When you jump into the shower for a beautiful meditative session with soap and lather, the last thing you would want is to hear the shower pump scream at you.
The movement of water forced up and out at high temperature through a maze of metal pipes is what causes all that whirling noise when you turn the switch.
You can stop worrying because you don’t have to be an expert in plumbing or home maintenance to get your shower pump to run quieter.
You do not necessarily have to remove or replace the shower pump off the wall either. Not everyone has the same lifestyle or job that can provide them with the most efficient solution or the best shower pump available on the market. Also, calling in a carpenter or a plumber can cost a lot of money.
What you can do that will save tons of money and time in comparison to all the heavy-handed solutions is to build a shower pump box.
This way, it forms as a barrier between you and the shower pump that insulates sound and even vibrations to a certain degree.
So here is a step-by-step guide on how to build your shower pump insulation box:
1. Making Out the Type of Noise
In most cases, a loud shower pump can cause both noise and vibrations. By noise, we mean the type that gets to your ears from the other side of the bathroom wall.
By vibrations, we mean the kind that shakes not just the shower pump but also anything attached to it from the pipes to the wall the shower pump is on.
It is important to pinpoint whether your shower pump makes: just noise, vibrations, or both. This is important as it will determine what material you will have to purchase to deal with which problem.
In the case where the shower pump only makes sounds, you can opt for foam panels that will make the shower noise quieter.
But when the shower pump makes vibrations along with noise, you will have to consider choosing impact-blockers that can solve both problems of sound and vibration at the same time.
2. Materials Required
The next step involves gathering all the materials you require to make your shower pump’s very own insulation box: You will first need wooden panels.
Wood is always a better alternative to plastic as it has more body and hence, the ability to capture sound and vibration.
While plastic has less body and is too thin to trap any noise that comes out of your shower pump. Second, you need nails or screws to fix your wood panels into place.
Third, is your choice of insulation materials, and whether it is insulation foam (I recommend these affordable egg crate acoustic foam panels) or rockwool insulation panels is totally up to you and your shower pump situation.
Have a rough idea about the shower pump’s measurement before you start to buy the materials, especially the wood. But also make sure that making the shower insulation box slightly bigger will also be a good idea.
This will make sure that the shower pump is not crowded and will not lead to overheating or (God forbid) bursting. So, making it bigger will also make sure that it gets enough air space when it’s running.
It will also leave room to add the insulation material into the box once the exterior wooden body is ready.
4. Make Adjustments
By adjustments, we are referring to making any necessary cuts in the wooden part of the box.
This is necessary because there will be lots of pipes that take the role of transferring water through the shower pump and into the showerhead.
These pipes will need to stick out of the box to keep doing what they do. So make sure that your shower pump insulation box is properly measured and cut to ensure that the pipes can comfortably stick out of the box but also not too much because any excess space an lead to the escape of noise from inside the shower pump, which defeats the purpose entirely.
5. Soundproof the Box
When the box is ready, you can finally add the insulation or impact blocking material to the wooden panels.
We recommend that you use a regular knife to cut the material into size as it gives the most flexibility in terms of cutting not just straight lines but also the holes for the pipes that will need to stick out of the box.
The cuts have to be the same size so that the material does its job.
Instead of sticking large pieces of the materials onto the inside of the shower pump insulation box, you can cut the material into the size of the wooden panels.
This way, you have an easier time making the material line the box easily.
When it comes to getting the insulation material to stay onto the box, you can either use nails or adhesive such as the spray-on kind or the kind from a glue gun.
But since you will be dealing with its exposure to the inside of a bathroom and possible residual heat from the shower pump, nails are a better option.
6. Assembling the Box
This step is optional because there are many ways that people like to build things.
You can finish constructing the box and then add the insulation material later.
Another way is that you can stick the insulation material on the box panels after cutting it to size and then only assemble the box later.
This is a situation where you will make perfect cuts in the wood and the material and to precision to make sure that it fits over the pipes.
It is best that you cut the wood and the material down to size, stick the insulation material onto the wood, and then only assemble the box the shower pump.
7. Additional Insulation
You can further the probability of making your shower pump quieter by adding other materials to the shower pump. You can add a thick, rugged mat, or even an anti-vibration pad.
This has been proven to help a lot, especially when the shower pump is on a wood floor that is hollow on the other side, or if it is on a concrete floor.
8. Place the Box on the Pump
You can now finally place the noise insulation box over the shower pump. There should be immediate results in terms of less sound and vibrations coming from the shower pump.
In case you would like to reduce the noise even further, feel free to add another layer of insulation material inside the box or add more wood paneling on the outside.
Remember to cut the wooden panels and insulation material, keeping in mind the pipes that have to stick out of it. In this way, it is best if you always buy a little extra when it comes to building materials in this case.
Before you decide to go for the option of a shower pump insulation box as your solution to the problem, you should look into what kind of sounds it is making.
The chances are that it may not be only the shower pump that is heralding in the sound of hell’s collective heartburn.
Noises Shower Pumps Make and What They Mean
For the uninitiated, you first have to know that all shower pumps make some sort of sound.
Some shower pumps are louder than others, and not all of the noises they make sound the same. Before you start busting out the tiles and concrete to fix your shower pump, it is always advisable to identify what sort of sound:
Sound and Vibration:
There are times when there are vibrations that accompany some kind of rumbling noise behind the shower walls when the water gets turned on. In some cases, this rumbling accompanied with a softer yet wide vibration area can resound to the room next door and can even be felt downstairs.
When this happens, it tends to lean towards earlier installation hicks, mounting surfaces, or even a case of the shower pump working overtime to get the water through the pipes.
You should check the water source and whether its position is not appropriate for the shower, whether anything is blocking the pipes or change to a bigger and higher performance shower pump.
If the shower pump sounds like it is making a high-pitched sound that sounds like whining, the sound could be caused by cavitation.
This happens when the shower pump does not have enough power to push water around.
Other sounds that are known to happen in terms of shower pumps are a low humming noise, sometimes a buzzing, or even a clicking sound from beyond the walls.
In these cases, check the main shower pump as these noises could mean that something is jamming the shower pump, thus disabling it from doing what it should do. It could also be due to an electrical issue.
You should check the main power supply or call in an expert to check it for you.
If the cause is an electrical issue, we advise you that it could be dangerous as it could also mean a short circuit somewhere which you should not try to handle on your own.
Other Reasons that could Cause a Noisy Shower Pump
It’s not just the pipes or the shower pump itself that could be causing all that infernal groaning in your bathroom.
There might not be a problem you can find to fix when you go looking for one.
It can sometimes be caused by conditions that are set one by weather and the changing seasons.
Here is a list of alternative reasons why your shower pump seems to be making all the noise besides being noisy because it can be.
Along comes a time in every home plumber’s life when the shower suddenly decides to put out less water than usual. This problem can be fixed by cleaning out the shower head most of the time. If this does not solve the problem, then probably the filters in the shower pump got clogged.
Cold days, especially in snowing regions, can make for lousy shower experiences as the frozen pipes have the pipe struggling to get places it usually finds no problem getting to.
Your pumps must be insulated so that the cold does not make it brittle and liable to bursting during winter.
If your shower pump starts to leak, it probably means it is time to change the seals on the pump. They are liable to wear out with time and use and need replacing from time to time.
Another reason that the shower pump could be facing difficulty in pumping water and making a lot of racket is that air has somehow made its way inside the pump and the water pipes.
In this situation, the pump has to have the air removed from it in a process called ‘bleeding’. This is where the air pockets are let out of the shower’s water system.
Ways to Solve the Problem of a Noisy Shower Pump
Given below is a list of possible solutions on how you can make a run-in-the-mill check or call in experts to lower the sound of a noisy shower pump:
· Pipes First
Every shower installation always comes with making sure that each of the shower pumps is tested for performance and also whether it makes any weird noises. But besides that, it is always a good part of the installation to check the other pipes.
This way, you get to make sure that all parts of the water system are not only working well but also check for any additional support in terms of securing their place or replacing rusted areas.
During some cases of shower pumps making noises, it is loose pipes that shake and hit its surrounding area when water is forced through it that makes all the noise and vibration.
This not only makes you want to grit your teeth every time you go in for a shower from the noise but could also damage the other pipes around it. It can even cause parts of the loose pipe to burst in which case water can seep into the concrete and make for an even bigger mess and a more massive bill to repair the entire wall frame.
The best way to secure your plumbing and your pipes, whether plastic or metal, is to add support by way of pipe clips. You can even wrap all the pipes with foam rubber in case you want to add extra security against shaky pipes.
· Pads for Noise Reduction
There are noise-reduction and vibration pads available on the market that can be used to make sure that no noisy pump or pipe will get in the way of a pleasant shower session.
This is useful if you have a wood-based home, live in a cabin, or have wood-related paneling in your home, making this an affordable, noise-reduction remedy.
It is also one piece of advice that your contractor or plumber usually overlooks to advising you on.
So if you want to this checked or installed at the same time as your shower pump or plumbing, make sure to check in with your landlord or contractor to get it done.
· Paving Slabs
The best noise reduction and means to feel the least vibrations from any shaky pipe is by building plumbing on a mounting slab, especially on concrete.
This usually happens when a house is made from scratch.
The earth is dug into, and pipes laid upright and in place with the house’s layout in mind, which is followed by the pouring of concrete over the laid pipes as the foundation of the entire house. But this can be an expensive process that can also take a long time to accomplish.
A good alternative to mounting slabs is paving slabs. Another affordable option from mounting slabs is breeze blocks.
This might be news to many of you as these are not precisely the first ideas that pop up when it comes to reducing noise and vibrations.
But these do work to capture vibrations and ugly noises from the pipes inside your walls.
· Time for an Upgrade
You can check whether your shower pump is still under warranty. Taking this little effort to check for the old warranty papers can lead to the advantage of getting your shower pump replaced by the company of the shower pump for free.
This way, all the noise, and vibrations get to go away for free.
· Moving the Pump
Most people tend to install their shower pumps mounted on the wall of the bathroom itself.
But since this can both look aesthetically displeasing and also in the way of possible dangers and accidents, they build a wooden frame or box over it.
So with a little box is put over the unsightly shower pump, the problem of noise can turn for the worst as the wooden frame only works to amplify the noise and vibrations even more.
The best way to stop this is to move the shower pump to another location that is neither in harm’s way nor in a position to come alive when you shower.
Another option is to use draft strips over the cupboard door to make sure that no sound escapes from it. It might not seem like a plausible solution to many, but it still gets you out of having to rip the shower pump off of its original place.
A foam insulation box will help to make sure that it catches any extra noise that might come from your shower pump.
Remember that this will not solve the problem entirely, but you get to at least live more peacefully in terms of angry pipes and bathrooms.
If you opt for this, it is essential to make sure that you do not make the size of the foam insulation box too fit too tightly around the shower pump and maybe add some air vents on the side of the wall that faces the outside.
This is to prevent any case of overheating of the shower pump. With the foamed space around it, there is not much room for fresh air to cool it naturally, hence the need for air vents.
· Replace the Pump
Sometimes the only way out of a noisy pump is to get rid of it completely. It may be too old, some of the replacement parts not suited to it, the main body could be faulty, it could be old and overused; all these possible reasons lead up to you finally getting a new shower pump as the only ideal solution available. But hey, we all have to at some point.
The next time you check your shower pump or decide to buy a new one, make sure to check the model you bank on.
If your shower pump is a newer model, there are chances that you will be able to purchase noise-canceling parts that can be fitted onto your shower pump.
This way, you get to save your money, and also the time and effort it will take to build a shower pump insulation box.
Some companies are aware of the problems that a noisy shower pump can create and take steps to ensure that their customers do not just get an efficient shower pump that pushes the water up and over numerous times a day but is also able to do this with relatively little to no noise.
This way, you are probably prepared enough with an arsenal of information under your belt on how to deal with the problem the next time your shower pump decides to make a racket.
Always remember that the shower pump is only one part of the entire system that could be causing the problem. You get to find the problem accurately and then decide on the best solution.