What makes an Air pump become loud over time?

Kathylee

I purchased a Fluval Q1 Air pump back in January. I watched the videos & reviews it seemed the vote was in 50/50 on noise level complaint. I hooked it up to a gang valve and it's been running 2 sponge filters & 2 air stones across multiple tanks. It's been very quiet until about 1 week ago.

It's keeping me awake at night, rattling the tank stands. I moved everything around & shifted the gang valve control levels. If I dial them back just a tiny bit the air pump rattles up a storm!! I tried putting a towel beneath it, a foam pad, a book, it's relentless. I even fetched a cup of water, put it next to it to see how the vibration level was and it shook the water in the cup.

Why now? Is something in it clogged? It was sooooo quiet for 6.5 months & now it's making me batty.
 

richiep

You'll probably find the diafram inside as worn out leaving the arm rattle
It needs to be inspected
 
Upvote 0

Flyfisha

All air pumps even little ones need to have back pressure bleed off. Running an air line or two with just a tap on it will allow you to drop the back pressure . By opening the tap more air is blown away.Partly Closing the spare taps will give you the air needed to operate the sponge filters.

As richiep wrote a nosiy pump is often a sign it’s about to expire. I hope you have a spare or two ?
image.jpg
 
Upvote 0

bobduhgeek

You might need to debug it. Given it suddenly started to get awful, open the case, usually phillips headscrew driver will be all you need, check to see if any critter has crawled in to the nice cozy warm inside of your pump and then expired.... While you are there, check to see if the diaphram membrane is correctly in place. I hate noise - so I built a noise coffin around mine.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20210623_110045375.jpg
    PXL_20210623_110045375.jpg
    178.2 KB · Views: 19
  • PXL_20210623_110057914.jpg
    PXL_20210623_110057914.jpg
    111.7 KB · Views: 16
Upvote 0

Yeoy

You might need to debug it. Given it suddenly started to get awful, open the case, usually phillips headscrew driver will be all you need, check to see if any critter has crawled in to the nice cozy warm inside of your pump and then expired.... While you are there, check to see if the diaphram membrane is correctly in place. I hate noise - so I built a noise coffin around mine.
About to set up an air pump and my housemate is concerned about the potential noise. Would love to know the secrets of your "coffin"!
 
Upvote 0

ForceTen

You might need to debug it. Given it suddenly started to get awful, open the case, usually phillips headscrew driver will be all you need, check to see if any critter has crawled in to the nice cozy warm inside of your pump and then expired.... While you are there, check to see if the diaphram membrane is correctly in place. I hate noise - so I built a noise coffin around mine.
Seems that air pump is going to overheat wrapped up like that. Every pump I have seen and used has feet to allow air to circulate under the pump. By covering it up like that you will reduce the life of the pump. Heat is the enemy of all electro mechanical devices.
 
Upvote 0

bobduhgeek

Seems that air pump is going to overheat wrapped up like that. Every pump I have seen and used has feet to allow air to circulate under the pump. By covering it up like that you will reduce the life of the pump. Heat is the enemy of all electro mechanical devices.
There is airflow on one side and the backside is glass. The temp in the coffin is a few degrees higher than the ambient room temperature, so I think it's within an acceptable range. The actual temp of the pump is around 90°. Again, I think within tolerance. But you are right. Increased temp will reduce the effective life expectancy of the device. I don't know how long that is, but having it quiet is, in my opinion, worth the loss of longevity.
About to set up an air pump and my housemate is concerned about the potential noise. Would love to know the secrets of your "coffin"!
It's just a foam packing insert repurposed to this use.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20210623_172551047.jpg
    PXL_20210623_172551047.jpg
    231.2 KB · Views: 11
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

There are 4 screws on the bottom. The fluval pumps loosen over time, mine does the same thing. Just tighten the screws and it should stop. If it isn't that then its probably what the members above mentioned
 
Upvote 0

Kathylee

You guys are awesome! Alright ill take a look at it & see if it needs to be cleaned or tightened. I have a bunch of spares but they are all very weak (they can maybe run 1 airstone they're the cheap tiny pumps that come with kits). If I can't fix it then the Fluval will go in the cupboard & I'll look for a new one. My "cupboard" of old aquarium parts & pieces is starting to fill multiple drawers.
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

You guys are awesome! Alright ill take a look at it & see if it needs to be cleaned or tightened. I have a bunch of spares but they are all very weak (they can maybe run 1 airstone they're the cheap tiny pumps that come with kits). If I can't fix it then the Fluval will go in the cupboard & I'll look for a new one. My "cupboard" of old aquarium parts & pieces is starting to fill multiple drawers.
My fluval Q1 was loud right from the start. Needless to say I was very disappointed. Hubby opened it up and found the screws were loose. He tightened them up and now I can hear it but no more than any other one I've ever had. Just a quiet hum.
 
Upvote 0

StarGirl

I hang mine so they are not touching anything. I tried the foam pads and coffin type things to quiet them. They are pretty dang quiet hanging them from the inside of my stand. Unless its a Tetra Whisper there is no making them quiet. :p
 
Upvote 0

Kathylee

My fluval Q1 was loud right from the start. Needless to say I was very disappointed. Hubby opened it up and found the screws were loose. He tightened them up and now I can hear it but no more than any other one I've ever had. Just a quiet hum.
Yeah I read that some people found it to be loud right from the start. I personally like this model because I can run multiple lines from it across 3 tanks.
I just sat down & removed the 4 outer screws, & then inside right in the center ONE screw had almost come completely out, other than that it looks clean, even smells new still, all other screws were tight. I put it back together and it sounds a little better, still humming but less rattling.
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Yeah I read that some people found it to be loud right from the start. I personally like this model because I can run multiple lines from it across 3 tanks.
I just sat down & removed the 4 outer screws, & then inside right in the center ONE screw had almost come completely out, other than that it looks clean, even smells new still, all other screws were tight. I put it back together and it sounds a little better, still humming but less rattling.
I am thinking that was the same one that was loose in mine. I have mine inside my tank cabinet sitting on a piece of foam. If it is really quiet in the house I can hear a very slight hum but I can live with that :) I am running 2 fair size sponge filters sitting at the bottom of a 55 gallon tank. It is doing a really good job of pushing air to the bottom of a deep tank.
 
Upvote 0

Kathylee

Well it lasted a few hours and become very loud again!! I might just go look for a new one. My bedroom is downstairs in a finished basement.. So 1/2 the room is bedroom. 1/4 is a living room & 1/4 is a fishroom/office area. If it's loud enough to keep me awake again then it's gotta go lol.
Any suggestions on a different one?
 
Upvote 0

bobduhgeek

Well it lasted a few hours and become very loud again!! I might just go look for a new one. My bedroom is downstairs in a finished basement.. So 1/2 the room is bedroom. 1/4 is a living room & 1/4 is a fishroom/office area. If it's loud enough to keep me awake again then it's gotta go lol.
Any suggestions on a different one?
I have a whisper ap 150 I am very happy with.
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

You might need to debug it. Given it suddenly started to get awful, open the case, usually phillips headscrew driver will be all you need, check to see if any critter has crawled in to the nice cozy warm inside of your pump and then expired.... While you are there, check to see if the diaphram membrane is correctly in place. I hate noise - so I built a noise coffin around mine.
Not gonna lie, when I read this I was thinking: "how do you debug the circuitry in an air pump, and who does that, and WHY would they!??"

Then I found out you meant LITERALLY de-bug it lol
 
Upvote 0

Islandvic

Try taking the case cover off and tighten down the screws that hold the diaphragm onto the arm. There is another 1 or 2 screws inside that can be tightened down, but I forget exactly where.

I have 3 Fluval Q1's and I have to do this occasionally.

I also keep them inside a cardboard box and wrapped in foam, sort of like how bobduhgeek described. They only use 4w of power, so minimal chance of overheating in my opinion.
 
Upvote 0

pagoda

If a floppy diaphragm cannot be sorted, not always possible to do since every tightening stretches it until it can stretch no more, then I get an old rubber showermat and a handful of filter wool or cotton wool, wrap offending pump in the wool then wrap the showermat around that and hold everything in place with strong elastic bands......the floppy diaphram can then growl to itself quite happily without any sound coming through the wrapping and annoying me.

I have since started using Vento pumps that come with their own rubber jacket and they are extremely quiet for about 18 months before they too need to be wrapped up
 
Upvote 0

Kathylee

So I actually called the petstore, it was way past my 30-Day guarantee so they told me to E-Mail Fluval, which I did. They needed the original receipt and photos, then sent me a package. I figured a replacement maybe?
I open the package & it's a repair kit, haha!
"Q1/Q2 repair module"
There is absolutely NO directions, anyone ever installed or used this before?
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

So I actually called the petstore, it was way past my 30-Day guarantee so they told me to E-Mail Fluval, which I did. They needed the original receipt and photos, then sent me a package. I figured a replacement maybe?
I open the package & it's a repair kit, haha!
"Q1/Q2 repair module"
There is absolutely NO directions, anyone ever installed or used this before?
I just had to order a replacement/repair kit for my Q1. My hubby will replace mine but I think it is a simple fix. Mine had stopped pumping air from one of the outlets. Hubby opened it up and found a crack in one of the rubber diaphragms. He was able to do a temp fix but I have a new part on its way to me.

If you can't figure out how to install the new part I will ask hubby to talk you through it. :)
 
Upvote 0

Kathylee

I just had to order a replacement/repair kit for my Q1. My hubby will replace mine but I think it is a simple fix. Mine had stopped pumping air from one of the outlets. Hubby opened it up and found a crack in one of the rubber diaphragms. He was able to do a temp fix but I have a new part on its way to me.

If you can't figure out how to install the new part I will ask hubby to talk you through it. :)
Thank you, after unscrewing it, I realized it was an entire replacement for the inside! I had to unscrew 5 screws, and wiggle the part out, then install the new part, was not as hard as I thought it was going to be! Haha
 
Upvote 0

Random Great Thread

New Aquarium Equipment Threads

Top Bottom