Thread Number: 16493
Sound damping sheets for your vacuum - has anyone tried it?
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Post# 175987   4/5/2012 at 13:43 (3,019 days old) by Sanifan ()        

So this is totally unnecessary, but since we like to optimize our time with our vacuums, has anyone tried reducing the sound of their machines with sound damping sheets?

I've always heard great things about how quiet Mieles and other well damped vacuums are. People who have these machines seem to love them. Now, I don't think Miele specs low db motors for their machines, rather that they design good sound isolation into the bodies (just my speculation - I could be wrong).

If that's the case, couldn't we do the same and get some benefit from using these sheets?

I'm thinking specifically about my Tristar CXL. While it's not loud by any means, I just can't help thinking how nice it would be to make it even quieter. The body is painted cast metal. I'd imagine applying a damping sheet or two to the inside surfaces would kill whatever ringing is being produced by the metal body. And also reduce other frequencies as well.

I'd imagine that applying these sheets to the walls of a vacuum's motor compartment could reduce objectionable noise to some degree. What do you think? Has anyone experimented with this?


Post# 175991 , Reply# 1   4/5/2012 at 14:41 (3,019 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

I don't think Miele use anything like those sheets you show in that link, when I stripped my S316i after I bought it, I found that it's sound absorbing material was basically shredded recycled material, as used for padding in things like cheap mattresses, sofas and other low-cost padded furnishings, cut & folded into shape to fit the vac's internal spaces...

I suppose it works, but, it's not that much of a difference, and my Tristar's not that noisy in comparison, plus I wouldn't like to insulate the exhaist-side of the Tristar because when running the back end gets warm, and to me the metal acts like a heatsink to remove some of that heat aswell as it being blown out the exhaust, so insulating could cause unnecessary overheating... :\

You can see some of the Miele's insulation in the vac and someremoved to the right of this pic here, before I removed it all to de-dirtify it and wash the vac's plastics after the former owner used it without a bag (that thing was DISGUSTING when I got it, glad it only cost me 10 in all!!):

Post# 176434 , Reply# 2   4/9/2012 at 08:03 (3,015 days old) by stricklybojack (Southern California)        
great idea for a post!

stricklybojack's profile picture
i haven't yet tried it yet, but to me noise is never welcome. i forgot about the sound deadening material used in car floors by higher-end auto rebuilders/restorers as a possible vac mod, brilliant!
heat will be a big concern for some but seems to me other mods could be made to avoid such problems. or maybe it just isn't advisable on some vacs at all, whereas others will benefit greatly.

Post# 176474 , Reply# 3   4/9/2012 at 11:21 (3,015 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture

Yes we build big heavy duty vacuums aswell as uprights based on the eureka vacuums for hotels , sound deadening is very important to them.


I find thin layer high density foam works best 

Post# 176497 , Reply# 4   4/9/2012 at 15:11 (3,015 days old) by Sanifan ()        


Good to hear. I can't picture the thin, high density foam you're referring to. Is it available to the public?

Post# 176498 , Reply# 5   4/9/2012 at 15:28 (3,015 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture

I will take a photo now now, yes I buy it at a local foam shop 

Post# 176864 , Reply# 6   4/12/2012 at 07:21 (3,012 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

sebo_fan's profile picture
gsheen - have you ever sound proofed any of the Sebo uprights?

Post# 177789 , Reply# 7   4/20/2012 at 20:59 (3,004 days old) by vacu-finder ()        

I have personally done a late model upright Kenmore. What I used was this self adhesive backed foam with alumi backing on it. It is used for doing furnace ducts. Does it work..?
Not bad but it is a little on thin side, you could double up on it. I did the trunk in my car and it cut down on the road noise by 20% .
The hardware and home building stores sell the stuff. Dynamat for stereo buffs is really good but costly..!

Post# 177818 , Reply# 8   4/21/2012 at 04:36 (3,004 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture

sebo fan ,

sebo uprights , no need they are quiet as is 

Post# 177827 , Reply# 9   4/21/2012 at 09:19 (3,003 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
Nah, doesn't really interest me.

Personally, I think those sheets would probably hamper the cooling of the motor.

Post# 177833 , Reply# 10   4/21/2012 at 10:46 (3,003 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

sebo_fan's profile picture
Not necessarily, the padding doesn't have to cover the motor, JM. What about your Qualcast 300 trimmer - would you put dampening sheets in that? : )

Post# 177837 , Reply# 11   4/21/2012 at 10:56 (3,003 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture


yes it often can cause the motor to overheat. certain tub commercial machine's have a lower motor life because of the sound damping 

Post# 177853 , Reply# 12   4/21/2012 at 12:25 (3,003 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        
"What about your Qualcast 300 trimmer - would you put da

jmurray01's profile picture
I'm watching Diagnosis Murder just now, and you'd make a very good detective! Ha ha!

Post# 177855 , Reply# 13   4/21/2012 at 13:00 (3,003 days old) by Sanifan ()        

Yeah, I think just as with anything it can be a compromise. The noise is generated by the motor. I'd think that putting material inside the motor compartment would trap heat. Whether enough heat is trapped to shorten the life of the motor depends on the vacuum, I'd think. I bet there are some vacuums that pass enough air through the the motor compartment so it wouldn't heat up enough to shorten its life too much. That's just a guess on my part. But most would trap a lot of heat. So it seems like dampening the motor compartment should ideally be designed in from the beginning.

Regarding the body, however. Sound also passes through the body panels of a vacuum. In the picture of the Miele, it looks like the dampening material is in side body panels - it's hard to see too much. Again, it's best if dampening is designed in from the beginning. But as long as the motor isn't covered (heat can radiate through the walls of the motor compartment as designed) and the same amount of air flows through the bag and bag chamber, would enough heat be trapped inside the bag chamber to damage anything? Remember, in a clean air vac, and canisters too, the air enters the bag and bag chamber first and then passes through the motor and motor compartment. In that case, it seems that dampening inside the bag compartment shouldn't really effect what's happening to temperature of the motor so long as the motor and motor compartment are unmodified. Does that sound right?

Of course, some vacuums have airflow guides in the bag chamber, so dampening material could negatively effect performance. But in something like a Tristar, the inside of bag chamber walls don't have ridges to create an air gap between the bag and walls. The shaped cloth bag provides that structure and fulfills that requirement. So you could stick damping sheets to the inside walls of a Tristar without negatively impacting the airflow - just as long as there's enough space around cloth bag and nothing impeding the flow though the bag into the motor prefilter. It seems the inside walls of a Tristar could work well with dampening sheets.

The only penalty I can think of is that the vac won't have the inside surface of the shell to shed whatever heat is being transferred from the warm motor area of the shell. Again, that heat would be working its way backward in relation to the direction airflow, so I don't know how much that area would even heat up. Just riffing on it in my head, it doesn't seem like it would be an problem dampening the bag chamber walls of a Tristar.

Just for kicks and information I propose to do this: I will measure the body temperature of my Tristar at rest with a IR temperature gun. Then I will do the same after running the vac for 10 minutes. That should give some information about how the shell is shedding heat and whether damping sheets would interfere with cooling.


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