Generators play a big role in modern daily life. It’s a blessing to have a machine that can produce electricity whenever and wherever especially when you travel to a place where the nearest rest stop station is miles away.
The only downfall of buying or hiring a generator is its noise but in our opinion, it depends on your reference frame. A generator can be considered freaking loud in a calm and chill place but compared to other engines or turbines in your everyday life it’s turn out to be not that bad. In addition, some types of generators tend to create less amount of noise than the rest.
Despite the fact that there is no whisper-quiet generator on the market, you can silence the noise by a bunch of methods, and that’s why we’re here to help you with “How to make a generator quiet”.
Standard Types of Generators Based on Noise Level
Figuring out what types of generators you own is a good idea to find out where the noise comes from and then, fix it. There are 3 types of generators depending on their decibel rating labels:
- Silent and soundproof generators
- The generators have a noise level of less than 75 dB
- The generators have a noise level of more than 75 dB and less than 120 dB
Silent and Soundproof Generators
This type of generator got its name because of the soundproof enclosure made of composite materials. The materials consist of hard and resilient ones covering the set. The operating principle of this enclosure is that while the hard materials reflect the sound back, the resilient materials absorb the sound, and the absorbed energy is then converted to heat energy. Although you can still hear the sound, it is tranquil enough to make you feel comfortable when working or talking with a friend within a close distance to the generator. The soundproof generators usually come with a spark resistor, this is a safety feature, automatic low-oil pressure shutdown, and fully enclosed covering. All of these features make it an ideal type to be used in silent-requiring place such as hotels, schools, hospitals, etc.
The Generators Have a Noise Level of Less Than 75 Db
The level of noise generated from the generator will depend on many factors, but the larger the generator size, the louder the noise. Besides, bigger generators create more power output, which means if you want higher performance, you have to deal with the noise as they appear to be a robust part of the equipment. This type is suitable in large commercial or service locations that require a high power level due to its large scale of space and customers.
The Generators Have a Noise Level of More Than 75 Db and Less Than 120 Db
As we mentioned above, the generators create noise that is greater than 75 dB and lower than 120 dB is the loudest and also the biggest ones among all. A manufacturing firm or a company in an industrial zone will likely choose this type over the rest.
Now that you understand the way to classify generators in terms of noise levels, it’s time to discuss silencing them. Below we offer you 6 ways to make a generator quiet, however, you can create your own method as long as it works and has no effect on the performance of the equipment.
Tips to Make a Generator Quiet
The easiest way to lessen the noise is to put its source far away from you. However, you may find it inconvenient to watch over or control the generator while it’s running because you’re not next to it. We have 2 tips when doing this method:
- Place your generator on a flatten, acoustic surfaces. Rough surfaces or metallic, rusty surfaces will reflect the sound and make it louder
- Remember to keep it in a good distance from other neighbors/stores/companies too, unless you want to disturb them by your annoying equipment.
As explained, rough and unstable, impenetrable surfaces reflect the sound and make the vibration more noticeable. Unfortunately, the locations that need a generator are usually these types of surfaces such as the ground in the wood/ hill/mountain, the hard floor of a factory, etc. Therefore, you can convert these hard surfaces into acoustic ones by placing a soft layer underneath the machine. A piece of padded cushion, polyfoam, concrete pad (easily found in retail stores), or a rubber carpet pad will work.
Building a Sound Barrier
Isolating the generator from surrounding space by creating “a box” outside it can lessen the noise by at least 10 dB. If you use custom designs such as sound-absorbing foam to cover the edges of the machine, the result is even bigger.
We recommend you shouldn’t cover all 4 sides of the generator, leave an open side for easy access and control. Because a generator gives off extreme heat while running, don’t forget to leave a breathing gap between the walls and the generator (6 inches for each side seem OK), and build the wall one foot taller than the machine. Also remember not to use material such as fabric, cloth or soft plastic as these can catch fire easily.
The most common way to build a sound barrier is to stack cinder blocks around your generator. You can move the cinder blocks to change the structure of the wall as it doesn’t need to be sealed permanently.
A muffler, or a silencer, is a device placed at the end of the smoke duct on the generator. This device can help to reduce noise by 10-15 dB at one time. It is also a common device to install on other noisy machines, you can find a wide range of commercial/industrial silencers in stores at a cheap price.
Because a generator muffler works with the same principle with a car silencer, you can use car mufflers for your generator. Besides the muffler, you have to buy and assemble different special parts to link up everything to create a leak-free system that actually makes the car muffler work correctly on your generator. An improperly installed muffler can end up exploding. This requires certain skills of welding and bending, thus we recommend you buy a specific muffler made for generators.
Changing the exhaust on your generator is also a way to muffle the noise. All you need to do is make a custom pipe system on your generator, then attach exhaust vertically to the machine. We suggest you can use a motorcycle exhaust for this function, you can buy it at any local motorbike shop in your area.
Anti-Vibration Leveling & Materials
Another way to limit the sound is adding anti-vibration mounts on the engine block to isolate vibrations at the motor base as well as to fit joints between the generator and any connecting system, hence minimize the noise transmission to nearby surfaces/structures. You can use either rubber mounts, spring mounts, or dampers depending on the amount of noise you want to reduce or the design of your generator.
Normally the stock screws already have a rubber washer to dampen the vibration, you can increase the anti-vibrating efficiency by adding another one. With generators that have leveling feet underneath, unscrew the leveling from out of the left as well as the right side of the equipment to stabilize it and make it balance.
Before taking some of these steps we recommend you’d better check the causes of the noise and then test that method to make sure it will work well. Test the methods by turning the generator on while you’re monitoring inside your house to see how much the sound still carries. If you’re still unsatisfied with the result, add more, try another one for best results.
A generator is not only a practical feature for traveling or family but also a necessary machine in industrial, service, and commercial areas. In this article, we provide the classification of generators in terms of noise levels and 6 best ways to solve the age-old question “How to make a generator quiet”. These methods can be used alone or combined for a bigger impact depending on your own situation.
Let us know your problem in the comment section down below, we will try our best to help!