If you often suffer power outage or you go camping in a very remote area, a generator will be a good option for you because sometimes having access to power is a necessity.
Though the generator has many advantages, they also have a drawback of the much noise they produce. Generators make a lot of noise and can cause a disturbance at times not only to you but also to the people around you. In this article, I’m going to show you different methods on how to soundproof a generator.
What Makes a Generator Noisy?
A generator is a machine and as we all know, 99% of man-made machines make noise. Below are some of the main reasons why a generator could be noisy:
Some generators are noisy and produce more sound than others depending on the technology used in making them. Most of the modern use an advanced electronics and magnets to generate power. They supply a continuous flow of power and produce less energy than the old ones making them more efficient, more compact and more reliable. The modern designs have extra mufflers and noise absorbing features.
b) Power output
A powerful generator will produce more than a less powerful one that’s why you need to soundproof them. A generator with a strong engine will require a larger body than a generator with a small engine. The less powerful generators produce less sound than a powerful one. For instance, the inverter generators are smaller in size and produce less noise than the regular ones, and use are economical in terms of the fuel they consume.
c) The positioning of the generator
The nearer you are to the generator the more noise you will hear. You should place it far from people, and by this, you need enough cable to connect the generator and the power source. You should also check the surface where you are placing your generator prefer a firm and a stable surface. Do not place it on a shaky platform that will shake and vibrate because it will increase the noise of the generator.
Tips on How to Soundproof a Generator
There are several techniques you can apply to reduce the noise produced by your generator. Some of them work best than others, but you can use several them at the same time for better results
1. Install a better muffler
Most of the noise passes through the exhaust to the outside; that’s why a muffler is installed to reduce coming out. Upgrading your muffler to a bigger and better muffler will reduce the noise made by the generator. You can even use a motorcycle or a car muffler on your generator for better results. But you have to consult a mechanic or a maintenance specialist first before purchasing one to direct you to a place where you can find a muffler suitable for your generator model. Some mechanics can get you a custom-made one.
The advantage of a good muffler is that it not only reduces the level of the noise but also lowers the pitch of the noise. A lower pitch is less annoying than a high one. The bigger the muffler is the more sound it will muffle therefore allowing only little noise to reach you and the people around you.
2. Place the exhaust pipes vertically
Most of the exhaust pipes of standard generators are placed horizontally. Changing them to vertically will direct the sound waves up to the atmosphere producing less sound. This reduces the noise reaching you and the people around making the environment quieter. Though there will be some noise traveling horizontally, it will not be much as it would have been.
3. Position your generator properly
How you position your generator while it is working affects the noise it produces. Ensure that you place the generator such that the exhaust is pointing away from your place and the people near you.
4. The water technique
You can use water to baffle the sound coming from your generator by fixing a flexible pipe to the exhauster and deep it into a bucket full of water. The technique is easy and effective at reducing the noise produced by the generator by directing the sound into the water. Even though you will hear some vibrations from the generator, it will be quieter than before.
However, you need to cut a hole onto the hose higher up at the edge of the bucket to ensure that no water will enter the generator.
5. Install a deflector
A deflector is an object used to turn the path of the sound by diverting the noise to the opposite direction from where you are. Using a deflector will distract the sound waves coming from the generator to make it quieter. You can use one barrier or several around your generator and between you and the generator to direct the sound to another direction. This technique is not only effective but it also quick and easy to install and works instantly. It is also cheap since it does not cost you anything; you use the things lying around your home.
6. Use a removable rubber cover
You can use a rubber flap with a baffle box on your noisy generator by attaching it to the sides using glue. Rubber is heat resistant, sturdy and dense to block most of the noise coming from the generator. It is also easy to remove when you want to plug in a device to the generator.
The only challenge with using the rubber is that it holds in some air and even though it will not be affected, the generator may suffer. That’s why it is important that you fix it in a way that it will be easy for you to lift for the generator to cool.
7. Build a soundproof generator box
Put your generator in a baffle box to reduce the sound it produces from reaching you and the people around. Though the above techniques can help reduce the noise, they cannot remove all of it that’s why putting your generator in a soundproof box will help absorb most of the noise. The box should be ventilated and it will not be soundproofed completely but will be nicely made to improve the sound coming from the generator. The ventilation will prevent the generator from overheating which can cause damage.
You can buy the box or make one for yourself because it is not very hard to do it and it will save you some money. If you have the skills you need is sparing a few hours to make one.
All you have to do is taking the measurements and begin by making the base on which the generator will stand on and add the walls made of wood. Make the top wall and ensure that there is ventilation to make the box vented well to avoid heat from building up because it can adversely affect your generator. You can prefer making the box using a fireproof insulator since it will be lighter and absorbs sound and heat better than wood. The advantage of making it yourself is that you will be in a position to design it according to your requirements.
8. Place your generator far from people
Though placing your generator near you will be more convenient and easily accessible, its noise will irritate you by making the environment near you very noisy. Placing it some distance from you will prevent a lot of noise from reaching you, and you will have a good and quiet time.
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When the above options seem not to work for your generator, then you can try purchasing a new one. You can choose smaller and a less powerful one if you don’t do a lot of work with the generator as it will be quieter than a bigger one.
A new generator is not likely to produce a lot of sound like an old one since its parts are not worn out.
Additional tips and warnings on soundproofing a generator
You should be careful not to place a running generator in an enclosed area with people or animals as it can lead to death due to the poisonous fumes it releases. You should also not go into a building where a generator is running as it can lead to death or serious injuries. You should not place a running generator near combustible materials as it can lead to a fire.
Final Thoughts on Soundproofing a Generator
A generator is very useful especially in an area where there is no electricity power. Sleeping or living near a running generator can be unpleasant that’s why you should find ways of reducing the noise it produces. Soundproofing a noisy generator may be hard sometime, but with the above tips, you can reduce the noise coming from the generator making a quiet atmosphere for you and the people around you. However, the tips might not make your generator completely quiet, but it will only reduce the sound it produces.
You can use the tips whether you are using the generator for camping or in your workplace to have peace of mind.