Not much power there so it needs all the advantage we can give it.
Best of luck to you. Chasing noise can be a real drag!!!
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