Condensate pumps are an essential part of the HVAC units. They pump the condensed moisture to expel the moisture to the drain. If your condensate pumps are noisy, you are at the right place.
Worn-out bearings, the air in the system, clogs, and the faulty float switch are the common causes of the noisy condensate pump. You can reduce the noise by installing insulation around the pump and the wall. Regular cleaning of the pump will prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris.
In this article, you will understand the common causes of noisy condensate pumps and the steps to reduce the noise level.
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Understanding Condensate Pumps and How They Work
Condensate pumps are an important inner part of the HVAC unit as they play an important role in condensation.
A condensate pump captures the condensate water from the unit, and the liquid will stimulate the switch to expel it to the drain system.
If the condensation pumps are faulty, water accumulates in the unit, resulting in a wet floor.
For example, in an air conditioning system, an air conditioner passes the warm air to the cooling coils, and through condensation, the moisture and warm liquid drip into the drain pan below the coils.
Now, the moisture in the drain pan reaches the water reservoir of the condensate pump, which is attached to a floating switch.
Due to the continuous condensation process, the water reservoir continues to fill with the floating switch coming up.
When the float switch reaches the maximum limit point in the reservoir, an electric motor is activated automatically.
The electric motor will pump the accumulated water to expel it to the drainage system or the outlet wall.
In the case of a gas furnace, the gas is retained in the system to produce heat from them.
In the process, the gases undergo the process of condensation to turn the gas into water, and they are expelled out to the drain.
Noise Levels of Condensate Pumps: What to Expect?
As condensate pumps activate the electric motors to pump water, they are not completely noiseless.
The nose produced by the condensate pump is sensed if your home is too quiet, but it should not be at a level to cause headaches.
Not all condensate pumps produce the same level of noise.
It highly depends on the size and model of the pump.
It also depends on which HVAC unit the condensate pumps are used.
Decibels ( dB ) are used to measure the noise level of the condensate pump.
The noise of the condensate pump ranges from 40 dB if the condensate pumps are fitted well and working properly to 80dB in case of any issue in the condensate pumps.
However, the noise of condensate points is lower than the noises that occur due to traffic.
You must also remember if the condensate pumps are too noisy than usual, there might be faults in them causing the issue.
Common Causes of Noise in Condensate Pumps
Here are the common causes of the condensate pumps:
Air crept into the system
When you don’t have an installed air dispenser, the air is more likely to enter the system.
Check the water connection lines if you suspect air must have crept into the system.
In such a case, you must bleed the system.
Modern condenser pumps have bleeder valves to make the activity of bleeding the system easy.
To remove the air from the system, you must open the bleeder valve slowly.
As you do so, the loud noise from the pump will reduce, removing all the air from the system.
At the end of the process, ensure you reinstalled the condenser pumps correctly to avoid air getting into the system.
Wrong pump size
If the pump is undersized or oversized, there are more chances of noise in the HVAC units.
There are several reasons for oversized condensate pumps being installed in the system.
It may be due to the professional not having the right pipe fittings or guessing the pipes and fittings and needing to expand them later.
In the case of undersized pipes, the parts of it may be loosened, resulting in noise.
Undersized pumps produce more noise than oversized pumps.
They cannot cope with the requirement and will start causing issues.
In both cases, replacing them with the correct-sized condensate pumps is best.
There are different types of bearings present in condensate pumps.
Ball bearings, sleeve bearings, and roller bearings are used in condensate pumps.
The bearings will wear out in the long run, resulting in a noisy condensate pump.
Clogs in the system
Not cleaning the pump regularly will result in the accumulation of dirt and debris.
Eventually, the over-accumulation will cause clogs in the pump.
It not only reduces the efficiency of the condensate pump but also results in unusual noise.
To fix this issue, you must clean the condensate pump regularly.
Float switch faults
The Float switch is responsible for switching on and off the electric motor.
At times, a float switch may get faulty, resulting in the continuous on and off of the motor.
It may start producing a clicking noise. You can fix this issue by replacing the float switch.
Loose-fitting parts of the condensate pumps will cause noise and damage the unit if not fixed immediately.
If you have recently installed the new HVAC unit, there are chances of loose fittings if not installed properly.
To fix his issue, consider hiring a professional to tighten the loose fittings.
Also, check if any parts of the condensate pump are damaged and replace them.
Buzzing and humming noises are due to improper installation.
If you have not hired a professional to do the installation, there are chances of improper installation.
You can fix these issues by hiring a professional to reinstall the unit.
How to Reduce Noise from a Condensate Pump?
Although you cannot get rid of the condensate noise completely, you can follow the steps below to reduce the noise level:
The first step to reducing the noise from the condenser pump is to install the insulation material between the walls and pump to prevent the vibrations from traveling to other rooms.
You can insulate the pump using a thick pad.
Place the thick pad around the pump to restrict the noise from traveling out.
You can also insulate the walls using fiberglass insulation materials.
Doing this will make a significant difference in the noise level.
Check for any loose fittings in the pump.
Check the bolts and pipes attached to the pump.
If they are loose, it causes a rattling sound in the condenser pumps.
Tighten the fittings using a wrench.
Sometimes pipes may bounce off the place; in such a case, cover them with foam to prevent them from getting noisy in the long run.
Air entering the system causes rattling and hissing noises in the condenser pumps.
Check if holes in the pump and pipes are attached to the pump.
If there are holes in the pump, consider hiring a professional to repair them.
If the pipes are faulty, replace them with new pipes.
Check the filters attached to the pumps.
Filters are prone to dirt and debris accumulation.
If the pumps are clogged, the motor will work harder, resulting in a loud noise.
To fix this issue, clean the pumps to remove dust and debris.
Check the water flow of the pipes in the pipes.
Suppose the velocity of the water which flows in the pipes is high.
In that case, you can reduce it without affecting the system’s efficiency.
Consider hiring a professional to reduce the velocity of the water.
You can also install a reflection silencer to the condenser pump to reduce the noise.
Choosing a Quiet Condensate Pump: Factors to Consider
If you want to ensure the condenser is quiet, here are the factors you must consider when it comes to refrigerator condensate pumps:
Based on the load of the refrigerator, you must choose the right condenser size for the quieter function of the condenser pump.
You can choose the condenser size based on the refrigerator system’s ambient condition and discharge pressure.
For a quieter condenser, it is important to consider the structural support of the refrigerator.
There are two types of structures: a remote sump and a basin with a sump in the internal area.
Compare the two structures and ensure which can withstand the condenser pump.
Doing that will make sure the condenser pump is quieter.
Configuration of the condenser pump
There are two types of configuration. Forced and induced draft.
While buying a refrigerator, check which configuration it has and select accordingly.
The vibration in the condenser pump will produce heavy noise in the system.
So, choosing a condenser pump with a less vibrational level is important.
Soundproofing Your Condensate Pump: Effective Strategies
You can reduce condenser noise by installing soundproofing.
Follow the steps below to soundproof the condenser pump:
Sound blanket wrap
A sound blanket wrap can be wrapped around the condensate pump to block the sound of the pump traveling out of the unit.
These blankets are made up of sound-blocking materials.
You must seek help from a professional to wrap it around the condensate pump to ensure it won’t interfere with its function.
Installing the blanket wrap improperly will affect the efficiency of the condensate pumps.
You can avoid that by seeking a professional’s help.
Vibration isolation damper mounts
Vibration isolation dampers are made of rubber materials that absorb the sound and vibration from the pump and prevent it from spreading across walls and floors.
While installing the vibrational dampeners, you must consider the size of your condensate pump.
The incorrect size of the vibrational dampener will cause extra vibration in the condensate pump and damage the entire unit.
Cleaning the fan blades regularly
When dirt and debris accumulate on the fan, its rotation will be imbalanced.
Eventually, the fan will start producing noise.
So, cleaning the fans regularly will avoid noise issues.
It is best to get professional cleaning once every six months.
Create an enclosure
You can also create a soundproof enclosure around the condensate pump.
To reduce noise, you can use plywood and drywall to create an enclosure around the pump.
While installing the enclosure, leave access for further repair or maintenance work.
And also, seal the enclosure with the stripper to block the airflow.
In case air enters the system, it will reduce the efficiency of the condensate pumps.
Maintenance Tips for a Quieter Condensate Pump
For better efficiency of the condensate pump, it must be cleaned regularly.
Follow the steps below to clean the condensate pumps:
- Start by inspecting if there is any leakage around the condensate pump. If there is water accumulation around the pump, inspect the area of the leak.
- Turn off the power supply to the unit by flipping the circuit breaker. When you clean the condensate pump, it is important to turn off the power supply to avoid electrical hazards.
- Locate the reservoir of the condensate pump and remove the PVC pipe attached to it.
- Disconnect the condensate pump from the unit. If you don’t have experience working with electrical appliances, hiring a professional to remove the condensate pump from the unit is best.
- Access the water reservoir. Water reservoirs are prone to mould, algae, and bacterial formation. Using clean water, rinse the water reservoir and clean it thoroughly with a brush.
- Inspect the condensate motor for clogs. Remove the clogs and rinse the area using a brush or any other tool without damaging the electric motor.
- Now the cleaning is over. Reconnect the drain line with the condensate pump and secure it inside the unit. Ensure you fit it properly.
- Turn on the power supply, check if the unit is working, and check if the noise level is reduced.
Cleaning the condensate pumps regularly will help to control their noise level.
Noise Complaints from Condensate Pumps: Dealing with Neighbors and Local Regulations
If you receive complaints from the neighbors regarding noise from the HVAC system, check to inspect the cause.
Once you find the cause, take immediate actions to fix the issue.
Communicate with neighbors respectfully to avoid conflicts. Let them know that you are taking action to fix the issue.
Suppose you can’t identify the cause to fix the issue.
In that case, you must hire a professional to know the local regulations and fix the noise as soon as possible.
It is common for a condensate pump to make noise to some extent. If the noise is too much to create headaches and distraction, you must know that your condensate pumps are faulty.
Loose fittings, the air in the system, wear-out bearings, and the wrong size of the condensate pump are the common reasons for the noise. It is possible to reduce noise by installing the insulating materials around the pump and in the wall where the unit is located.
To reduce the noise level, inspect the condensate pump for improper installation. Consider hiring a professional for the proper installation. Clean the condensate pumps regularly to avoid the accumulation of dust and debris.
Should the condensate pump run all the time?
Condensate pumps must not run all the time. If it does, the pump will burn out. To prevent this, you must replace the condensate pump.
What is the lifespan of condensate pumps?
The average lifespan of a condensate pump ranges from 2 to 3 years. However, it depends on the maintenance and how often you clean the condensate pump.
Reference: Condensate pump.