Why are some trampolines noisy and how to prevent it?
Having a squeaky trampoline can be very annoying. While your kids may not be that aware of the annoying sounds, you will definitely want to avoid a headache each time the children go out to use the trampoline. The best way to ensure that you will not have to deal with the sounds is to take measures before putting your trampoline together.
While all noises may not be possible to eliminate entirely, it is possible to minimise the annoying loud ones. Let’s look at what causes these and see what can be done to reduce them to an acceptable level. Some designs and materials used means some trampolines can be more prone to noise than others. The following applies to the majority of trampoline models and brands that are currently in the market.
Unwanted trampoline noises are mainly a result of:
- Two or more dry components in direct contact with each other, combined with,
- Movement under load; between these surfaces.
Let’s look at contributing factors and possible remedies;
1. Horizontal Frame Joints.
2. Vertical Frame Joints.
3. Net Pole Structure
4. Spring Hooks.
Movement of rubbing surfaces
2. Excessive movement of the frame when it is not evenly supported, e.g. If the trampoline is not on even ground, the initial part of a jumping force tries to level the frame (a good way to imagine this is if one leg is over a pothole). If the frame is not evenly supported on the ground it causes several in-efficiencies, some of the users energy goes into levelling the frame instead of giving the fullest bounce. The other effect is that the frame will momentarily distort at every jump and put extra strain on the frame joints, amplifying the friction in the joints increasing the chance of annoying squeaks.
Tracking down specific noises.
What lubricant should I use?
Here are some step by step instructions to stop your trampoline from squeaking.
Grease the trampoline joints
- The squeaking sound happens when dry metal rubs against another piece of dry metal - this means that you need to be careful with the joints, which are the main culprit for such noises.
- Before building the trampoline, get some grease and lightly apply on the joints.
- Protect your hands with heavy-duty gloves when you are greasing the trampoline joints.
- Metal burr can hurt your hands if you are not careful.
- After greasing and putting your trampoline together it is time to test it out.
- Get the kids to jump up and down on it.
- If all is well and relatively quiet, no more needs to be done.
Trampoline squeak prevention
- To avoid any squeaking from occurring in the future, the best advice is to keep the trampoline in a fully upright position.
- This way, there will be little pressure on the joints, and the grease will keep them in good working order for a long time.
- A well-greased trampoline is also easy to disassemble when you need to move house.
- If after some use there is some noise – lift the pads around the trampoline and spray the frame joint and springs with some WD40 or similar product. Wipe off any excess lubricant to prevent dust from sticking to the trampoline frame.
What if my trampoline is already assembled and squeaks - Help!!
Noisy trampolines can be irritating, some can easily be fixed, others can be difficult to track the prime source.
Any noise generated from the frame or springs can be resonated throughout the whole frame so it can be misleading as to where its coming from.
Noise is usually caused by:
- dry steel on steel contact
- tolerance of the join (the clearance between the steel surfaces)
- movement of the join (transferred energy from when the trampoline is jumped on)
Areas to recheck or eliminate.
- First, try just lubricating the joints by squirting in some WD40 or another spray-on lubricant.
- Have the kids bounce the trampoline and then while they are bouncing go around and spray some more WD40 on the trampoline frame joints.
- Are all contact points of the leg bottom taking load evenly? (there are 2 contact points per leg)
- Does the noise increase in any particular jumping spot of the trampoline? This may help pin point the areas to initially look at.
- Initially try and track down source of noise with WD40, then use a more permanent lubricant, frame is the first place to check, then the spring holes.
- Remove one leg at a time and grease all joins, refit. this avoids pulling whole trampoline apart
- Is trampoline reasonably level? Simply levelling the trampoline can often stop the noise.
What if the trampoline is still noisy
If after these checks the the kids have jumped on only to find the trampoline just as noisy then I'm sorry to say it is time to disassemble trampoline, check frame joins including the square tube outer joiners for burrs and wear patterns:
- if required file off any high contact points
- grease all joins
- Check Spring hole slots:
- if there is a lot of spring hole wear the spring hook may now have no clearance in the slot (the hook rubs tightly on each side of the hole
- if there is wear, some of the slots could now have raised burrs, can file these down.
I am only aware of two people who have actually had to disassemble the trampoline, all others have been ok with the spray/grease insitu option.
Hopefully, this article will help you achieve some squeak-free jumping!
If you do have to pull it apart to stop the noise on your trampoline please let us know - either by leaving a comment below, phoning us on 03 52921100 or sending us an email
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Photo - Flickr - Marco Monetti