How to Make a Generator Quieter? 7 Lesser-known Hacks
Having a generator is really important nowadays, whether you are camping or using it at home. It helps you keep your equipment running in case of emergency.
But the problem here is that not all generators are created equal; some of them can be a bit noisy, but the majority of generators are actually quite loud.
Noisy generators are not only annoying but can also be dangerous as it affect your sleep patterns or ability to concentrate on work tasks.
But don’t worry, here we are going to look at 7 easy and effective ways to make a generator quieter. So if you are wondering about ‘how to quiet a generator’ then keep reading…
What makes a generator noisy?
Before you actually do anything to quiet your generator, you need to know why your generator is making noise. There are many factors that can contribute to the noise level of a generator. These factors include:
- Engine size: The size of the engine used in a generator have a big hand in the amount of noise it produces. Generally, smaller engines tend to be quieter compared to larger ones.
- Fuel Type: The type of fuel used in a generator can also impact noise levels. Typically, generators powered by gasoline produce more noise than those powered by propane.
- Generator location: Placing the generator close to the tent is a direct guarantee of a very loud noise, and that’s what most people ignore. The noise disappears as soon as you take it away from the tent or the shelter.
How to make your generator quiet as a cricket?
Okay, here are that 7 ways to quiet a generator as a cricket.
#1 Build a Generator Quiet Enclosure to quiet your generator
Building an enclosure is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make a generator quieter as cricket.
It is a specially designed box that surrounds the generator to contain and dampen the sound waves, preventing them from spreading into the surrounding environment.
An enclosures that is designed to make your generator are typically made using high-density materials that have excellent sound absorption properties such as mass-loaded vinyl, acoustic foam, fiberglass, etc.
I have a friend who is a big fan of traveling and camping, he recently bought a portable generator but it was very noisy. He asked me, how can I make my generator quieter?
And I suggested him to spend in a generator enclosure. As he found out, he went to a hardware store to buy the products needed to build the enclosure. After all, he got an excellent result and thanked me for giving him this amazing idea.
Bottom Line: Build or buy a generator enclosure, this will significantly reduce the noise produce by your generator. It is easy to build, even though it won’t cost a lot.
How to build a generator quiet box?
If you want to build the enclosure, here is a list of the products you will need:
- MDF Board: Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is an ideal material for constructing the enclosure due to its sturdiness and soundproofing capabilities.
- L-Brackets & Screws: Use L-brackets and screws to secure the MDF panels together, ensuring a solid and stable enclosure.
- Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV): Mass loaded vinyl is a premium soundproofing material that helps prevent noise leakage, making it a valuable addition to the enclosure.
- Anti-Vibration Floor Mats: Instead of using foam mats, opt for anti-vibration floor mats to reduce vibrations caused by the generator. This further contributes to noise reduction.
When building an enclosure keep in mind to use anti-vibration floor mats instead of foam mats as this will helps reduce vibrations.
#2 Use a Cherry bomb, or a Car muffler
Using a car muffler can be a good way to make a generator quieter. The muffler will control how much air passes through the opening for an even and steady flow, ensuring a steady and even flow, which may result in a decreased sound level.
Adding a muffler is inexpensive and is not to rocket science at all. So it’s worth to try it if you want to quiet your generator.
But the question that may comes to your mind is that: Does a car muffler work on a generator?
So to answer this question, I spent more than 7 hours watching videos, reading blogs and talking to generator experts to clarify everything about this question, here is the truth.
Does a Cherry bomb, or a Car Muffler can make a Generator quiet?
A youtuber whose channel name is “BCtruck, BC Blades” did a great experiment with their Powermate portable generator.
They measured the noise level using a noise level tester positioned 10 feet away from the generator. Then, they removed the generator’s original muffler and replaced it with a cherry bomb muffler. After conducting the same noise level test from the same distance, the results were surprising.
Initially, they measured the noise level at around 95 and after installing the external (cherry-bomb) muffler, the noise level comes down to 85 dB, with a difference of 10 dB, Great!
Well I know a cherry bomb muffler is quite loud but here’s what I’ve seen, you can watch the video to see and understand the live results:
Another youtuber named James Condon did the similar thing as BCtruck, BC Blades. James tested and compared the noise level before and after, but here James uses a car muffler.
And the result was noteworthy too because he measured the noise level 76 dB before installing the car muffler, and after installing the car muffler it saw a difference of 6 decibels (dB) which is pretty good.
The results were also noteworthy, as he recorded a noise level of 76 dB before installing the car muffler and and after installing the car muffler it saw a difference of 6 decibels (dB) which is pretty good in my opinion.
After watching YouTube videos, I speak to David Sunil, a generator expert and a friend of my father. I asked him about using a car muffler on a generator, and here’s what he had to say:
The muffler is already in the generator for this job, so any other muffler won’t make a big difference, but a car muffler is generally designed to deal with the noise of large automobile engines, so there will be little difference when using car muffler in generator. It may reduce noise level from 4 to 10 dB, but in some cases it may not works due to improper installation and a broken muffler.
#3 Point the Exhaust Pipe away from your tent or home
The direction of your generator exhaust pipe could be a whole noise problem you might not be aware of. This simple change along with the way your generator’s exhaust is placed in a vertical position redirects the noise carrying sound wave upwards into the atmosphere.
This will markedly reduce the noise along the exhaust pipe, and try to point the exhaust pipe at least 10 feet away from your generator, in the opposite direction to get a better result.
But if you can’t do that, I would suggest buying an exhaust pipe, but if your generator is in a room and you can’t even move the pipe far and out of the room. In this case, I would suggest you to use a vent kit to keep the exhaust pipe at least outside of your room.
However, this method may not make any difference if you have a high-power generator, it can reduce maximum 3 to 5 dB, but pointing the exhaust pipe away or outside the room is safe for health.
According to the ResearchGate, Harmful exhaust emissions can cause a number of debilitating diseases, including headaches, respiratory tract infections, blood clots, a reduced immune system, cancer and more.
#4 Move your generator 20 feet away from you
The most easiest way to quiet a noisy generator is to move it as far as possible from where you are sleeping, camping, or spending time.
Moving your generator away from your shelter is the easiest way to quiet a generator, and there are many benefits to doing so, here are some of them-
- First, it will reduce the noise that is bothering you and distracting you from your daily goals.
- Second, it will avoid harmful exhaust emissions which are harmful to our health.
- Third, it will not take any kind of money, effort and time. I mean it is free to do.
So give it a try and make your generator quiet instantly.
#5 Mount your generator on rubber pad to make it quieter
You probably already know that a generator vibrates a lot while running. If you have mounted your generator on a wooden board or concrete then you are inviting vibrations, more noise and more problems. In fact, the vibration in the generator can even change its position and direction .
I know it sounds unbelievable but it is true, and I have seen it many times, so it is important to give your generator a soft landing. And one of the best to deal with this is to use rubber pads.
These pads work by dampening the vibrations from the generator, making the sound much softer and quieter.
Placing the generator on rubber pads will reduce vibration to a great extant. You can also use Anti-Vibration floor mats to do, they are an excellent soundproofing material that is typically used on the floor to reduce vibration.
#6 Use Sound Deflectors and reduce 10 dB (Decibels)
(Source: SixtyFiveFord, YouTube)
Deflecting the sound of the generator with sound deflectors is one of the simplest ways to lower the noise it makes, sound deflectors are same like an enclosure but there is lot difference between them.
A sound deflector is a barrier that holds sound waves in and separates them from an object, it is also known as noise barriers. This may sounds hard but it’s easy super to do, just bring drywall sheet but it should be 4 feet wide and 3 feet long and you will need five sheets of that size.
In case you are wondering, can using sound deflectors really make my generator quiet? So to clear this doubt, SixtyFiveford has done a cool experiment, he first placed the noise level tester at a distance of 10 feet from the generator and measured the noise level.
And then he covers around the generator with three plywood sheets and one OSB sheet, but he didn’t put any sheet over the generator and measured the noise level from the same distance.
In the end he got an amazing noise reduction as before covering his generator he measured a noise level of 80dB, and after covering it he saw that the noise level was 70dB, a difference of 10dB, Impressive!
Here is the video that I have watched!
You can do the same thing and reduce 10 dB, and if you do it right and use five sheets, you’ll get better results, Try it!
#7 Buy a Zombiebox to quiet down a generator
Well if you want to make your generator quieter as a cricket then you should buy a Zombie-Box. Using Zombie-Box is an excellent and most effective way to quiet your generator.
But buying Zombie-Box can really break your budget as it is very expensive but it works great. Here’s a data to prove that it works great, a YouTube channel named ZombieBox which is the official channel of Zombie-Box did a great experiment, what did they do?
First, he checked the noise level of his generator, then he installed the zombie-box and checked again. Previously the noise level was 90dB, which was very high, but after installing zombie-box the noise level has been reduced to 70dB.
So no doubt it works great, but as I mentioned earlier they are expensive, and if you can afford it then you can probably go for it. You can checkout Zombie-Box by clicking here.
Conclusion: How to quiet a generator
So that’s all for it: How to make generator quiet? I hope you successfully quiet down your generator. Placing your generator from your home or tent is the most easiest way to soundproof a generator.
You can reduce the noise of your generator by at least 10 decibels by placing it 20 feet away from your home or campsite. You can also reduce 10 dB by using sound deflectors. You’ll get better noise reduction if you apply both the tactics together.
By the way, now I want to hear from you: What method are you going to use to deal with the noise of your generator?
Are you going to use an enclosure?, or are you going to move your generator away? Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.
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