EcoTech Marine has had a driver upgrade available for older generation VorTech pumps for quite a while now. EcoTech Marine says the newer drivers reduce motor noise and, with some models, may even increase flow.

When I first learned you can upgrade your older generation VorTech ES pump to a new QuietDrive (QD) driver, I didn't think too much of it. You can say I was skeptical.

With most controllable circulation pumps, it is a given that as the pump changes speed it will create a humming noise that increases or decreases as the flow changes. That humming noise can become an annoyance after a while depending on where your aquarium is located—like in your bedroom, for example.

I run my pumps on Reef Crest or Lagoon modes. I think random flow is more natural along with the added benefit of introducing nutrient export mode twice a day.

I had two VorTech MP10ES pumps at the time and wanted to see if the new drivers would live up to the hype. I decided to buy one and put it on the 90 gallon aquarium in my living room. The sound change wasn't very noticeable so I picked up another to try on a 25 gallon tank in my bedroom.

With the old driver, I would always find myself dialing it down to deal with the sound issue. Even though it is a faint sound, I found the buzzing annoying.

Upgrading and switching out the old ES driver with a new QuietDrive (QD) is simple with the provided instructions.

Just remove 4 back cover screws, pop off the control knob in the front, detach the cable from the dry side, attach the new one and then repeat everything in reverse. The process is quick and super easy! In fact, getting so hands-on with their equipment has made me more confident that my EcoTech Marine gear will last a lifetime. You can feel the quality. It seems like an entirely new piece of equipment.

I really noticed a difference in the noise level with the upgrade.

It is more than enough for me to be satisfied. I found it to be dead silent even when I was only a couple of feet away. The flow seems improved as well, although not in a revolutionary way. But the noise reduction is BIG—a real strength for this upgrade and a definite improvement over the original driver.

If you have an older generation VorTech pump and the buzzing of higher flow modes is disturbing your chill time, I definitely recommend looking into this affordable upgrade. It's a no-brainer, especially if your aquarium is in your bedroom.

The MP10wQD upgrade is only $50, the MP40wQD upgrade is $75, and the MP60wQD upgrade is $100.

Check out EcoTech Marine's VorTech Upgrade Guide to learn more.