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What’s Causing a Noisy Lift Pump?

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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Richard in South Dakota, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    RICHARD: Yeah, I have a lift pump that’s making an unusual noise. Like it’ll fire off and then it makes a harmonic noise about halfway through the pumping station.

    TOM: OK.

    RICHARD: And hoping it’ll be like a check valve that needs replaced in there or if it’s – if you need more background, it’s a replacement pump for one I had in there. I had a ¼-horse in there before and now it’s got a ½-horse. It’s actually a bigger lift pump than the one I had before.

    TOM: Generally, when I hear a squealing noise, I consider whether or not it’s an issue with the lift pump bearings.

    It could also be an issue with the valve itself, perhaps the check valve. Because sometimes as the water streams through that, it’s vibrating against the valve and then that vibration can transmit. I mean plumbing pipes are really pretty good transmitters of sound, so it can transmit and amplify and sound really bad.

    If it’s still working and it’s not slowing down flow or anything like that, I guess I would think probably not to worry about it too much. But my concern is that if it is a wear-and-tear issue and something’s going to seize up, you may end up with a surprise repair.

    This is not your main bathroom, is it? This is an additional bathroom?

    RICHARD: Yeah, it’s an addition that was put on later on, so …

    TOM: Alright. Well, if it breaks down, it breaks down; at least you’re not out of luck. But my concern is that it might be a precursor of worse things to come.

    RICHARD: Yeah.

    TOM: So I would keep an eye on the lift pump and see what happens, OK?

    RICHARD: Alright.

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