How to reduce the noise from a mini condensate removal pump
As every industry professional knows, air conditioning units produce condensation when cooling the air inside a room. If the resulting liquid, known as condensate, can’t be drained away by gravity alone, it has to be removed using a small pump instead. These mini pumps can generate noise, which can inconvenience the occupants of an otherwise quiet room.
So here are some top tips for keeping your air conditioning unit running as quietly as possible:
These rules don’t necessarily apply to open-plan offices that are occupied during the daytime, since natural noise levels will largely drown out the sound of the condensate removal system. That’s why the Delta Pack and Omega Pack are ideal for these environments: they’re visually appealing, incredibly convenient to install and include various anti-vibration components.
|Best option||Mid-range option||Worst option|
|Locating the pump||Behind the wall where the split system is located, above the ceiling or in the attic space (but not outside the building!).||In the false ceiling inside the room.||Near the split system in a quiet room.|
|Mounting the pump||Hang the pump using the anti-vibration mounting bracket.||Affix the pump to a rigid supporting structure using the anti-vibration mounting bracket, ideally on the insulating foam surrounding the refrigeration circuit.||Affix the pump to plasterboard, plastic trunking, a metal pipe or similar. Affix the pump without its anti-vibration mounting bracket.|
|Managing the power supply cable and the flexible PVC tubing||Wrap the cable and tubing in insulating foam. Keep the tubing well away from other surfaces.||Attach the cable and tubing firmly to a rigid, solid surface.||Leave the cable and tubing exposed (without insulation and trunking) and place them near a wall or ceiling.|
See some of these tips in our mounting video guide:
The pressure range to which the human ear is sensitive is vast, ranging from 0.000002 to 200 Pascals. That’s why the decibel is a logarithmic unit – because it allows this immense range to be compressed into a narrower band of values that our brains can compute.
But it’s also important to remember that the decibel isn’t an absolute value. It’s a measure of relative loudness, which is why a statement such as “two cars are twice as loud as one car” doesn’t really hold true. And because this scale is relative, when we perceive a sound that to our ear is twice as loud as another sound, that doesn’t mean it’s double the value in terms of decibels. In fact, a doubling in loudness translates to an increase of 10 dB.
|Sound source||dB(A) value||Sensation|
|Si-30 mini-pump alone*||20||Almost inaudible|
|Extremely quiet room||30|
|Air conditioning unit (indoors)||45|
|Air conditioning unit (outdoors)||60|
|Self-contained air conditioning unit||65|
*ISO measurement: pump suspended and unmounted
The dB(A) value – generally lower than the absolute value – is obtained after these weightings have been applied, more faithfully representing how our ears experience a given sound.
There’s one final, crucial detail that can’t be overlooked: the distance that a sound travels before it reaches our ears. Sound waves lose energy as they travel, which is why distance from the source is a key parameter in standards for measuring sound levels. Most standards apply a uniform distance of one metre. But once again, it’s important to think in relative terms: in air and without obstacles, sound pressure decreases by 6 dB for each doubling of distance from a point source. What’s more, this value can vary depending on the type of sound in question, whether the sound waves bounce off the corner of a wall, and many other factors.