Informational Guide

Loud Sump Pump

by Ian Haynes

No one wants their home to start spontaneously flooding; however, people don’t consider the state of their sump pump unless it starts pouring outside.  

And at that point, it may be too little too late. And among the most common complaints people have, a noisy and unnecessarily loud sump pump is usual. 

Read on as we help you troubleshoot this. 

You might be hearing loud noises coming from your sump pump, not knowing how to stop it. If that is the case, keep reading for the reasons for this noise and how to fix it: 

Vibrating Or Humming Sound 

A low humming noise is typically expected. Nevertheless, if your sump pump starts to hum louder than usual or it is not pumping water, then it is time to start investigating.  

Firstly, check the vent hole for clogs and clean it if required. If that does not help, you might have a jammed check valve. So you should check whether it is pointed towards "Discharge." 

If your pipes stream cold water, you might also have to check them for frost. 

Grinding Sound 

If your pump makes a grinding sound,  it needs attention from your local plumbing experts.  

The cause of it is commonly traced to a defective impeller. And even though this may seem to be a massive problem, it could also just be a simple jam.  

In cases like these, replacing the impeller may not be necessary if you identify the problem early on.  

Banging Sound 

Whenever your sump pump starts to make a banging sound, you might need to secure your discharge pipe.  

You can ideally use a 12-gauge wire to fasten the pipes in place. If the pipes’ specific area can be isolated from where the sound is coming from, you can place an extra bracket to solve the problem.  

Slurping Or Gurgling 

When your pump dries out, it will cause a sound resembling that of someone trying to suck some liquid via a straw. 

You can solve this problem by setting up your sump pump to always have a couple of inches of water inside it.  

And if your valves need to be replaced, do it immediately to prevent future problems. Another way to stop slurping is constant maintenance of your unit.  

Washing Machine Type Sounds 

There are multiple reasons why your sump pump produces sounds that resemble the ones you hear from your washing machine. These reasons include:  

  • Your sump pit is not covered 
  • The design of your sump pump is poor 
  • The discharge lines are not correctly installed 
  • There are vibrations from your discharge pipes 

To understand the common fixes for these reasons, let us move forward and look at how we can fix these issues if they present themselves in front of us. 

pump

Why Is My Sump Pump So Loud? (7 Common Causes & How To Fix Them) 

Sump pumps are a crucial part of many homes. But it does not have to disrupt your life. So, without further ado, let look at the common reasons for your sump pump getting louder: 

Constantly Running Pump 

If your sump pump is constantly running, it is much easier to notice its noises, especially if you experience less rain than possible. 

However, your sump pump is used often, so you must examine it. Remember, rattling, banging, and gurgling noises are pretty common noises.  

Start by using a tight-fitting cover that noise is still not reduced; you can try to line it up with a noise-canceling foam.  

A pump that is used more than average will wear out a lot sooner than one would like. In addition, sump pump noise becomes common if your unit constantly runs.  

No-Spring Loaded Check Valve 

Sometimes your sump pump will produce loud banging noise when shut off. These loud banging noises are due to the sudden pressure change inside your pump and the hoses.  

Sometimes they are also caused by air trapped inside your system during use. And it might cause a bigger problem in your home. 

Therefore, it must be checked out immediately. Also, loud banging noise can travel via your home’s floor and frame, which means that you will hear them clearly throughout your home.  

One of the best ways to stop that sump pump banging noise is installing a spring-loaded quiet check valve, most commonly known as a silent valve.  

These valves are designed to stop the banging noise when the unit turns off. However, you must first check your sump pump to ensure nothing is broken or worn out.  

These check valves can be the standard answer for almost all your noise problems and easily be installed by a sump pump professional.  

Less Insulation Than Requires 

If your sump pump or pipes touch various surfaces or walls, it can cause noise. You can reduce these noises by utilizing foam-based insulants to prevent any vibration from transferring to create a noise problem.  

Adding extra foam insulation to the discharge pipe will lower noises such as clanging during your pump cycle.  

Here is how you can install foam insulation around your sump pump pipes to reduce the loud sump pump noises. 

First, identify the discharge pipe of your sump pump. When water starts to flow through your discharge pipe, it might vibrate against the surrounding wall or the pump basin.  

Wrap foam insulation around the discharge pipe so it does not bang against any object or the wall.  

More Lubrication Is Required 

Your sump pump lines and motors require adequate lubrication to function efficiently. If it is making constant noise, one of the common reasons is that you have not lubricated your sump pump motor for some time.  

Lack of lubrication might lead to your sump pump parts deteriorating faster because of the constant friction.  

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) lines and pipes are noisier than cast iron; therefore, if your sump pump is made up of plastic, then it is better to think of an upgrade. On the other hand, cast iron is longer-lasting and a much cheaper option.  

To understand whether your unit is making noises due to lack of lubrication, identify the pump, intake, and discharge pipe material.  

The pumps which make the slightest noise are made of cast iron, and they are typically self-lubricating to prevent damage and squeaking.  

If your pipes and pumps are PVC or plastic, switching them with a cast-iron model is better.  

Older Pumps 

Older sump pump models were constructed using Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) to generate higher noise than the new systems equipped with durable pumps made of cast iron. The loudest sump pumps models are the pedestal sump pump systems.  

The new models have self-lubricating motors that run much quieter than before. So, if your system has a noisy motor and has been installed for a long time, it is high time you get a new sump pump for your home.  

Even though a minor repair will increase your pump’s life, if it is constantly making noise, it is better to replace the existing sump pump unit you have with one far from obsolete.  

Additionally, the latest sump pumps have updated technology, and they can also connect to your phone via the internet to send you automated alerts and alarms.  

Overworked Pump 

If your sump pump is too small, it might cause trouble. Also, continuous noises in the system might mean that your sump pump does not have enough power to handle your basement’s moisture.  

Furthermore, a weak pump will burn out fast, and unfortunately, it can happen when needed the most.  

That is why it is better to replace your weak pump before it completely stops working.  

Also, if the sump pump you have installed inside your house produces loud noises, it often indicates that it is time for some replacement or repairs.  

By constantly maintaining your sump pump unit, you will not face these problems as often as one who does not perform adequate maintenance.  

The Sump Pump Is Missing A Cover 

If your unit is missing a sealed basin cover, you better install one immediately. A well-insulated cover will keep most of the smell and noise inside the pit instead of it echoing all around your crawl space or basement.  

Not only that, but an uncovered sump pit will also allow toys, debris, and even infants or children to fall inside, which might damage your sump pump system and cause unexpected noise. It might also add some damp smell and other odors inside your home.  

Another reason your sump pump basin requires an airtight cover is that it will keep all the unpleasant odors from rising from your crawl space or basement and entering your home’s atmosphere. 

Nothing spoils a family dinner or a movie night than constant loud noises or the smell of stinky stagnant water.  

basement pump

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can a sump pump explode? 

Yes, your sump pump does carry the risk of explosion. For example, if your sump pump has constantly been running and there is an airtight lid on it, it might cause the water to heat and expand. When this happens, hydrostatic pressure is built up inside your pump. In these cases, your sump pump or the pipes might explode to release the pressure.  

How often should you hear your sump pump? 

You must check your sump pump for any problems or hear unusual noises every 3-4 months. However, you can also increase the maintenance and check-up frequency depending on the usage.  

How much does it cost to fix a loud sump pump? 

The typical sump pump repair cost is around $500. However, the final price can vary between $100 to over $1000, based on the extent of the noise and the service required.  

Are there any quiet sump pumps? 

Yes, the newer models built from cast iron are much quieter than your typical PVC or plastic-based units. They are also self-lubricating and insulated to reduce the noises and provide easier and smooth operations.  


Conclusion

There are many reasons why your sump pump is so loud. It can either be because it is an older model, there is no insulation on the pipe, or it can just be because the discharge pipes are not installed correctly.  

Whatever the reason, we hope this guide can provide you with the relevant information, so you do not have to worry the next time your sump pump starts making those weird noises.  

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.

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