Key Tips for Troubleshooting a Noisy Pump

Once a pump is properly selected and installed in a sanitary system, function would ideally be trouble-free. However, problems can develop in existing systems, or as pump and process system is modified. Due to this, we have gathered up some troubleshooting tips to help identify and solve the problem of noisy pump operation.


Excessive noise or vibration can be a symptom of:


  •  Cavitation
  •  Mechanical damage to pump assembly
  •  Drive misalignment
  •  Harmonics with other components in the system


For all pump application problems, cavitation is the most common and it happens with all types of pumps. When discovered, excessive pump speed or adverse suction conditions will likely be the cause. Generally reducing pump speed and/or remedying the suction condition will get rid of this problem. Cavitation is especially true if the discharge pressure is fluctuating or pulsating.


Mechanical causes of noise and vibration can be:


  •  Shaft misalignment
  •  Loose couplings
  •  Loose pump and/or driver mountings
  •  Loose pump and/or driver guards
  •  Worn out or damaged driver or pump bearings
  •  Valve noise that appears to be coming from the pump


Particularly on the discharge side of the pump, valves can sometimes go into a hydraulic vibration mode caused by operating pressure, flow rate and the valve design. Resetting or a change in an internal valve component is often sufficient to solve the problem.


If you are stumped by excessive pump noise, review our tips below for troubleshooting a noisy pump or consult an industry expert to help diagnose and remedy your issue.


*Thanks to our pump manufacturing partners who helped provide documentation for troubleshooting.*

Excessive noise due to: CavitationHigh fluid viscosity, high vapor pressure fluids, high temperaturesSlow down pump, reduce temperature, change system
 NIPA (net inlet pressure available) < NIPR (net inlet pressure required)To increase NIPA or reduce NIPR
Excessive noise due to: Air or gas in liquidLeaks in piping or pumpRemedy leaks
 Dissolved gas or naturally aerated productsLessen discharge pressure
Excessive noise due to: Mechanical noises rotor to body contactIncorrect assemblyDouble check clearance with shims
 Distortion of pump due to improper piping installationRe-install or reassemble pump to guarantee free running
 Pressure greater than ratedIf possible, reduce pressure
 Worn out bearingRebuild with new bearings, lubricate according to manufacturer recommendations
 Worn out gearsRebuild with new gears, lubricate according to manufacturer recommendations
Excessive noise due to: Rotor to rotor contactLoose or mis-timed gears, warped shafts, sheared keys, worn out splinesRebuild with new parts
Noisy OperationRelief valve chatteringRepair, adjust or replace
Drive component noiseGear trains, chains, couplings, bearingRepair or replace drive train

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