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How to make a generator quiet

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Generators are no doubt everyone’s first go-to solution to power up their camps or have an alternative energy source at home. But the constant loud buzz that accompanies them makes them unbearable sometimes urging you to shut them off. But that won’t that be needed anymore because luckily, there are certain solutions that you can try to turn down the generator noise and forget its existence. Read on to find out how to make a generator quiet.

After tiring research, we have figured out these 8 different ways to put your generator to silence. You can choose whatever you find convenient.

How to make a generator quiet Step 1. Buy the ‘right’ generator

The easiest of them all is to buy a silent generator available in the market but that will be costly and unaffordable for many of us. However, you must match the power ratings of the generator to your needs before buying. Because the more the power, the more will be the noise. For instance, at camping, you just need the power to recharge your phones, laptops or maybe lit a bulb a two. And for that, you definitely don’t need a 3500+ kW generator. So purchase the generator whose power rating matches your needs.

How to make a generator quiet Step 2. Plywood Teepee

This method is particularly helpful for people who want the quickest and easiest solution to this problem. All you need to do is to lean scraps of plywood or drywall over the generator at an angle, more like a teepee. This method might not make it completly silent but will lower the volume by at least 10 Hz. The purpose of doing this is to deflect the sound waves to the ground just so they don’t reach you and it will lower the airborne noise in general. Also, there are sound deflectors available in the market that can surely enhance the efficiency of this method.

How to make a generator quiet Step 3. Build a soundproof box

This option is best suited for people that don’t move their generators for outdoor activities. What a soundproof box does is that it absorbs the sound waves in itself and minimizes the buzz coming out. The important thing to consider during this construction is to use soft or porous material (we recommend Fiberboard and Vinyl) instead of metal as they have a better tendency to absorb noise. You can also use cushions or foam board to have at least one inch of a soft layer inside the enclosure that will enhance its soundproof feature. Just don’t forget to build a hole for electric cords and some ample space for a generator to exhaust air because too much tight box might cause a fire. And nobody wants that, for sure.

How to make a generator quiet Step 4. Change the muffler

The main source of the loud noise of the generator is the exhaust. And till you don’t fix it, you might not be able to make it quiet even after enclosing it in a box. There is a muffler inside the generator whose job is to muffle the noise. But if your exhaust is making an unusual loud noise, then it probably needs to be replaced.  A lot of sources do recommend buying an automobile muffler or just a bigger one. However, it will only reduce the sound to the ‘normal’.

How to make a generator quiet Step 5. Use water as a muffler

The idea behind this technique is to discharge the noise into the water and water will dampen the sound. And in order to implement this, you need a hose and a bucket full of water. All you need to do is to connect one end of the hose to the generator exhaust and put the other end into the water bucket. Also, prick a tiny hole into the hose to avoid water flowing into the exhaust. The solution may appear dangerous to many but we guarantee you it’s safe and quite productive. So there’s no need to worry at all.

How to make a generator quiet Step 6. Rubber feet

Another easy solution is to use rubber to cover the generator’s feet instead of placing it on the ground directly. Actually, placing it on a hard surface will only increase the noise. However, rubber will lower down the vibrations of an operating generator and will ultimately lead to lower noise. You can also use soundproof matt or anti-vibration matt, they will do the same job. And if you are away at a camping site and don’t have any of these quick fixes, simply place the generator on soft soil or grass that will work too (to some extent at least).

How to make a generator quiet Step 7. Fix the exhaust position

Wherever you place your generator for operation, inside your home or outdoors, make sure that the generator’s exhaust is facing your opposite direction (away from you). If possible, connect it a bit distant position so lesser noise gets to you. But if you can’t move it distant enough, you need to change the exhaust pipe position. Generally, it is placed outwards but to reduce the noise further consider moving the exhaust pipe up or down. Wherever you find the noise reduced. But do cover the pipe if you face it upwards to avoid water going into the exhaust in case of rain.

How to make a generator quiet Step 8. A baffle box

A baffle box is very much similar to a soundproof box with the only difference of leaving the bottom off. This way there are no hinges on the lid and can be placed on the generator anywhere. A baffle box is actually a portable soundproof box but has comparatively low efficiency due to plenty of air space. Given the pros and cons, the baffle box is considered a safer and more practical solution.  

How to Make a Generator Quiet Conclusion:

All of these above-mentioned techniques will help to reduce the generator noise. And to enhance the efficiency you might consider merging these two or more techniques. For instance, placing it in a distant place and in a soundproof box will make the generator silent as cricket. Similarly, you can combine other quick fixes as per your convenience. But whatever you choose, make sure that there is enough room for airflow and electric cords so that the generator can work properly.

Utility Hacker

The utility hacker is passionate about saving people money on their utility bills and protecting the environment. I was a utility bill auditor in Texas for 10 years. I am sharing my knowledge to help people survive the crazy utility industry that we live in today.