Generators are products that quite a significant number of people will need to make use of, especially if they live in areas that are prone to natural disasters. Obviously, this will be because these events can cause the power supply to be knocked out for a considerable amount of time.
The majority of people will want to avoid this, as they’ll need their electricity supply for almost everything. In many cases, this can be for life-saving products and equipment, which is where backup generators come in.
These can provide a much-needed electrical supply during a natural disaster, which can prove to be vital in a large number of ways. Nobody wants to be left in the dark during these events, which is why the majority of us will invest in a generator, regardless of how much we end up using it.
However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any negatives when using a generator. In contrast, there can be a variety of drawbacks to using one, even when we need it the most. One of the most notable of these is that they can create quite a significant amount of noise.
This is something that the majority of people will want to avoid in the best of circumstances. During a natural disaster, and immediately afterward, this noise can seem to be much worse than we might like. As a result, many of us will want to dampen the sound as much as we can.
However, there are relatively few ways to do so safely. Despite this, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to choose between either putting up with this sound or going without electricity for several hours or days.
Instead, there are a few ways that you’ll be able to safely soundproof a generator, with one of the most notable being to build a soundproof box for it. While many people may think that this will be quite challenging, it doesn’t have to be.
Instead, it can be much more straightforward than you might imagine, as there are several quick and easy steps that you can take to do so. As easy as these are, it’s first worth noting that you’ll need several tools and materials before you get started. The most notable of these are:
Obviously, the majority of us may not have many of these materials lying around. As a result, you’ll end up needing to go out and buy them. However, going to a store and doing so could prove to be an expensive process.
As such, it could be recommended that you buy them on Amazon. While this will mean that you’ll have to wait a certain amount of time to receive the items, you could save much more money by doing so. As a result, it can be much more cost-effective to buy all of the materials online, as well as any tools that you may need.
Once you’ve gotten all of the materials that you need, you’ll be able to start working on the soundproof generator box. Several specific steps need to be taken, although these are relatively simple and straightforward.
However, it should be noted that this could take a certain amount of time, which means that you’ll need to put aside an afternoon or several hours to do so. With that, you should have a soundproof generator box that works quite effectively.
The first step that you’ll need to take, naturally, is to measure your generator, as not all of them come in the same shapes or sizes. This is something that you’ll need to pay a significant amount of attention to, as making any mistakes during this step could prove to be costly.
The primary reason for this is that, should you make any inaccurate measurements, then your soundproof box may be too small for the generator. As a result, you could end up having to repeat the entire process from scratch, which the majority of us will want to avoid.
There’s an old saying in construction that states ‘measure twice, cut once.’ As such, you should double- and even triple-check each of your measurements during this process. You should then write these down so that you don’t forget them.
When doing so, it’s also recommended that you add a few inches on either side, as you’ll need a certain amount of space for vents and your insulation. The measurements can also have quite a significant impact on the materials that you’ll need, as you will have to make sure that you have enough of them.
Once you have each of these measurements in hand, it’s time to start working on building your soundproof generator box.
Cut The Box Out
Once you have your measurements, you’ll next need to start drawing out the shape of your generator on the wooden board that you’re using. There is a wide range of woods that you’ll be able to utilize for this, with thicker ones typically being much better at canceling out any sound.
In the majority of cases, you should be able to use medium-density fibreboard, which offers quite a significant amount of sound-dampening. Once you have this in hand, you should then start making the measurements on the board so that you know exactly where to cut. This is a process that’s just as vital as taking the measurements themselves.
As such, it’s recommended that you pay a considerable amount of attention to, as you shouldn’t want to make any mistakes. This will predominantly be because you’ll want to make sure that each of the cuts that you end up making is as accurate as possible so that everything fits together nicely.
Once this process has been done, you’ll be able to make your cuts before moving on to the next step.
Setting Up The Ventilation Holes
The generator itself isn’t the only thing that you’ll have to measure. Instead, you’ll also need to look at the diameter of the ventilation ducts that you’ll be using when creating the soundproof box. While many of these will state that they’re a certain radius, you should double-check this to be sure.
Once you know this diameter, you’ll then be able to make the appropriate markings on the cuttings that you’ve made and begin cutting them out. When doing so, however, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The most notable of these is that you’ll have to make two markings.
The first should be at the top of the box and should be somewhat off-center. The second of these should then be placed on the opposite side of the soundproof generator box, which will help to ensure adequate airflow.
Once you have these cut out, you’ll then be able to move on to the next step.
Adding The Vinyl Insulation
There are a variety of rules when it comes to soundproofing anything, with the first of these being to have several layers. While there can be several of these included in building a soundproof generator, one of the most prominent is insulation.
Though there is quite a significant number of insulation materials that you can choose from for this, one of the most effective is mass loaded vinyl. The predominant reason for this is that it can provide quite a significant amount of sound-dampening without needing to have too many layers on the box.
As such, this should be the first layer that you add to the board that you’ve cut out. When doing so, you should ensure that you’ve cut the mass loaded vinyl to the same shape and size of the box itself.
Alongside this, you should place the layer on the interior of your soundboard. When doing so, it’s recommended that you glue it directly to the soundboard, as this will ensure that it doesn’t come off over time.
Depending on how loud your generator is, you may want to consider adding a few layers of it.
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Caulking The First Layer
Adding layers to a soundproof generator box can be quite tricky, especially around the edges. This is because they can often start to fray and come off quite quickly, which could eventually minimize the soundproof aspect of it.
However, there are a few ways around this.
Perhaps the most effective is to caulk the edges of the first layer, which should be quite effective.
However, it can also be recommended that you use green glue for this purpose, as it can often provide much better results, especially over the long-term.
Gluing The Foam Mat On
As mentioned above, layers can be one of the more important aspects of soundproofing anything, especially when it comes to something as loud as a generator. On top of the insulation that you’ll be using, you should also add a foam mat, which will help act as the walls and ceiling of your soundproof box.
This is quite a soft material and should help to reduce the noise that you hear from your generator when it’s on. The mat should be cut to the same measurements as the board and insulation, and then be applied to the vinyl layer.
Similar to the above, it can be recommended that you caulk the first layer of foam matting that you place on the box. Alongside this, green glue can also be a recommended option for this, for the same reasons as mentioned above.
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Putting The Box Together
Once you have each of the layers placed together, it’s time to start putting your soundproof generator box together. This is a step that’s best left until now, as it makes it much easier to put each of the layers together and can save you quite a significant amount of time.
As such, you should place the generator on the ‘flooring’ of your box and then start assembling the rest of the soundproof box around it. When doing so, you’ll need to use screws and nails, which should ensure that it doesn’t come apart when the generator is in use.
One thing that often comes highly recommended is that you create a door on one side of the box. This should be quite easy to do, as it simply means putting hinges on one of the ways, which should provide you with easy access to the generator. This should mean that you’ll be able to turn it on and off with ease.
Installing The Venting Duct
The majority of generators will need a large amount of ventilation, regardless of whether you’re using a gas or electrical product. Naturally, this will be something that’s worked into the design of your soundproof box. However, simply having a hole in it isn’t going to be effective, as this will negate the soundproof quality.
Instead, a venting duct will be needed, as this can help keep the generator quiet will also allowing it to ‘breathe,’ which is vital to ensuring that it functions properly. This will make sure that it will have an adequate supply of airflow, which will prevent it from overheating, an act that should be avoided at all costs.
Should a generator be allowed to overheat, then it could lead to catastrophe, as it may then start to malfunction and perhaps explode. By including a ventilation duct, however, you’ll avoid this completely.
When you’re installing the venting, you should be sure to use as much of it as possible. The primary reason for this is that you’ll want to aim for as high-quality airflow as you can. While many people may think that this will negate the soundproof quality of the box that your generator will be placed in, this doesn’t have to be the case.
- Ducting size: 4 inches (diameter) x 8 feet (length) when fully extended
- Thermal endurance: Temperature endurance range from 0 - 185°F. (-18℃ - 85℃)
Since sound travels in a straight line, you should be able to minimize the noise that comes through the ventilation duct by including a variety of twists and turns. This can be a tricky process to do, as you shouldn’t want to disrupt the potential airflow.
Alongside this, when you’re placing the ventilation ducts in the holes mentioned above, you should make sure that they fit as tightly as possible. By doing so, you should be able to avoid them jumping around when you’re using the generator. Once these have been added, your soundproof generator box should be ready to go.
Naturally, you should ensure that you stay safe when you’re building the soundproof generator box. This will mean that you may need to take a variety of precautions when doing so, especially when you’re cutting anything. While the noise a generator makes can be irritating, it’s not worth injuring yourself over.
This shouldn’t be too large of an issue for the majority of DIY enthusiasts, as they’ll already be well-versed in many of the techniques mentioned above. If you’re new to it, however, you should make sure that you take a large amount of care with each step.
By being careful and ensuring that you follow each of the above steps, you should have a high-quality soundproof generator box with only a few hours of work. While you might not need to use the generator too often, hopefully, the soundproof box should prove to be quite an effective and useful tool when you’re doing so.