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Why a Water Pump Makes Noise

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Jeff in New York has a question about a water pump. What’s going on?

    JEFF: I have a two-story house in the country and I have a water pump in the basement…

    TOM: OK.

    JEFF: … and every time I turn the water on either, wherever it is – on the first floor or the second floor – I hear this rumbling that goes on for, I don’t know, 60 seconds, two minutes, three minutes.

    TOM: Mm-hmm.

    JEFF: And I’m not sure how to quiet that down; if there’s some kind of enclosure you can put on it or is that more than just a pump, is that the water heater itself.

    TOM: Sounds like air in the system. You have a well water system?

    JEFF: Yes.

    TOM: Alright, so when you turn it on you get all this noise, all this rumbling as the system pressurizes.

    JEFF: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: Yeah, well that’s probably the air sort of moving through the system and that’s not unusual. You know, in most cases you leave the pump on all the time. Since you are turning yours on and off, you are going to get some air and some noise on startup. That’s not unusual and shouldn’t have any effect on the function of the system whatsoever.

    JEFF: But is there any way to quiet that down? It’s sort of an annoyance to have that rumbling going on. Or is that part of – is that also part of it’s heating the water?

    TOM: Yes, when it’s real cold like that and the heaters come on, sometimes you get some, you know, expansion and contraction in the tank that can make sort of a rumbling, buckling kind of a sound.

    JEFF: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: And again, that’s not that unusual. When you have a vacation house like that where you’re turning the water completely off and then reheating it and repressurizing your entire house you’re going to get some noise in the plumbing system. You’re saying it only lasts you a few minutes so I wouldn’t – you know, listen. Walk back out of the house for five minutes, you know (Leslie chuckles), and turn it on.

    JEFF: Yeah.

    TOM: I don’t think it’s a terrible problem and certainly not one worth correcting.

    JEFF: So it has nothing to do with enclosing the pump itself?

    TOM: No. That would – you know, all that would do would be – you know, it might soften it a little bit but seems like kind of an extreme solution.

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