Generators add a very intrinsic value to our lives. And so, it has become a very common addition to almost every household and office. With electricity powering up all of our devices, generators are the backups we cannot ignore.
However, this helpful machine often comes with a very disturbing drawback. The nonstop buzzing of generators can get very annoying. And most of the time, this is the reason people choose not to buy a generator.
If you’re a generator owner and the noise makes you regret getting one, do not worry; we have your back.We are here to help you get the generator’s buzzing to a tolerable level.
In this article, we will share a few tricks on how to make your generator as quiet as a cricket. So, you will finally be able to use it without that constant buzzing.
What Makes a Generator Noisy?
We all know that there are different types of generators, and they have different price ranges. However, whether it is expensive or cheap, all generators are noisy, some more than the others.
Modern-day generators can be less noisy than older ones as they come with built-in sound controlling components.
We use decibels to measure the sound of generators. Most generators produce sound in the range of 60 to 90 decibels, but some can cross 100 decibels.
The noise from the generator mostly comes from the vibration of the generator against the ground. But apart from that, other factors contributing to the noise level are:
The noise that is generated as the air goes through the fuel tank is the induction noise. It may not be much, but when added to all other noises, it can factor in as one of the sources.
Cooling Fan Noise
The fan that cools the engine also produces a loud noise. In addition, the fan tends to get noisier when the engine gets warmer.
The generator starts to produce more noise when the built-in muffler or silencer gets damaged for any reason.
Worn Out Generator
Sometimes, the generator may start to get noisier when it gets worn out from constant use or any power shortage issues. Lack of servicing could also result in this.
No matter the reason, the solutions mentioned below will help you reduce the noise level and make it quieter.
How to Make Your Generator Quiet as a Cricket
Going for a quieter brand of a generator may seem the ultimate solution. But that is an expensive solution when you already own a generator. Discarding your generator cannot be a fix.
That does not mean you have to stop using the generator or live with the unbearable noise either. There is a range of solutions, from quick fixes to permanent fixes. And here, you will learn how to make your generatorquiet as a cricket.
- Use a Soundproof Box.
- Use Soft Padding for Generator’s Surface.
- Use a Generator Muffler.
- Use a Generator Silencer.
- Adjust the Exhaust Pipes.
- Build a Soundproof Wall.
- Adjust the Bearings.
- The Water Hack.
- Use a Rubber Cover.
- Use Rubber Feet.
Most of these fixes to make a generator quiet are very convenient and easy to do. But the first and foremost thing to do is: place the generator as far as possible from your location, whether it is for your home or an outdoor place.
Now let us know in detail about these fixes.
1. Use a Soundproof Box
Using a soundproof box can be a very effective solution for nonportable generators. However, as effective as it is, the box is also very heavy. That is why you shouldn’t opt for this when it comes to portable ones.
But on the bright side, you can build the box at home with cardboard. Consider this a do-it-yourself project.
You will need items like a ventilation duct, some foam mats, some green glue compound, fiberboard, and mass-loaded vinyl.
The materials for the soundproof box are easily available and offline; you can get them from any hardware store.
Before we go into the details of making a soundproof box, keep in mind the process is easy. We do not want to make this a complicated DIY project.
Here we go –
- Take measurements of your generator while keeping a few inches on each side.
- Take some medium-density fiberboards and cut them according to the dimensions taken.
- Now measure the ventilation tube and cut ventilation holes in the panels. Of course, you’ll have to cut the ventilation holes in a diagonal position.
- If you have any confusion regarding the holes, you must know that there should be two ventilation holes. One on the ceiling panel and the other on one of the walls.
- Next, build up a layer of the vinyl by gluing it to the fiberboard.
- Use the green glue compound for this. Make sure all pieces are sealed firmly.
- Once that is done, glue some foam mats in the same manner. Check to see if they have been sealed firmly.
- Now that all the panels of the box are done, it is time to assemble them. For that, you can use screws and glue.
- To attach the lid of the box, you can use a hinge.
- After assembling the box, it is time to put the vents on the box. Use the green glue to firmly seal the vents to the box. The generator must have a good air supply.
And this is how you can build your very own soundproof generator box at home. It is a very easy process. A soundproof enclosure for the generator can ensurereduction of the noise levels by 20 decibels.
If you think making this on your own is too overwhelming, you can always go to a professional for help. An experienced mechanic can build you a soundproof box that suits best for your generator.
2. Use Soft Padding for Generator’s Surface
As you know, one of the main sources of the generator’s noise is its vibration against the ground. So, the harder the surface, the noisier the generator will get.
A quick fix for this is to use soft padding underneath the generator. You can add any sort of soft material as the padding underneath. This will reduce the noise level to a great extent.
You can do the same for a portable generator. Or you can find a spot with a softer surface for the generator when you go camping.
3. Use a Generator Muffler
Mufflers are soundproofing devices used to muffle the noise from the generator. Usually, generators come with built-in mufflers. But you may have to replace it with a larger one if the built-in does not do the work.
Mufflers are used in the exhaust pipes of the generator. It lowers the noise from the generator by deviating the sound waves. So, using a muffler of good quality and proper size will make a huge difference.
You can customize mufflers for your generator’s model by mechanics. However, this is not something you can do at home. We recommend you take the suggestion from a professional to get a muffler of the right fit.
A well-fit muffler will reduce the noise levels by at least 10-15 decibels.
4. Use a Generator Silencer
A generator silencer does almost the same work, just like the muffler. However, silencers can reduce the noise levels by 18 decibels approximately by silencing the combustion engines.
Silencers come with pre-fitted rubber O rings to help enclose the exhaust system. With the minimum effort, you can notice a drastic change in the noise levels of your generator.
Silencers come in different designs, such as reactive silencers, absorptive silencers, and combination silencers. So, you can consult a professional mechanic to find the best-suited silencer for your generator.
5. Adjust the Exhaust Pipes
Positioning the exhaust pipes in the right direction is an important fix when it comes to reducing the noise level of your generator. The exhaust pipes are the loudest noise source among all other parts of the generator.
Exhaust pipes are usually directed horizontally. Adjusting the exhaust pipes in a vertical position, i.e., towards the sky, allows you to direct the noise away from you. So it helps to reduce the noise levels.
6. Build a Soundproof Wall
This may sound similar to the soundproof box solution. But this is an easier do-it-yourself project.
You can either use plywood boards or cinder blocks to create the sound wall. Plywood is known to be really good for sound deviation. Plywood can be placed in a box-like manner around the generator.
This will reduce the noise level as the sound will deflect towards the ground.
And if you want a more temporary solution, you can use cinder blocks. You can move around the cinder blocks if you want access to the generator,
You can assemble the cinder blocks in a box-shaped wall by keeping some space along with the width and height of the generator. And this will reduce the noise level by 15 decibels approximately.
The best part about this solution is the availability of both materials. You can easily buy plywood or cinder blocks both offline and online and build up the wall yourself.
7. Adjust the Bearings
Over time, the bearings of generators tend to get loose from the constant use. So, it is essential to check the generator’s bearings for any loose or damaged bearings.
But before you can do that, you need to identify whether there is any problem with the bearings. So, keep an eye out for the following things when you are inspecting the generator:
- Abnormal noise coming from the machine.
- Noticeable cracks in the machine.
- Engine heating up in a very short time.
If you notice any of this, you should get your generator checked by a professional repairman for any loose or damaged bearings.
And do not forget to lubricate the bearings from time to time. If you fail to do that, the generator will break down and produce unbearable noise.
8. The Water Hack
The water hack is the most convenient and easiest solution to your generator noise problems. But keep in mind, it is not a permanent solution.
This is how you get the water hack working:
- You will need a hose and a bucket for this.
- Keep the generator at a higher ground.
- First, connect one end of the hose to the exhaust pipe.
- Now, take the other end and keep it in a manner so that it faces into a bucket.
- Fill the bucket with an adequate amount of water.
- To avoid any backflow, you should make some holes in the hose.
- Use a clamp to keep the connection between the hose and exhaust pipe firm.
Since the hose is connected to the exhaust pipe and drops down to the water bucket, the water will muffle the noise from the generator. Hence, it acts as a temporary muffler till you can get a more permanent solution.
9. Use a Rubber Cover
Rubber is a very heat-resistant dense material that can help to deflect noise from the generator. So, you can add a rubber cover to your soundproof generator box.
The cover can be added to one side of the generator. Since it will be used as a cover, the generator can be accessed very easily, making it convenient.
10. Use a Rubber Feet
Your generator must be set up sturdily so that it does not move around when it vibrates. If it is not set up that way, it could produce more noise.
So, you can add some support for the generator’s legs to avoid this. With that being said, do not forget to use rubber feet for your generator.
Like the rubber cover and the soft padding mentioned before, it helps to reduce the noise level by absorbing the sound waves.
Fixes – Should it Solve or Create More Problems?
As you can see, there is a range of fixes for you to choose from. Some of them are temporary solutions. Do not try to make the temporary solutions your permanent fix. It will harm you and your generator in the long run.
- Before you opt for any of the fixes, check your generator for any damage or faulty wirings.
- You should be able to disassemble the soundproof box at ease. So build it in that manner.
- How effective the soundproof box will depend on how well you seal it. Check and recheck every edge when sealing them.
- Although the soundproof box will be airtight, please make sure to keep ports for the generator’s cooling process.
- When choosing a softer surface for the generator, please ensure that the surface is uniform. Or else it can harm the engine.
- Please do not try to customize mufflers at home. A professional mechanic will be able to suggest the proper design of a muffler for your generator.
- While using the water hack, take utmost precaution to avoid backflow of water.
- Do not go overboard with the greasing.
The aim is to make your generator as quiet as a cricket. Keep in mind, crickets do make noise but a very distinctive low noise. So do not put in vain efforts in trying to make your generator completely noiseless.
Generator Maintenance Tips
Since we are talking about how to make the generator as quiet as a cricket, bear in mind that a faulty generator makes more noise than usual. And like every other machine, it requires proper maintenance. Here are some tips for your generator’s proper maintenance:
- Keep the generator’s engine clean at all times.
- Always check for any type of damage.
- Make sure you replace the generator’s oil every 15-20 hours.
- Always use good quality oil.
- Give your generator some time to cool down after refilling.
- Always ensure proper air supply for the generator.
- Generators require regular servicing.
The Mistakes You Should Avoid
To ensure your generator is working properly, here are some mistakes you should always avoid.
- Never let the generator run when it is almost out of gas.
- More is not always better. Keep it in mind while lubricating the generator.
- Never place your generator near combustible substances.
- Do not place the generator in enclosed areas close to living beings.
- If you do not have a proper understanding of the machine, you should avoid inspecting it on your own.
- Do not block the exhaust pipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few frequently asked questions about silencing generators. They might be helpful for you!
Q1. What materials can you use for soundproof enclosure?
You can use materials that act as a sound deflector to have maximum noise reduction. You can opt for materials like medium-density fiberboards, dense boards like plywood, OSB, and particleboard. But try to get the one that is available near you.
Q2. Can I install a silencer on my own?
We recommend you get a professional mechanic to install the silencer. Different generators require different types of silencers.
Q3. Can mufflers be customized?
Yes, mufflers can be customized. Professional mechanics can customize mufflers for old generators.
A noisy generator not only brings disturbance to you but also contributes to sound pollution. But after reading this article, we hope that now you know how to make your generator as quiet as a cricket.
Whether you are looking for something temporary or permanent as a fix, you can decide the one that suits your budget and situation the best. Use this knowledge to benefit in the best possible way and make the best out of your generator without any fear!