Problems with Ecotech Marine Vectra M1 pump

nero0762

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I'm setting up a new tank (RS Reefer 425xl) and I was really excited about the Vectra M1 pump because of the control and because people claimed it was silent.
While I like the control, I've found it to be far from silent. I've checked all the obvious things (its fully submerged, not vibrating against the sump, connected to plumbing with soft, silicone tubing, etc). And I've contacted Ecotech support. They asked for a video demonstrating the noise, and pictures of the inside of the pump (you can see them here). And then they sent me a replacement pump after taking my credit card to ensure I return the first one. The second pump, which can be heard here, sounds exactly the same.
Now they're asking me to take this one apart and send them pics of the inside of this one. They're being responsive, but I'm starting to doubt that these things are really capable of running silently.
I know others have reported noise problems with the M1, and I'm wondering if anyone who had these problems has ever gotten one to run silently. I'm also interested in other recommendations for a truly silent return pump, since it doesn't look like this one is going to work out.
 

litenyaup

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Following, I'm wanting to run one for same reason.
 

Texas Reefer

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Mine is extremely quiet. I can post a vid when I get home. Now I wish my overflow plumbing would be quiet!
 
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nc208082

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What pump are you comparing the noise level to?
I've heard the vectras and they are pretty darn quiet compared to a mag or other bulky return pumps. They are not silent but very quiet I would say.

I've used eheim 1262 before which is a great pump and fairly quiet.

Right now I'm using a tunze silent 1073.004 I think and it is very quiet.

These last two are not dc or controllable but are rock solid and fairly quiet.
 

Pongo

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Did you try putting a silicone mat under the pump?

Edit: OK, wow. I just listened to your sound file.
That doesn't sound like mine.
I notice the sound doesn't change when you lift it off of the floor of the sump so I guess the mat won't help.
Are there any bubbles that you can see in the soft line connecting to the hard plumbing?

What size RedSea Reefer do you have?
Have you calibrated the pump?
How close to 100% are you running it?

I only ask because on my RSR 525XL I'm only running the pump at about 70% max and I can't hear it unless it's spinning up after being off.
 
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OnlyTono

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This may be a long shot, but is it possible you're running this with a battery backup between it and the wall?
The reason I ask is some backups can change the syn-wave of the power and, in turn can to some extent, change the noise an electric motor makes. Granted , if its not running on batter, it shouldn't do that but you never know.

Also- when they replaced the pump, did they replace the power supply as well?
 

watdachuck

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Mine is brand new and running silent as well as the L1. Sounds like there was an issue with the first one. I hope they sent you a brand new one and not a refurbished one.
 
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nero0762

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Wow! I love this forum. So many people jumping in, I really appreciate it.
What pump are you comparing the noise level to?
I've heard the vectras and they are pretty darn quiet compared to a mag or other bulky return pumps. They are not silent but very quiet I would say.
I don't have a good answer for that. I'm getting back into the hobby after being out for ~10 years. And I don't remember the make of my previous return pump (it was external through), but I remember being stunned at how quiet it was. The real answer is... I'm not comparing it so much as "wishing". The tank is in my living room and it sounds like there's a computer fan cranked up to 11 in there.

Did you try putting a silicone mat under the pump?

Edit: OK, wow. I just listened to your sound file.
That doesn't sound like mine.
I notice the sound doesn't change when you lift it off of the floor of the sump so I guess the mat won't help.
Are there any bubbles that you can see in the soft line connecting to the hard plumbing?

What size RedSea Reefer do you have?
Have you calibrated the pump?
How close to 100% are you running it?

I only ask because on my RSR 525XL I'm only running the pump at about 70% max and I can't hear it unless it's spinning up after being off.
Yeah, its not vibrating against the sump. That's exactly why I lifted it like that in the video. And no air in the pump or in the line. I've shaken the pump pretty good while running and fully submerged... no air visible in the return line.
This is a brand new RedSea Reefer 425 XL. And we have calibrated the pump, but the best I can tell, all that does is limit your top end so you don't accidentally turn the pump up to high for your tank. Currently (and in the video) the pump is running at 75%. But even at half that, its very noticeable.

This may be a long shot, but is it possible you're running this with a battery backup between it and the wall?
...
Also- when they replaced the pump, did they replace the power supply as well?
No battery backup in this system. And when they replaced the pump, they sent me just the pump. It didn't even have the Vectra M1 sticker on it that the original had, which I thought was odd.

I'm really stumped on this. This is clearly running louder than some people's (thanks for confirming I'm not crazy, at least on this). But what are the odds that I get 2 bad ones?? But I've been over the rest of my system again and again
 

mfinn

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I wish I had a answer for you. My M1 and my L1 combined don't make as much noise as the one you have in the video.
All I can say is don't give up with Ecotech.
Take it to a higher level. Ask for a supervisor ( Alex?)
Be firm, but polite.
 

ksfulk

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Ive been running my M1 for 8 months on my 525xL and its quiet - my skimmer pump or my WAV powerheads make more noise than the M1. Are you hard plumbed for your return? I did find that there was a vibration in the pipe itself that I couldnt get away from while using the blue collars - but when I recently redid my plumbing I used the white adapters and the humming quieted down further. Upon closer examination, the brackets I was using to hold my pipe to the stand were a little loose and the vibration I was hearing was the pipe against the bracket. I know it was stated that you moved the pump around the noise stayed, but did you try holding the pipes where they bracket to your stand?
 

bhavy

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Hi
I run dual L1's in my sump - very quiet almost can't hear them.
 
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nero0762

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Ive been running my M1 for 8 months on my 525xL and its quiet - my skimmer pump or my WAV powerheads make more noise than the M1. Are you hard plumbed for your return? I did find that there was a vibration in the pipe itself that I couldnt get away from while using the blue collars - but when I recently redid my plumbing I used the white adapters and the humming quieted down further. Upon closer examination, the brackets I was using to hold my pipe to the stand were a little loose and the vibration I was hearing was the pipe against the bracket. I know it was stated that you moved the pump around the noise stayed, but did you try holding the pipes where they bracket to your stand?
There is hard plumbing in the setup, but there's an 12+" piece of silicone tubing between the pump and the PVC (see the left side of the pic). And there's no noticeable vibration in the plumbing.

I just got off the phone with Ecotech, and they're going to send a 3rd pump. I may try bypassing my manifold altogether and using just a piece of silicone tubing to connect the pump to the RedSea Reefer return fitting.

For other folks that are running this pump quietly/successfully, how do you have it calibrated, and what level are you running it at?

2017-04-26 17.44.53.jpg
 

bgoldb

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I'm running mine externally and it is silent. I am only running at around 40% though.
 

mfinn

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There is hard plumbing in the setup, but there's an 12+" piece of silicone tubing between the pump and the PVC (see the left side of the pic). And there's no noticeable vibration in the plumbing.

I just got off the phone with Ecotech, and they're going to send a 3rd pump. I may try bypassing my manifold altogether and using just a piece of silicone tubing to connect the pump to the RedSea Reefer return fitting.

For other folks that are running this pump quietly/successfully, how do you have it calibrated, and what level are you running it at?
I'm glad they are sticking by you as they should.

I did not calibrate my M1 ( or the L1).
I've got my M1 set to about 70%.
 

Klwheat

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Mine is extremely quiet. I can post a vid when I get home. Now I wish my overflow plumbing would be quiet!
I'm running mine at 100%. Between that and my bean-animal overflow, I sometimes have to open my cabinet and check my sump to make sure it's still flowing. It's QUIET! Love this setup on my 180.
 

kingdog22

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That's sucks that you are having an issue. I have the M1 and L1 Vectra pumps and I have to check to make sure they are even on! And they are in my bedroom. Not sure what is going on but give Ecotech a chance, they will definitely make it right! Rebecca can be really frustrating to deal with but JR and the other guy are Awesome!
 

kingdog22

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That's not sand under the pump in the video is it?
 

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