How to Make a Generator Quieter (for Camping and Home)

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Going camping?

Carrying a generator is critical these days—whether it may be for lighting your campsite or as a backup for your vehicle’s battery failure.

We built a generator box to quieten the generator at our home, but soon we realized something:

It isn’t practical to carry the box, especially if you like to keep your camping gear lightweight.

That was when we decided to fix this problem.

Are you irritated by the whirring sound of your generator?

In this research, we are sharing everything we learned to help you quieten your generator (either for camping or for home!)

Let’s dive straight into it, shall we?

Things You Will Need: At a Glance

Anti-vibration Mat

Absorbs the vibration coming from the generator

Muffler

A good exhaust helps muffle the noise from the generator

Note: Looking for a DIY solution? This handy guide walks you step-by-step on how to make your own generator box. This DIY generator sound enclosure should help you quieten it considerably.

1. Face the Exhaust Pipes Up or Away From You

The engine and the exhaust are the loudest parts of a generator.

The vents in the generator release bursts of air, creating a harsh noise. So, if the exhaust pipes are facing towards you, all the noise will be directed towards you.

Thankfully, there’s an easy solution.

Simply change the direction of the exhaust pipes away from you. They can also be made to face upwards so that the noise is released in an upwards direction.

2. The Location of Your Generator Matters

The location where you place the generator also determines the noise levels.

The farther the generator from your home, the lesser the noise. This might sound kind of obvious, but a lot of people seem to ignore this.

Also, the location where you place it should be cushiony. It also must not shake or else the amplitude of the vibrations will simply get amplified which will increase your problems further.

3. Add Rubber Feet/Anti-Vibration Mat Beneath the Generator

The vibrations get amplified when they reach the surface on which the generator stands. Therefore, hard surfaces must be avoided as such.

To prevent this unwanted amplification of sound, you can place an anti-vibration pad. It absorbs the vibration from your generator.

The end result?

A considerably quieter generator.

This 4-pack anti-vibration pad is easy on the wallet and effectively reduces generator noise.

You can keep soundproofing materials like anti-vibration mats, foams, or even use old clothes and blankets. The aim is to alleviate the noise and you may use anything and everything provided they are also able to take away some heat.

4. Use Sound Deflectors

Sound deflectors can change the course of sound waves. In other words, they will direct the noise in a direction away from yours.

Here’s how you can make a DIY sound deflector:

  • You will require 4 plywood sheets and a fire-resistant material like drywall
  • Place the sheets at specific angles up against the generator
  • For the sides of the generator that house the exhaust, use the drywall and the setup is ready

By doing so, you should be able to dampen noise drastically. It also facilitates airflow besides deflecting the noise towards the ground.

5. Build an Acoustic Enclosure or Baffle Box

Baffle Box
Baffle Box
Credit: www.youtube.xom

Another effective method of reducing the buzzing sound from the generators is to create or buy and acoustic enclosure or baffle box. This is a much better solution than other techniques since it helps retain sound waves inside the box and prevents them from spreading elsewhere.

You could buy a generator/enclosure or sheds but they are usually pretty costly—easily into high-three to mid-four figures.

If you aren’t willing to splurge, there’s another solution.

Here’s how you can create a DIY soundproof box for your generator. This step-by-step detailed resource will guide you to help reduce generator noise.

6. Replace Your Generator’s Muffler

As I mentioned earlier, exhausts are one of the loudest parts of the generator.

The main purpose of the mufflers is to muffle the sound. Hence by applying them, you should notice a considerable drop in the noise levels.

Mufflers can be of different shapes and sizes to suit the different types of generator exhausts. In order to get a perfect idea of what will suit best for your generator, you may consult an expert mechanic or repairman.

This 18″ extension from Camco is affordable and helps reduce generator noise considerably.

Prefer video instructions?

Here you go.

How to Use Mufflers to Make the Generator Quiet

7. Use Water As Your Generator Muffler

You can also use a bucket of water to your advantage to reduce the overall noise of the generator. All you need to do is fix a hose to the exhaust pipe and put the other end of the hose underwater.

By doing so, we are actually directing the sound waves into the water where it gets muffled. In order to ensure that the water does not reach the generator by traveling through the hose, you can make a hole somewhere above its entrance to the exhaust pipe.

Care must be taken to create only a small little hole and not make it too big else the sound might leak through them.

The generator might still create some noise due to vibration but as a whole, you are left with a much serene environment.

8. The Technology Used In The Production Of The Generator

The traditional generators certainly produce more noise as compared to the ones that are being manufactured by using the latest technology.

The newer generators are compact and have a lot of features that help in muffling the noise very well.

Here are my recommendations on the top quiet 3000 watts generators you can buy right now. Some of them can produce noise as little as 49dB—which, in perspective, is just about the noise level of a household refrigerator.

The inverter generators are much quieter than conventional generators. This is so because every time the engine rotates, over 300 dine waves are produced. They also have a small engine that further cuts off the noise.

The newer ones also feature technologies like eco-modes and noise mufflers that also make the generator quieter.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do You Muffle a generator?

Muffling the noise produced by a generator is pretty easy. The first easy fix is to increase the distance between the generator and your home

Next, you can add a padded cushion under your generator to minimize noise due to the amplification of vibrations. You can also attach a hose to the exhaust pipe and direct the loose end into a bucket containing water to muffle the noise underwater.

You may also apply some sound-absorbing foam or flame-retardant cloth to the edges of the generator to further minimize noise.

2. Can You Put a Silencer on a Generator?

Yes!

It will help in muffling the noise that is generated from the exhaust.

You may either buy one or create it on your own. They are very easy to install and light in weight.

Muffler silencers can effectively reduce about 15-20 decibels of sound which surely creates a difference.

3. Are Propane Generators Quieter Than Gas?

Yes! Propane is becoming popular for the generators due to various benefits they offer over gasoline.

First of all, gasoline is expensive, easily flammable, and degrades within a span of 12 months. It pollutes the air and is quite dangerous to breathe. Improper handling might also result in an accident.

Propane on the other is cheaper and can be stored for a much longer duration of time. Also, even if it spills, it will evaporate quickly and prevent any mishap.

Gasoline stations require electricity to fill the tanks of the generator with gas but that is not the case with propane. Hence, propane comes to your rescue in case of power outages.

The only downside of propane is that it is not that efficient as compared to gasoline. It will also not work at temperatures below 20-degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Why are Inverter Generators So Quiet?

Inverter generators are quieter than other non-inverter generators because of their design and the latest technology used for their operations.

They reduce mechanical noise by generating power in three stages.

Firstly, AC is produced, then it is converted to DC and then again back to AC. By doing so it can alternate the speed of the engine accordingly and create minimal noise.

Besides this, all modern generators are equipped with the latest technology and sound-attenuating materials which further baffles noise.

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