If you have ever had to use a generator or been around one you realize pretty quickly that they can get really loud. If you have an outdoor setup that you power via a power generator you might have found it hard to focus on work because of the noise. Or maybe, when you experienced your first power outage since having had a generator installed, you noticed just how loud the generator sounded all across the house.
Fortunately, some methods do exist to reduce the level of noise a power generator may produce. Granted, these aren’t a perfect solution; some level of noise will always remain. Generators tend to be on noisy side after all. But if nothing else these might help you at least reduce the noise to a bearable level. And of course, in the process, reduce the risk of harming your ears. You should at least be able to focus on what you’re reading. So in this post we’ll be going over some of the methods you can use to suppress your power generator’s noisiness.
Installing A Generator Silencer
A very simple solution to somewhat reduce the noise of a power generator is to install a generator silencer on it. These function exactly like how silencers function on cars. In fact, a skilled handyman can even jury rig a car silencer to work with a generator. Though just buying one actually made for a generator is the smartest choice here. These silencers are relatively quite cheap, and pretty easy to install on to the generator. Once installed, these should make a considerable difference in the level of noise being output by the generator. Many different models exist on the market, and a little research before your purchase will pay in the short and long run.
Building A Sound Wall
Another simple yet very effective solution is to make a sound wall around your generator to muffle its noise. Many different materials can be used, though cinder blocks or bricks can work wonders. What you essentially have to do is surround the generator on all four sides with your material of choice, leaving no gaps between the bricks or blocks. But you also have to be mindful of leaving gaps of a few inches on each side between the generator and the wall. Do this, and make the wall a bit higher than the top of the generator, and you would have successfully reduced the noise of the generator by a fairly noticeable amount.
Building A Plywood Wall
Another “wall it in” method is using plywood boards to cover the generator on all sides. Unlike with the cinder block wall method mentioned above, you won’t be using the plywood boards to really muffle the sound. Instead, if you would lean all four plywood boards against the generator, you will end up deflecting the sound downwards towards the ground. Simple to set up and easy to obtain the materials for, this method is another quick and effective way to cut down on the noise your generator is producing.
Encasing It In A Soundproof Box
If you want to go for something a little more professional than hiding your generator behind cinder block walls, investing in a soundproof box might be worth your money. These boxes will almost completely cover your generator – minus the ducts for ventilation without which your generator can overheat – and will very effectively cut down the noise it is producing. This method is one of the more effective ones and the best part about it is that making your own soundproof box isn’t that hard. So if you’re up for a little challenge, all you need are some basic tools and supplies and you can build a soundproof box for your generator that is exactly to your liking.
Adding Padding To The Bottom
One reason power generators are often so loud is because they’ve been put on the floor. As a generator is actually vibrating very quickly its contact with the ground makes for a very noisy affair. This however, is a very simple fix. Simply put your generator on top of something that can greatly reduce the vibrations’ noise, like a thick rubber pad or a piece of foam. Materials like these will absorb a lot of the vibrations and greatly reduce the noise that was specifically caused by them. Another very simple yet very effective method to reduce the generator’s noise.
Dampening The Engine Housing
Now this method, though also very effective, does require a bit of work to do yourself. Now if you’ve already made the soundproof box mentioned above this will be a walk in the park. If not, then you can gauge your ability to do this for yourself. It’s not that difficult really. All you have to do is to get yourself some rubber washers and longer bolts for the engine frame. You will need to unscrew the original stock bolts and add a rubber washer on to the already installed rubber gaskets, before screwing in the longer bolts you got. This way more of the engine frame’s vibrations, and thus the noise, will be dampened and silenced.
Combining The Methods
Now that you know of some of the tried and tested methods of reducing a power generator’s noise, how do you most effectively make use of them? By combining them of course. Some of the methods mentioned above are perfectly compatible with each other. For example, you could install a silencer on the exhaust, then add dampening to the engine frame and under your generator, then surround it with plywood boards, followed by a cinder block wall or a soundproof box over it. This way you combine all of the methods mentioned above and suddenly you’re left with a generator that is much quieter than the one you remember.
And that about sums it up. Those there are the most well-known and effective methods of reducing your power generator’s noise, apart from straight up buying a quieter model of course. Make use of the method combination trick and your ears will thank you for it. With generator noise troubles put to rest, why not peruse some of our other posts on generators? We have a useful guide to buying generators for going camping or RVing and, relevant to this article, a post on the top 10 quiet portable generators among many others.