One of the common questions and concerns that people have about large pond aerators is how much noise they make. Its a valid question because many folks are concerned that they might ruin an otherwise tranquil experience at the pond.
In order to provide an answer, we took three of our most popular aerators out of our stock and tested them head to head in controlled conditions. We wanted to find out if any of them were significantly quieter than the others, and what the overall sound experience was like when they were running. We used a decibel meter (which measures sound intensity) to come up with some valid, comparable numbers.
Readings were taken at 2', 10', and 20' respectively and you can see the results below.
Keep in mind that a normal voice in conversation from about 2' away is around 60db. So all of these aerators are just a little bit above that, and with only a 4db spread between them, they are all comparably quiet.
Just a note on the pumps used in these models. All are equipped with a 1/4 HP rocking piston compressor. We used 100' of airline, along with a single diffuser in the set up for testing.
In my opinion, the cabinet involved my make a minor difference in the sound output of these systems. The Airmax uses a composite ground cabinet, while the Easy Pro and the Kasco use a post or pole mount type steel cabinet. While the composite cabinet may be a bit quieter or buffer the sound a bit more, there is a potential advantage of the post mount for compressor cooling.
All of the aerators include cooling fans as tested, which may increase the sound output slightly. But it is important to keep a rocking piston pump as cool as possible and well ventilated since they can get very hot while in operation. With this in mind, the post mount cabinets have venting not only on the sides but also from underneath which allows for more airflow around the pump. The composite cabinet, made primarily for ground placement, does not have venting from underneath.
Want to actually hear the aerators in operation? Watch the video below for that along with some additional notes on the equipment and testing process.