As a pool owner, one of the most common projects you’re bound to undertake is hiding or muffling your pool pump. If you’re looking to simply hide it, or incorporate it into a larger structure, you have both pump covers and entire enclosures to choose from depending on your needs.
In this blog post, I’ll break down everything you need to know about pump covers and enclosures so you can decide which to build or purchase.
I’ll also add a couple of options I found online you can check out.
2 reasons to cover your pool filter or pump
If you’re like many people, you may be looking to hide your pump due to cosmetic reasons, or because you don’t want small children or family members to see it.
In general, it’s not necessary to cover pool equipment under normal conditions, because most of it is designed to handle exposure to the weather. However, there are practical reasons to cover at least the motor.
Keep in mind that you can either choose to cover your pump’s motor for sound dampening and protection or the entire structure including the filter with an enclosure—or both.
1. Covers and enclosures can reduce pool pump motor noise
One of the most common reasons many people install enclosures or covers around their pool pump is because pool pumps are noisy. A pool pump is estimated to produce 65 to 90 decibels of noise, which is almost as loud as a motorcycle. If the noise is below 70 decibels, your hearing is probably safe.
However, exposure to sound above 80 or 85 decibels over time can cause hearing loss.
If your pool equipment is near the edge of your property, your neighbors may complain, and it also might be annoying to you if the pump is close to your house.
Creating a soundproof enclosure
If your pump rests on a concrete pad, you can put a thick vinyl sheet under the pump assembly’s legs to deaden the vibrations and noise.
If you plan to build an enclosure around your pump, using some form of soundproofing material can also help.
Variable speed pumps are quieter
The best way to reduce pool pump noise is by using a variable speed pump like this one I found on Amazon by Pentair.
These you can operate at a slower speed and for a longer time. Slower operation not only reduces the noise, it substantially reduces the total expense of running the pump.
While you’ll want to run these during the day and at night, they can really make a difference, especially at night when you are trying to sleep.
2. Covers can protect your pump from overheating
Another reason to cover your pump motor is to protect it from extreme heat if you live in an area that gets pretty hot during the day.
Adding the heat of the sun will shorten the lives of both the motor and the pump itself, which is why installing something for basic sun protection is one of the best reasons to go with at least an awning.
Protection from sunlight (and, to a lesser extent, water) is one of the two main reasons for having a pool pump motor cover. These you can find on Amazon for around 30 bucks like this one, and may be all that you need if you are just looking for a dampening device.
The importance of pool pump ventilation
Adequate ventilation is of the essential characteristics to look for in any pool pump enclosure. Since the motor generates heat which will shorten the life of both the motor and the pump if it cannot dissipate.
For this reason, most people will purchase vented enclosures, or enclose on all 4 sides but not the top.
3 pool pump motor covers to consider
Okay, so if you’re just covering the motor (to extend its life), you have several options. Some of these like the first options mainly help shield it from the sun, but no not offer much noise dapening. Other dedicated pump covers do both.
1. Half-cylinder style pool pump motor covers
The Pentair Rainbow you can find on Amazon here, is an example of a half-cylinder style cover made of plastic, desgned to cover and cradle the pump. This type does not provide much noise reduction, but it is relatively simple and inexpensive, and it protects the motor from sunlight.
Keep in mind that pump motor covers will only really help to protect or dampen sound from the motor itself, and not conceal the filter and piping like an enclosure will. You can, however, use both.
Tip: Before purchasing a pool pump cover, ensure it will fit your model and brand of pump. Amazon fitment data usually allows you to check for this which is nice.
2. Pump covers by Serene for maximum sound reduction
One company called Premier Innovations offers a sound dampening pump cover you can check out on their website here. Like I mentioned, you’ll want to make sure the cover is compatible with your pump.
This company guarantees its covers will reduce sound by 75 to 95%, so if this is your main reason for getting a cover it could be a good option.
3. DIY pool pump covers
If you’re looking for a more DIY option for covering the pump, you can build a pump cover yourself with the right materials.
You’ll want to use a soundproofing material to construct the box, like fiberboard or soundboard; wood isn’t the best material to deaden the sound. The video below may help give you an idea of where to start.
Obviously, you’ll want to make sure there’s some airflow around the pump for ventilating the heat. If your pump isn’t visible to the public, this is an ugly, yet functional option.
Pool pump and equipment enclosures
When it comes to enclosures, you can also buy or build a box that covers both the pump and filter, along with its timer or related components.
These boxes are significantly larger than just a pump cover and generally open up from the front and top to allow access.
The video below is another DIY option that is my personal favorite.
Before deciding on an enclosure, one of the most important factors to consider is the ease of access. You will occasionally want access to the filter basket on the pump without having to wrestle with a cover over the whole thing.
Privacy walls and screens
If you’re happy with the sound dampening from a pump cover or have a variable speed pump and just need a cosmetic option, one idea is to use a 2-sided vinyl privacy screen like this one on Amazon.
A wall around all four sides of the equipment, including a gate, is common, especially in warmer climates. However, this does not protect the pump motor from the sun except when or if other components shade it.
Gated covered enclosures with lids
When it comes to larger structures, many will buy or build a gated, covered enclosure with solid walls and a retractable or folding top to allow access.
Generally, these are four to five feet tall. They can do an excellent job of muffling the motor noise and protecting the motor from the sun, however, appropriate provisions for venting a pool heater are necessary.
Many of these premium covers will also have gas struts, which will make opening the lids of this a lot easier for servicing your pump.
Pool pump houses
The ultimate protection for hiding and muffling a pool pump is to simply construct a separate building or attached room for your pool equipment, entered through a regular door.
This type of structure not only protects all the equipment and muffles the noise, but it provides a place to store related items like pool chemicals, cleaning equipment, and toys.
Always check local building codes for any permitting that may be required for building this type of structure.
In conclusion, adding a covering, enclosure, or house will extend the lives of both the motor and the pump over time, and one of those checklist items to keep in mind.
Many HOAs actually have pool pump noise regulations, so this is another reason to select a good quality cover, enclosure, or pump just to be safe.
I hope this post was helpful! For more ideas, check out my post 9 Privacy Options for any Hot Tub or Pool Area.