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A generator is a useful and often necessary thing. However, the noise coming from the unit can disturb not only the owners but also the neighbors. We suggest putting a quiet life first by exploring 10 ways to drown out a generator. Read the article to the end and choose the method that suits you and your generator best.
What makes generators so loud?
Before we define how to quiet a generator, let’s first figure out why these machines are so loud. The main reason why generators make so much noise is that the engine is running, which generates electrical energy. Noise is present in absolutely all generators, regardless of their cost, model, or size. However, these criteria can affect the noise level.
Since it is usually measured in decibels, in generators it ranges from 60 to 90, and sometimes it can even exceed all 100 dB. It is worth knowing that the cheaper the generator, the more likely it will be louder, although before buying, you should still carefully study the reviews for the desired model. For example, a generator with a volume level in the region of 60-70 dB will be about as loud as a dishwasher or a normal conversation.
According to users, the quietest dual fuel generator is Champion Power Equipment 100263 with a noise level of 59 dBA at 23 feet. Compared with other popular generators the Champion has the quietest operation — for example, DuroStar DS10000EH is 72dBA and DuroMax XP4850EH is 69 dBA. Some people even call the Champion unit quiet, like a whisper! It is easy to have a normal conversation while the generator is working, so, if you want to maintain warm relations with your neighbors, choose this machine.
Going back to average models, because of the running engine, the generators simply have such a feature as noise. You are not asking, for example, an airplane, to be a little quieter? However, if we just need to come to terms with the noise from the plane, we can do some tricks with the generator that will help drown it out. We’ll show you ten different ways to make your generator quieter, dividing these methods into relatively simple and creative ones.
10 tips on how you can quiet a generator: choose the best way for you!
🏠 Place the generator further away from your home
An average generator produces from 70 to 80 decibels at a distance of 20 feet (approximately 6 km). This is loud enough (like a telephone ringing or a big vacuum cleaner working) for you to hear noise and have some anxiety. The most logical way to drown out noise is to place the source as far away as possible. If you live in a rural area, it will be easy for you to do this simple trick, since the houses there are located at a greater distance than in the city.
To do this, you just need a long extension cord and a sufficient distance from the house to the generator. The ideal option would be to locate the generator in a separate storage room or garage. Again using an extension cord.
⚽ Place the generator in a storage room
If you have a storage room and an extension cord near your home, place your generator there. However, there are three important points to keep in mind — high temperature, smoke, and echo.
- High temperature. If you live in a northern state or somewhere in eastern Canada, you don’t have to worry about the generator overheating. However, if you live in a hot enough climate, consider placing a fan inside the barn to cool the generator.
- Smoke. Also, your storage area should be equipped with small vents in each corner of the building to easily evacuate the smoke from the generator to the outside. A 6-inch diameter is sufficient for these holes.
- Echo. If your barn is empty at the moment when you hide the generator in it, an echo will appear as a result of which sound waves will bounce off the empty walls inside. The ideal way to avoid echo is to place acoustic panels on the walls and ceiling of the barn.
📬 Place the generator exhaust pipe away from your home
If you cannot move the generator away from home for some reason, you can always do a little trick. This is about the generator exhaust pipe, which is often the main source of the noise.
To drown out the generator a little, you can turn the exhaust pipe in the opposite direction from your house. The sound waves generated by the noise will not travel towards your home. It would seem such a trifle, but it can qualitatively affect the noise level!
🗯 Use a sound-absorbing mat
A useful gadget that will help you effectively muffle the sound of your generator is a sound-absorbing mat. Since most of the generator noise comes from the engine and moving parts of the machine, this is not the only reason for the loudness. Noise can also come from generator vibration.
To absorb these vibrations, place the unit on a thick piece of sound-absorbing mat. Thus, you will reduce the noise level at once.
🙉 Install the generator silencer
The next way to make the generator quieter is to install a silencer. There are several types of mufflers that you can easily find on Amazon, which fit a wide variety of models and sizes. Let’s focus here on the material from which there are made.
The silencers are usually made of the metallic casing and internal components made of steel, there also can be stainless if requested. Also, depending on your needs, the muffler linings can be filled with mineral fiber. So, by using a silencer, you can count on it to make your generator quieter by an impressive 12-18 decibels.
🚧 Replace the generator muffler if defective
If your generator is already old enough, and even with a muffler it still sounds loud, then the problem is either in the engine or in the old muffler.
Be that as it may, take the generator to a mechanic for inspection: he will be able to tell you exactly why your generator has such a high noise level. Treat the generator carefully, because noise is like a pain in the body — it may indicate that something needs to be repaired. In this case, it is either an engine or a replacement for an old muffler.
The most creative
🥁 Drown out the noise of the generator with plywood boards
It’s time to talk about more creative ways to drown out the generator. For example, one of the cheapest and quickest methods is to quiet generator noise with plywood sheets.
With plywood boards, you can make the sound quieter by as much as 10 decibels! To do this, you will need several pieces of plywood, it can even be cut plywood, the main thing is that the boards go beyond the generator. Next, you apply them to the generator body, creating an A-shape. Voila: an impromptu plywood structure reflects the noise towards the ground, which absorbs the sound.
💡 Build a quiet enclosure for the generator
The most effective and reliable way to turn down the volume of your generator is to build a quiet enclosure for it. To make a simple but “working” shelter, do the following:
- First, take all the necessary measurements. Remember — in no case should you leave extra space inside the box, otherwise, the whole meaning of sound insulation will disappear. The cover should be as close as possible to the generator body. The only thing for which you will need to leave small gaps inside the shelter is the place for sound insulation, which must be installed on all four walls and the ceiling of the box, as well as the necessary space for ventilation equipment.
- Next, cut out the medium-density fibreboard according to your measurements using a table saw. Make sure that you have purchased a sufficient amount of material so that you do not have to go to the store again at the most inopportune moment or make a second online order.
- Finally, fix all the soundproofing boards to the walls and ceiling of the box using the Green Glue Noise-Proofing Compound. This adhesive works great as a muffler, especially for low-frequency sounds.
👂 Buy portable soundproof enclosures ZombieBox
If you have never heard of ZombieBox, then we will be happy to tell you what it is. ZombieBox is a portable soundproof enclosure that is ideal for reducing the noise of your generator.
This is a great alternative if you are not the kind of person who likes to make generator shelters on their own. Moreover, according to the manufacturer, ZombieBox can reduce noise by 5 times. Agree, this is what you need so as not to disturb yourself and your neighbors when the generator is running!
🚘 Install the car muffler to the generator
Before attaching the car muffler to the generator, make sure you measure the muffler’s exhaust tip correctly. This will determine whether a car muffler is suitable, whether it will leave gaps, etc. Remember that it is precisely because of the gaps that the muffler will lose all meaning since noise will still seep through these holes.
So, to install a car muffler, you need a couple of tools, a clamp, and exhaust flex tubing. Of course, welding the pipes that were originally on the muffler is best. However, you shouldn’t have a problem if you can make the connection between the two mufflers tight enough without gaps.
Any generator can and should be muffled because reducing background noise is good for your mental state and those around you. When choosing a suitable way to drown out the generator from the ten proposed, take into account the area in which you live (some methods are more suitable for the private sector outside the city than in the city), as well as personal preferences.
If you enjoy manual work and are ready to make your muffler or generator shelter, you will love one part of all ways. If you find it easier to pay and buy the right gadgets, you will become a fan of the other part of the methods. Just remember the main thing — the generator is much easier to love when you can’t hear it.
🎧 Can you put a silencer on a generator?
Yes, you can put a silencer on a generator. A silencer is usually made of a metallic casing and internal components made of steel. Find more info in our article.
🔊 How do you soundproof a portable generator?
There are 10 “working” ways to soundproof a portable generator. The simple ones include placing the generator further away from your home or in a storage room, and the most creative ones are about drowning out the noise of the generator with plywood boards and building a quiet enclosure for the generator, etc. Please read the article to get more methods.
🔔 Can you put a quieter muffler on my generator?
Yes, you also can install the car muffler on the generator. Before attaching the car muffler to the generator, make sure you measure the muffler’s exhaust tip correctly. This will determine whether a car muffler is suitable, whether it will leave gaps, etc. For more info please check our article.
📣 How do I stop my standby generator from making noise?
You can buy portable soundproof enclosures ZombieBox, use a sound-absorbing mat or place the generator exhaust pipe away from your home. To check out all 10 ways to quiet a generator please read the article till the end.