Measuring pool pump noise in decibels - the definitive guide

Meausirng Pool Pump Noise in Decibels.png

Ever wondered what it takes to know the level of noise that your pool pump produces? At least, one would like to know how extreme the problem at hand is, before you can decide on the best strategies to tackle the problem, right? Well, it's no more news that pool pumps are sometimes unbearably loud due to various factors such as cavitation, blockage, the friction of its parts, etc. So, this post will not be about why and how your pool pump makes so much noise. The idea here is that your pool pump is noisy, you want to reduce this noise, or maybe strangle its neck completely. But you want to know how loud this noise being produced is to be so disturbing.

Calm down! You’ll know all you need to know before the ink of this page dries up. First, I want to take you through an interesting journey of what you may have learned way back in junior high school but have probably forgotten all about it. Did you raise your eyebrows? Well, tell me you remember the professional definition of Sound and Noise. What you want to measure from your pool pump is called sound, and when it becomes a menace, it’s noise. So, how best to understand the technical aspects of the act than to understand what is being produced much better?

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Whenever your eardrums vibrate because of the differences in air pressure, a sound was just produced. Well, I don't want to bore you with the biology of the transmitting of waves from your eardrum through tiny bones, and all. You just hold on to the fact that you hear different tones and pitches of sound because of the variance in the frequency of sound waves. On the other hand, noise is undesired sound. Oh! You know that already, right? Well, that's good. But it didn't hurt for me to mention it again, did it? Did you know that what constitutes noise to you might not be to another person? Yes, what makes up noise is relative. But generally, at what point does noise starts to become noise?

30 Decibels. Decibels? What’s that; did you just ask? Well, that’s the general unit of expressing sound. Decibels is expressed in ‘dB’ for short. Of course, the least audible sound begins at 0 dB, while the generally accepted level of sound kind of ends at 30 dB. Do you want to know what's interesting? Every 3 dB increase of sound doubles its intensity from the last figure. Little wonder why just a few added numbers of increasing your stereo volume makes it so loud, so quickly. But wait, we basically hear these sounds with our ear. Does that mean there's a way our ears can work as a decibel meter? Well, where can technology not lead us? But no, they have already created a device that does that. And yes, just as you thought, it's called a Decibel Meter. What’s so special about this Meter that allows it measure sound so well?

It contains a super sensitive microphone that will usually pick up sound and change it to an electric signal that is measurable. "Cool, but they will be expensive." No, they are not, besides you can easily also download the meter from the app store of your mobile devices. Yes, it's that easy. See images of some of the devices and phone apps that we personally recommend below:

Devices and Apps

How do these devices and apps work? I thought you’ll never ask. Well, these devices have manuals attached to them, so get on with reading the manual to know how to operate the device. I’ll only be giving you tips related to knowing how to identify the level of noise of your pump.

  • It’s best to measure the level of your pool pump noise from about 1Ft away.
  • Try to take various samples of your results to ensure data consistency.
  • Record the data once you are satisfied.
  • If you’re using the Decibel 10th app, there’s a feature in the app that allows you to capture the recording with a picture of the pump.

Have you measured the noise level of your pool pump? You should have gotten a figure between 65-90 Decibels; that’s the range of noise level of a typical pool pump. Did you know that is as loud as a car riding in a subway? Well, that will disrupt your desired pool pleasure, wouldn’t it?

Remember I mentioned earlier that every 3 dB increase of sound doubles its intensity from the last figure. The same applies vice versa; every small decrease in the sound level of your pool pump goes a long way in creating a more bearable noise level. A decrease of 10 Decibels, for instance, will reduce the noise intensity of the pool pump by a whole 90%. Well, researchers are awesome, aren’t they? Check out the table below to understand better.

Serene Noise Reduction Table

I am sure this information excites you, and as tempted as I am to reveal the ways to reduce pool pump noise, I apologize, but this post is strictly for measuring the noise level of the pump. You’ll find mitigation measures in another post on this website on how to reduce pool pump noise.

So, let's assume you have taken the measures to reduce your pool pump noise, or you are thinking about doing that but not sure how effective it will be according to the readings of the Decibel meter. We have taken the initiative to capture some of the results we have recorded with some pumps. See these below:

Using The Decibel Reader - Serene Noise Reduction

Using The Decibel 10th App - Serene Noise Reduction

Enough proof? So, what are you waiting for? Get the meter or app right away and be in the light. Knowledge is light, right? I hope you won’t again be oblivious of the noise level of your pool pumps before and after your noise mitigation measures.

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