We do not know when there will be a power cut-off. A generator proves useful in such times. In specific areas where it rains regularly, power cut-off is a common phenomenon. If you reside in areas with extreme climatic conditions, having a generator is essential.
The biggest problem that a generator poses is the intolerable noise it produces. Being tired of the noise, a lot of people have researched how to quieten a generator and make it convenient for home use.
If you too are finding answers to the same question, you have come to the right place! Go through this guide below to know all the possible methods of silencing a generator.
11 ways to quieten a noisy generator
We usually use a generator for emergency purposes. Though it’s used quite rarely, the loud noise it produces creates inconvenience both for the user and the neighbors. Sometimes the noise is just intolerable. That’s when you must think of ways to silence a generator.
If the generator sound bothers you a lot, it’s time to try out some of the effective ways to muffle generator noise. So, without delaying any further, go through the best tips mentioned below and see which ones are best suited for you!
Build a Generator Quiet Enclosure
This is usually one of the first methods that people try out. That’s because building an enclosure is very simple and doesn’t require professional help.
By following the simple steps mentioned below, you can now make a customized enclosure box of your choice and get rid of the intolerable generator noise to some extent.
- Firstly, you must take proper measurements. It’s important because you mustn’t provide scope for air to pass through the box. If that happens, your efforts would be futile. Leave the minimum space required for sound insulation and ventilation.
- Now, take a fiberboard panel and cut it as per the measurements you have taken. To avoid any confusion later, label the pieces. You must buy sufficient fiberboard panels so that you do not have to rush to the market or order for the second time if you run short of the material.
- Now, attach the pieces of fiberboard on all sides of the generator by using Green Glue soundproofing compound. For the first layer of the enclosure, use Mass Loaded Vinyl panels. To reduce the generator sound furthermore, attach a second layer, below the first one. Use fiberboard panels for that.
Once the enclosure is complete, you will notice considerable noise reduction.
Set the generator away from your house
Needless to say, the more the distance between your home or camp from the generator, the less noise there would be. To get rid of unwanted generator sound, you can find a suitable place far away and put it there.
A good rule to follow is keeping the generator at about 20 feet away at least. If you have heavy-duty, extra-long extension cords, you can place the machine farther away as per your convenience.
Install a new generator muffler
This is one of the most popular methods people follow to quieten a generator. They install a larger replacement muffler to reduce the intensity of the noise produced by the generator.
You must be wondering how a muffler works? Well, it has perforated tubes that are meant to deflect the vibrations from the engine, ultimately reducing the noise that escapes from the exhaust pipes.
The maximum noise is produced by the exhaust pipes and the engine of the generator. When you install a sound muffler of better quality, the noise that eventually comes out of the generator is reduced by 12 decibels.
If you have made up your mind to install a new muffler for generator noise reduction, consult a professional because there are various models of mufflers meant for various models of generators. You must pick the appropriate one that will fit your generator.
One can make a generator quiet by connecting a silencer to the exhaust of your generator. Once you do that, you would be surprised how wonderfully it reduces the noise level by at least 12 decibels.
A silencer wouldn’t affect the functioning of the generator. It would simply quieten the exhaust system of the machine. Every time you switch it on, you wouldn’t have to tolerate the loud, annoying noise of the machine, if it’s connected to a silencer.
Nowadays, soundproof exhaust silencers are available in the market. They are made up of heavy-duty metal. They come with rubber rings for cushioning and sealing. In some silencers, there are O-ring sealants meant for eliminating excessive moisture that can accumulate when silencing an exhaust system.
Use water as your generator muffler
If you do not have time to install a new generator muffler, there’s an alternative to try out. For this alternative method, you need about 5 gallons of water. Also, you will need a hose, a clamp to fix the hose to the exhaust pipe.
While preparing this setup, make sure to place the generator at a surface higher than the bucket of water. Now, poke a few holes on the hose, so that the water doesn’t flow backwards into the exhaust pipe and can flow out from the holes in the hose. The backflow of water can affect the working of the generator. Therefore, be careful.
The next thing you need to do is connect one end of the hose to the exhaust pipe and place the other end into the bucket of water. The water would act as a sound muffler here and reduce generator noise coming out.
With this method, the generator sound is reduced by at least 5 decibels.
Place the exhaust pipes away from you
When you intend to make a generator quieter, don’t forget to place the exhaust pipes in a direction away from your house. Sometimes, it’s not possible to keep the generator away from the house or campsite. It can be due to various reasons. What would you do in that case?
In that case, you can simply place the exhaust pipe away from your house. By doing so, the sound vibrations would travel in a direction opposite your house. Consequently, the noise that will reach you will be reduced significantly.
Nowadays, in some of the latest models of generators, the exhaust pipes face towards the sky! In both cases, the sound vibrations will travel away from you.
Place The Generator On a Soft Surface
The surface on which the generator is running plays an important role in determining the amount of noise it produces. After you have placed the generator far away from your house you must think about the surface on which it’s kept. Make sure the surface absorbs the vibrations instead of amplifying them.
To quiet down a generator, you must always place it on soft surfaces. Avoid hard surfaces like wood, concrete, or Asphalt when it comes to placing a generator.
If you are out camping, the best place to put your generator on is the grass. The grass would absorb the majority of the noise coming from the generator, letting you enjoy your camp day without unwanted disturbances.
If you don’t want to place it on bare grass, you can buy anti-vibration mats from the market. These are excellent solutions for quieting a generator. These mats are made up of rubber and soften the vibrations, allowing very little noise to escape.
Place the generator in an enclosed shed
Even after shifting the generator far away from your house, if it’s too loud to be tolerated, why not place it inside an enclosed shed? If you choose to place it in a storage shed, there are a few things you must consider.
- Firstly, if the storage shed is empty, the generator would create a significant amount of echo. To avoid this, you must attach acoustic foam panels on the walls of the shed for absorption of the vibrations.
- Sometimes, the generator might get overheated. If you reside in a hot tropical region, you can fix exhaust fans on the walls of the shed to prevent the generator from becoming overheated and keep it cool.
- Next, you must ensure that the storage shed is well ventilated to allow the fumes coming from the generator to escape. If there are no ventilators in the room, attach a muffle-type hose to the end of the muffler. Now, bring the muffler out of the room by making a small hole especially to bring this pipe out of the shed.
Tighten the loose components
Quite often, some parts of the generator become loose when used for a long time. A lot of people do not know this and hence skip this step. However, tightening the parts of the generator can reduce the production of noise to a great extent, thereby lessening your hassle.
There are bolts and screws present all over a generator. They become loose after being used for a long time. That’s why we advise homeowners to inspect the whole generator if they think it’s producing intolerable noises.
The best part of this step is that you can do it for free!
Lubricate the bearings
Like any other machine part, the bearings of the generator are also prone to wear and tear. Over a period of time, they fail to function smoothly thus creating loud, uneasy noises. If you intend to quieten a generator, you must lubricate the bearings from time to time.
Lubricating the bearings is very easy. You do not need any professional guidance to lubricate the bearings. All you have to do is apply grease to the movable parts of the generator and on the surface, they come in contact while rotating.
However, you must be careful to not apply grease excessively as it has its side effects. Excessive grease on the other hand can choke the bearings, making it difficult to move. Therefore, use the right amount of grease necessary.
Use sound deflectors to quiet your generator
After you have placed your generator on a soft surface, you can take another step to reduce its noise furthermore. You can use sound deflectors. This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to muffle a generator. It’s very simple and can be executed in a few DIY steps.
To make sound deflectors, you need to arrange 4 sheets of plywood. Next, you need a sheet of any material that’s fire-resistant. You can consider drywall for this purpose. Make sure the pieces of drywall panel have 3 feet of height and 4 feet of width.
Now, place each of these pieces on the sides of the generator at particular angles. Remember to use the drywall panel to cover the exhaust of the generator. It’s important to ensure that your deflectors do not catch fire.
You must be wondering how do sound deflectors help in generator noise reduction. Well, when you place the panels of wood at specific angles around the generator, there’s space for airflow while at the same time the sound vibrations or waves produced by the generator are deflected to the ground.
Place the generator on a sound absorbing mat
Another way to reduce generator sound is by placing the generator on top of a sound-absorbing anti-vibration mat. You must know that the motor of the generator isn’t the only component that produces noise. Much of the sound also comes from the vibration of the generator.
Therefore, placing the generator on a sound-absorbing anti-vibration mat will certainly reduce the noise level as the mat would absorb the vibrations, allowing very little to escape.
The Bottom Line
With the arrival of quiet generators, why buy traditional ones? The latest models of quiet generators produce very less noise and vibrations as compared to the other models. When you buy quiet generators, you automatically do not have to invest much in silencing the generator.
The latest quietest generator models are also called inverter generators. Needless to say, they are expensive as compared to a traditional portable generator.
If you are running by a strict budget, it’s best for you to buy a conventional generator and try out the various ways to silence your generator. Each of the methods mentioned above is effective. We advise homeowners to use the methods in combination with one another for best results.