quieter alternative for JBL

someuser08

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2 Sep 2020
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I've been using JBL e1501 for the last 9 years (two devices, first started leaking after 5 years and I got another another one that is almost 4 now) with Vision 180L tank/cabinet. It was probably the best filter I could fit into the cabinet (<21cm in width), and was always happy with its performance. It was never completely silent, but slight low noise hum was never a problem in the living room. These days we are using a room above it as a bedroom and its quite noticeable there during the night . Not sure if it got louder over time (probably) but also it sounds that humming is made worse by the cabinet itself (even though its not touching anything and had anti vibration pads underneath). Probably a combination of older filter/impeller, position, cabinet state and ceiling construction. Anyway I'm looking for options to resolve this:

  • Get new impeller for existing JBL, consider deeper cleaning of the head and/or move it outside of the cabinet.
  • Get new JBL e1502 and hope it will be quieter to start with
  • Get a new quieter filter such as Aquael Utramax 1500 or Hydor Pro 600 (which I can't find stock) that would have to be outside of the cabinet.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
Get new impeller for existing JBL
You may not even need a new impeller, changing the spindle and bushing may have the desired effect.

I'd definitely start with a new spindle ("shaft") (and a new impeller if the spindle doesn't help). Even the ceramic spindles wear eventually, although I usually manage to drop, and snap, mine before they need replacing.

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

someuser08

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Thanks for this. They do not sell just the spindle, so I will have to buy full impeller anyway, right?

From what I remember when I broke the spindle long time ago, I could not get the bottom rubber holding part out of the hole, so just stuck shaft into the old one (not this filter though, the previous one). Do I need to try to get it out this time? Any tips on how to do that?
 

ian_m

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I have had exactly the same problem with my 8 year old e1501 installed in my Vision 180 cabinet, I am sure over the years it got louder and more and more noticeable. I can't believe when I first installed it in 2012 I would have allowed something so noisy in my lounge.

So:
  • I got a new impeller and shaft and bushes. No change, still as loud.
  • Went through JBL support asking why it now should be so loud ? They sent me a complete new pump head. No change, still as loud.
  • Whilst waiting for JBL to respond I get peeved off at the noise/hum and bought an e1502, to replace the noisy e1501.
  • e1502, certainly had more flow, I just reused the baskets of filter media from e1501 as well, but wasn't really any quieter.
  • Put e1501 back, this time outside the cabinet standing on a square of old carpet. This was slightly quieter, probably cabinet no longer humming. Certainly makes access to filter and cleaning easier. Flogged e1502 on Ebay, at a loss.
So I am now running e1501 external to tank, like it there as so much easier to pop open and wash the coarse filter once a week during water change.

Probably what did make a difference, possibly:
  • Cleaning all the piping and spray bars.
  • Running the filter will full complement of ceramics, both balls and rings. Previously ran with only half the amount.
  • Cleverly positioning bits of foam (22mm pipe insulation) to keep the tubing from touching my lounge wall, the tank stand and the tank. However you cannot help the tubing touch the tank where it enters the tank.
My next move..to be done during my furlough time..ha ha that's what I thought...but never had the time during furlough, just to busy....was to do what the "marine big boys" do. They run massive pumps and place sections on silicone piping in their pipe work do deaden the noise of the pumps. They also place their pumps on "special rubber" mats and build boxes, some lead lined, around their pumps.

One day I may get round to it.
 

someuser08

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2 Sep 2020
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London
Thank you so much! This saves me quite a bit of investigations. I will definitely try to get the filter outside of the cabinet, just to see what's that sound like. But in the end - if it's just filter, why not get different one altogether?
 

someuser08

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An update. Done some work on the filter head - deep clean, change of impeller. Result is better. Not the noise itself (still about 43dB at 30 cm distance), but low level hum is much better. Whilst working on this - noticed that cabinet doesn't vibrate anywhere, but the pipes do. I am now using grey tubing that is very stiff comparing to the green one I used to have, so I'm thinking to change that and see if the vibration would reduce a bit more.
 

someuser08

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Another update. Got myself some cheap no brand green tubing. Same stiff stuff. Had problems getting the pipe connector into the head in the narrow space of the cabinet due to pipes not bending and decided to switch the position of the filter. Now the power cable is right in front and goes around the filter to the back. Ugly, but maintenance is much easier.

Guess what happened to the noise though! After about a day it settled down and became much quieter. I can of course still hear it, but it dies down very quickly with distance. Measured 5dB less at the same distance. No low hum either. Not sure what did this, but likely position of both filter and tubing.

Whilst doing all of this I did discover another issue with the filter though. I used to have fine floss in the top basket just before the pump. And my tank was always clean. When I was changing the impeller I moved it to the bottom basket after sponges and now it's a bit cloudy. I also moved purigen to the top and can see after a week it's the same condition as it used to be after a month two baskets below. This means I have massive bypass. Anyway I resolve this?
 
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