I'm trying to come up with options for soundproofing around our water softener (and the mechanicals that go alongside it - not including water heater). Currently when it goes through it's regen cycle, it makes a lot of noise that echoes through the basement and upstairs (open concept to basement). Since this runs every few days, and we are planning to start our family soon, I would like to get this noise under control.

I've read several articles about soundproofing for a home theater, and am tempted to go that route, but I'm wondering if any one has experience with this. Do the home solutions (like double drywall with green glue) actually work for this, or is this sound a different frequency or some other properties that make that useless? Since it's such a small space, could I build up a box or covering with some MLV, and would that block enough noise? If I just layer up insulation, is it possible (within reason) to block the noise?

Or any other ideas that anyone has. I'm open for suggestions, preferably if anyone has done this before and can recommend do's and don't's.

Thank you!

  • 1
    I've never heard this complaint before. Two tips: First, how old is this unit? Might be time to replace it. I don't hear ours at all. As in zero sound except the water draining out the hose. Secondly, keeping your home ultra-quiet is a recipe for fussy sleepers. Let them learn to ignore some sounds and you'll all be happier. Run vacuums and laundry equipment and talk normally. Good luck!
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 13:21
  • Is your basement unfinished? If so, I would finish it first before you start having kids. If you don't, they'll be helping you finally hang the drywall when they are back on vacation from college. When you finish the basement, build a utility room to enclose that stuff.
    – Chris O
    Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


Sound isolation is sound isolation. Lower frequencies (bass) are harder than higher frequencies (treble) to block, but anything helps. If you have the space, a purpose built wall with staggered studs (so each stud only has one wall surface connected to it) packed with insulation is good. You can add as much of whatever other product you care to onto that (resilent channel as well as the other products you have mentioned already) but if you start there, you are fighting less as you have a good isolated base construction - many of the "products" are more of a band-aid on top of a wall structure that was not built from the ground up for isolation.

"Open concept to basement" sounds like a firetrap waiting to happen - I'd want to get your utilities behind a couple of layers of Type X drywall and rockwool and a well sealed firedoor just for the fire rating, and consider the sound reduction as a pleasant side effect. Let the children you want to have live to adulthood.

  • Millions of unfinished basements in the north have open utility rooms. I'm sitting next to one 27 years old as I write this. It's not really a concern with modern HVAC equipment. Fires are much more likely elsewhere, and Radon should probably be a higher priority for most families.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 13:23
  • 1
    open concept from the basement to the upstairs (so, no cellar door, open stairway, smoke moves freely as well as sound) is unusual and adds to the fire hazard here.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 13:45

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