How to cure a noisy shower pump?

Hi
Our domestic shower is fed by a Newteam 'Showerforce Turbo' shower pump. This pump has hot and cold feeds and has a variable speed control (currently set at less than half the maximum setting). The pump is installed in the airing cupboard, about 12" above the top of the hot water cylinder. The pump is fed directly from the pipe at the top of the cylinder. The cold water feed comes from the cold water tank in the loft. The shower head is very close by.
Our problem is that the pump is very noisy - guaranteed to wake anyone sleeping in the bedroom where the airing cupboard is located. So this post is to ask for any advice on how to make it quieter.
I guess one approach is to enclose it in a sound proof box. Any recommendations for sound deadening material please?
I asked Newteam for advice. They said the pump is wrongly installed - apparently it should be installed at the base of the hot water cylinder, not above it. They say that the noise is caused by air bubbles in the hot water feed. I can partly believe this but can't see how to achieve their recommendation as there is no room down the sides of the cylinder (I guess many airing cupboards must be just wide enough for a cylinder). Do you think this is really the cause of the noise? Any suggestions how to stop the air bubbles without moving the pump please?
Thanks
David
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On 2007-04-05 21:23:41 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@talktalk.net said:

Bad idea unless the pump were designed to work in this way. It isn't. There is a risk of overheating.

They may be right to a degree. You can easily identify if air is being sucked in by putting the shower head in a bowl or bucket and running the shower. Look for air bubbles. You can reslve this problem by fitting a Surrey flange to the top of the cyllinder. The take off is via a dip tube.
In general, though, this is not a high quality brand so there is a limit to what can be achieved with it.
Better quality pumps such as Stuart Turner are considerably quieter. They also make one that is enclosed in a sound deadened box (and designed to be).
Other than this, you can make some difference by putting the pump on something heavy and solid like a concrete block. However, that may be difficult through lack of space

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Hi Andy
Thanks for your reply.

...
Would a Surrey flange be required for the Stuart Turner pump if I put it in the same position?
David
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snipped-for-privacy@talktalk.net wrote:

I have a New Team pump with a Surrey flange installed in a similar way to you, and it still sucks air. I'm going to bite the bullet and fit an Essex flange (no stop) with a pick up pipe extending 3 or 4 inches into the cylinder and an anti gravity loop before going to the pump. Frankly unless you can make room to do this or move the pump to below the hot water cylinder i think you'll always have problems.
Peter.
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Hi Peter

Thanks for the advice. Please let us know if the Essex flange improves things. How do you have your pump mounted?
David
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On 2007-04-06 08:03:34 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@talktalk.net said:

If part of the problem is that air is getting in through the hot inlet then yes.
However, these are not difficult to fit. It's a case of disconnecting and shortening the vent pipe on the top, removing the connector in the top of the cylinder and replacing it with the Surrey flange. The vent pipe is then connected to the top port of the flange and the pump to the side one. Basically the way it works is that the side port connects to a dip tube which goes down about 200mm into the cylinder.
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Hi Andy

Thanks again. I have just checked and found that a Surrey flange is fitted (sorry not to have mentioned that before - I don't know much about plumbing). So I guess I should try to improve the mounting or change the pump.
David
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On 2007-04-06 10:04:37 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@talktalk.net said:

OK.
As a first step, I would check to see whether air is being admitted. Shower head in bucket and look for air bubbles. If there are, then an Essex flange may be an option in that it will allow you to take the feed a little lower down in the cylinder.
However, the main concern was to address the noise problem. How is the pump mounted? If it's on something like a shelf fitted to a plasterboarded stud wall, you have a classic noise generator - something creating vibration attached to a sounding board. Basically, the source of vibration (pump) has to be decoupled from the means of transmitting the noise.
You said that you don't have room to put the pump on the floor. Here's a couple of ideas.
1) Build a stout wooden frame that can be located around the cylinder and will stand on the floor. You may need to build it in sections and bolt it together. Sit the pump on a platform on top of that. This may help as the pump would not be touching the wall.
2) Build a *very* stout wooden platform of a height sufficient to put the pump underneath on the floor. Put the cylinder on top of that. Constructional timber of 75mm by whatever height you need, should be enough, with a sheet of 18mm ply on the top. Build three sides of it and leave the front open to receive the pump.
In either case, you could try putting the pump on antivibration mounts. These can be fitted to the feet of the pump and will then sit on the shelf or other mounting arrangement. You need to choose them for the weight range of the pump and for the speed of rotation. The size and stiffness of the mounts need to be enough to support the pump but flexible enough to give with the vibration. Most are specified with a range.
I've used these on larger pumps and compressors to great effect, although not on a small pump. The principle is the same, though. RS Components have a range of them (rswww.com - look up anti vibration mounts, male and female threaded)
Given what you have, I would go for checking for air ingress first, then use a platform to raise the cylinder, plus vibration mounts. If you still have a problem, then consider a change of pump. All of the other work will help. You have to decide what is enough
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On 5 Apr 2007 13:23:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@talktalk.net mused:

It is installed incorrectly, it needs installing correctly.
--
Regards,
Stuart.
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Mate of mine had exactly same problem, too noisy pump in airing cupboard. Also SWMBO complained about loss of shelf space.
Move 1 was to move pump to floor of airing cupboard (as per the fitting instrcutions), luckily done in plastic Hep2O push-fit plumbing, so only required changes if pipe lengths and installed the pump on a couple layers of carpet on top of a carefully cut peice of paving stone.. This reduced the noise a lot (as it was previously vibrating the airing cupboard shelf, tried paving stone on shelf, but not that good) and now being on the floor less air being trapped and churned around by the pump.
Move 2 was move pump into adjoining built in wardrobe, again on paving stone and carpet, but in a wooden box lined with polystyrene and ample ventilation holes. The was really quite and doesn't wake people up when running.
As for overheating, this was a concern, the pump was only rated 20mins on 30mins off (?) and after running for 20mins, all hotwater gone, he reports the pump was still cold and no sign of overheating despite being in an insulated box.
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On Apr 5, 9:23 pm, snipped-for-privacy@talktalk.net wrote:

My dad has his pump in the loft, above the HWC but what he has done is plumb it in using lengths of horizontal flexible pipe so that there is very little vibration transferred to the pipework and is also stood on underlay and a slab.
I can never work out whether the pump should be on a slab on underlay or on underlay on a slab.
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mused:

On carpet on underlay on a slab on carpet on underlay?
--
Regards,
Stuart.
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