How to Make Generators Quiet for Camping & Home
Generators are now one of the important necessities of life either for camping or providing power in outages. Power outages are not so unusual and come uninvited mostly which stops every ongoing activity. Generators are a great convenience for emergencies and a trustworthy resource for supplying power.
They are built exceptionally with many useful features that will help you in providing the convenience you need. Generators are also good at accommodating your needs outdoors when needed but their only downside is being too noisy. How can you deal with that? It’s best to build a generator box in order to keep it quiet whether at home or at the campsite. Besides, there are other effective ways to do so which you will learn in this article.
Why Are Generators So Loud & Noisy?
Before getting into the detail of making your generator quiet like cricket it is better to know what contributes to its loudness? Basically, they are engines at the most basic level and all motorized devices emit noise. The generator itself is a byproduct of producing energy which consists of moving parts and combustion engines which produce sound.
Most of the generators use petrol engines to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Modern ones use the principle of electromagnetic induction or supply power directly. But, when it comes to the sources that produce noise, the most important aspects are the exhaust and engine.
• The engine of the generator is its source of mechanical energy and uses fuel to power pistons. It connects to the alternator and proceeds with the intricate workings of the generator. However, what matters here is the engine of the generator which impacts the sound. This is because the generator’s waste energy is kinetic i.e vibrations.
• The exhaust of the generator is used to emit waste gas but it also produces sound. The sound is produced from the gas inside the engine as it is under high pressure. It creates a sputtering sound while escaping through the exhaust. It is observed that the exhaust creates an airborne sound while the engine creates an impact sound.
Tips, Tricks & Guide to Reduce Generator Noise
Noise levels are among the important considerations when buying or keeping a generator. However, here are a few tricks that will help in reducing the noise of the generator effectively:
1. Build or Buy a Baffle Box or Acoustic Enclosure
Using the acoustic barrier will help restrict the noise beyond the barrier as it reflects sound waves. However, to reduce the noise within the generator you need to insulate the space to absorb the sound. Acoustic insulation includes lining hard surfaces along with sound-absorbing materials. This will help in reducing the noise within the generator enclosure.
2. Buy a Generator Muffler Silencer Kit
Most of the generators already have a muffler but are not performance efficient. A muffler helps in reducing exhaust pressure with the help of holes and bent tubes. They go through the maze causing air pressure to decrease which helps in reducing the noise.
By exchanging the current muffler for a silencer you can notice a major impact on the noise of a generator. The reduction of noise also depends upon the decibels while most mufflers reduce up to 15dB. Some generator companies also produce backup mufflers for their models and if not you can buy a universal silencer muffler. Just make sure the diameter is accurate or else it won’t fit the generator.
3. Use a Mat or Rubber Feet (Soft Surface)
This is another effective way to absorb the vibrations of the generator. It is a great way to combat noise by placing your generator on rubber feet. This will help in less distracting noise flowing into your campsite or home.
Foam mat also works the same as rubber feet in order to dampen vibrations. Using a soft surface is more useful for generators as rigid structures are good vehicles for sound waves. These surfaces reduce the waves energy which helps in dampen the vibration.
4. Use Water as a Muffler and Quiet The Exhaust
It’s one of the quickest solutions to reduce the noise of the generator by using a water muffler. It’s good and effective but not suggested for a longer-term basis. Simply run the pipe into a bucket of water by attaching a section of garden hose to the pipe via a clamp. Place the other end in a water bucket, the gasses may still escape but the water will cloak the sound. Using this method is beneficial as you can keep the bucket away from the generator. Poke a couple of holes in the hose to avoid backflow.
5. Install and Use Sound Deflectors
Installing an AVM is one of the simplest ways to limit or reduce the noise of the generator easily. All you need to do is place an AVM under the generator which will help in isolating the vibrations and reducing noise transmissions. AVM has multiple options like spring mounts, rubber mounts, dampers, etc. They vary on the basis of the different dB levels that indicate reduction depending upon requirements.
Moreover, you can also fit flexible joints between the generator and connecting systems. This will help in isolating vibrations and reducing noise transmissions in its surrounding. A baffle box is also another type of sound detector that works effectively for reducing noise. You just need to build an enclosure that helps in deflecting sound waves. You can do this using plywood and then cover it with mass-loaded vinyl. Arrange them in a maze shape between the generator and your home or campsite to dampen or reduce the noise.
6. Move Generator Further Away & Exhaust Pipes Away
If your generator is inside the house, put it in an outhouse or use the principle of soundproofing the box. You can also put the generator in any kind of outbuilding in your place. This solution is to move away from the generator from your home and work successfully.
Some of the outbuildings are not built in a manner for soundproofing but you can make yours from breezeblocks. The question arises: how will you do it on a campsite? You need to place the exhaust end of the generator away from your campsite. Point the exhaust pipes towards the sky or away from you to direct the created noise.
7. Replace or Repair Faulty Parts
Another effective strategy to reduce the noise is to replace the generator’s muffler if faulty. You can also replace the other faulty parts if needed as it will help in lowering the noise. The older the generator gets the noisier it becomes so better to take a look at that aspect too. However, bring your generator to a small engine mechanic to identify what it actually needs. The engine can also be the reason your generator has become loud.
Having said that, we would suggest looking for a quiet generators if the noise is your primary concern. Finding the solution to the problem may work temporarily but in the end, you need a new one! The new inverter generators are not only convenient but budget-friendly too. In addition, there a lot of brands focusing on producing super quiet generators, you just need to do a little research.