In Brief: How to Quiet a Generator
Changing the position of exhaust pipes, choosing the proper generator base surface, using a sound deflector, making or buying a soundproof enclosure, maintaining proper insulation, upgrading the exhaust muffler and using water bucket trick are some of the effective methods to quiet a generator.
A generator could be a lifesaver during blackouts or when you are living in an RV or going camping.
But, at the same time, they could be a big nuisance as most of the generator units are loud and produces active noise.
It is estimated generators produce sounds more than 65 dBA when they are functioning.
This is a significant inconvenience for you and your neighbors, especially if you are running the generator unit at night.
Luckily, there are a few simple tips and tricks you could follow to reduce the noise from your generator.
In this article, we will discuss in detail how to quiet your generator unit.
Ways to Make your Generator Quiet
In this section, we will let you know some methods to reduce the sound coming from your generator unit effectively.
1. Place the generator far away
Okay, this does not fall under noise reduction, but a very straightforward way to reduce the noise anyways.
It’s only common sense not to install the generator right under your bed or near your living room.
The farther the generator unit, the less noise will reach you.
It is estimated placing the generator at least 20 feet away from you when you are camping is very effective in reducing noise.
You might worry about how to connect your devices to the generator if it is placed far away.
A quick solution to this is using a power card adapter to connect your appliances to the generator unit.
2. Change the position of exhaust pipes
The noise generated by the motor is usually expelled through exhaust.
Most of the generators have horizontal exhaust pipes, which make the sound highly audible to you.
If you change the direction of these exhaust pipes to a vertical angle, then some of the noise will go up into the air and makes your generator quiet to some extent.
Pointing the exhaust pipes away from your home or camping area can also be useful if you don’t want to use the vertical position.
3. Choose the generator base surface wisely
Depending on the surface, you placed your generator; it can alleviate or enhance the vibrations caused by the generator.
Metal surfaces are one of the worst places to keep your generator on as they will amplify the noise. It’s also best to avoid unstable surfaces and hard surfaces like wood or concrete.
Placing on earth is a good idea as the ground surface will absorb the vibrations. You can go a step forward and buy an anti-vibration mat for your generator.
Usually, some portable unit comes with a built-in rubber or plastic stand for this purpose.
4. Use a sound deflector
This is one of the easiest and inexpensive methods you can follow to reduce the sound of your generator.
Just use any mats, blankets, curtains, cardboards, sheets, objects lying around and place them like a barrier between the generator and you.
By doing this, the sound waves will be deflected by the barrier surface away from you, and you will experience less noise as a result.
This can help you reduce up to 10 dB of the sound.
Proper ventilation might be a problem if you close the generator unit with a blanket or cloth; instead, you can make a partition using them, which can reduce the noise but also deals with the overheating problem.
Drywall is an excellent material as a sound deflector as it is fire resistant in addition to manipulating sound waves.
You can also buy sound deflectors which are usually used with TV units. Getting a soundproof partition is also a good idea, especially if you are camping.
5. Make or buy a soundproof enclosure
One of the most effective methods to quiet your generator unit is to deploy a soundproof enclosing box around your generator unit.
You buy the soundproof box or easily make one by yourself fitting your requirements at a minimum cost.
Make sure the soundproof box of a fixed generator unit can survive the harsh weather conditions.
You can make the box using both wood and bricks, but the former one is much efficient at blocking the noise.
You shall also make sure there is proper ventilation for the enclosure; otherwise, it will result in the overheating of your generator unit.
Here’s a quick video on the DIY soundproof enclosure,
6. Maintain proper insulation
When you are planning to get an enclosure for your generator, usually the control panel side is left open to connect the devices to the generator.
Even through this small space, noise escapes very easily.
To avoid this, you can place a readily removable rubber flap or rubber cover to block the noise.
When you want to connect the devices, just take off the rubber flap.
Not only will it minimize the extra noise from the soundproof enclosure but an effective solution for the overheating problem too.
Using fireproof insulation made of Rockwool insulation, fiberglass, and mineral wool can also dampen the sound, but airflow to the generator unit would be a problem.
7. Upgrade exhaust muffler
Most of the sound produced by the generator unit is attributed to the motor.
Exhaust muffler minimizes the sound generated by the engine.
Upgrading to better and bigger mufflers will aid you in effectively decreasing the noise further.
Mufflers can also reduce the high pitch noises, which is an added benefit. However, it is tough to find a perfect muffler that matches your generator unit.
You can try your motorcycle or car mufflers if they fit your generator unit.
You can also get custom made mufflers or contact your electrician who will have a better knowledge about it.
By following a few simple tips or tricks individually or in a combination, you can effectively quiet a noisy generator to some extent.
Here, we have done our best to mention a few basic methods to reduce the noise produced by your generator unit.
We hope you don’t need to worry about a noisy generator spoiling your good night’s sleep or a fun-filled camping trip anymore.