How to Quiet A Generator for Camping and Home

Anyone who has ever used a generator must be well aware of how unpleasant their incessant buzzing is while under operation. Unfortunately, no matter how noisy they are, we have no other recourse but to use them because power outages are normal in this country. On top of that, we need them when we go camping, especially in areas without a stable power source.

Power generators, though they tend to make a lot of noise, are necessary machines that make our lives a lot easier. A power generator is essential to have in any home. Their loudness is a small price to pay for the convenience they bring. After all, this machine is an essential tool in times of emergencies.

You may opt to build a sound proof box for your power generator to make it more feasible to use it at home or anywhere else. However, it is not always plausible and possible to just rely on this box because you’re going to have to bring this generator with you when you go camping. Thankfully, there is a solution to make your generation minimize all that noisy racket. Read on below because this guide will give you tips and tricks to teach you how to save your ears, nerves, and sanity from the loud, buzzing sound of your generator.

Some Noise Muffling Materials to Buy

If you opt to make a sound proof box for your home, you shall be needing several materials. However, you must be aware that you can make the generator a little less noisy, but you cannot completely make it mute or quiet because it needs a lot of air and vents to ensure that it doesn’t overheat while under operation. All those vents or holes will make a space for the sound and buzz of the machine to get out. For making your own sound proof box, here are the materials:

  • MDF – Medium Density Fiberboard, which will serve as your main box
  • MLV – Mass Loaded Vinyl, which is your first layer of insulation
  • Foam mats, an added sound proofing layer
  • Green glue, to fill in the cracks or crevices
  • Ventilation duct to provide a nice air supply to your vent box

For those that need to bring the generator somewhere and the sound proof box is not an option, you will be needing only these two simple things to ensure your generator doesn’t continue to act like a crazy beast. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Rubber legs to reduce the vibrations coming from your generator
  • Air vents used for the generator’s ventilation

Some Basic But Important Considerations to Make Things More Quiet

There are several nifty tricks to reduce the sound that your generator emits. Consider the following options when you’re at the end of your tethers in dealing with your generator. Apart from building an enclosure and adding some noise deflectors, you may want to consider a few things, especially when your buying or all set to buy another “genset” or generator set.

Making the Effort to Soundproof

Sound proofing is the first thing we all think of when we want to make anything more quiet. Making a soundproof generator box by using the aforementioned materials is one way to get that done. However, this is not feasible for those who do not know how to build their stuff. It is also not a very practical solution when you need to take your generator with you for camping tips and the like.

Instead, you can opt to aim for the reduction of vibrations coming from your generator in order to muffle a bit of its louse noise. You can easily do this by placing some rubber legs. These serve a dual purpose because they also make sure that your gadget does not slip.

Change the Placement or Location of the Generator

Another critical consideration when it comes to the noise is the machine’s location. Generally, if it is near you, then it will obviously be more noisy, but if you place it farther away, you will not be bothered by its sound. This doesn’t really reduce the noise that the gadget emits, but keeping this in mind when you’re installing the generator can work wonders at giving you quiet convenience.

Aside from the distance of the unit, you have to ascertain that your generator is not near anything that can amplify it sound. Be sure it is away from surfaces that will promote amplification or pave the way for more shaking. For instance, placing the generator on a metal bench will amplify the sound. In addition, if you put it on something that is unstable, this will cause the generator to shake and vibrate even more, so the noise will just increase.

People may say that these two ideas are common sense tips, but not many people stop to follow them. Anyone who has a generator must always think of these two considerations if they really want to not be bothered by the noises that you cannot fully emit.

The Energy Level of the Machine

The power of your generator determines how much noise they make. A bigger and more powerful generator producing more KVA will of course be louder. A weaker generator set will not be as noisy. Thus, when you are in the look out for your generator to use at home and camping, consider your power needs before making a purchase. Don’t go for something super large, when you can get by with just a smaller set.

The Technology Used to Produce the Device

Older and traditional generators tend to make a lot more noise. Those new inverter generators are more compact and a lot more quiet. They can also come with additional noise muffling options. There are eco-model types of generators that also use so much less energy and a lot less noise.

How to Make a Generator More Quiet

Now that you know what can affect the sound making capacity of your generator, we get to another critical aspect which is making the device quiet. Here’s what you can can do to reduce the noise level of your generator.

Install Deflectors of Sound

A sound deflector is a device that you install to divert the sound. By placing this nifty device on your generator, you work on transferring the path of the sound waves. This doesn’t make the machine quiet while it is being used. However, it does ensure that the sound waves don’t travel to where you are. This is not a perfect solution because it doesn’t make adjustments on the machine itself, but having a sound deflector installed is a fast and simple solution, which you can use.

Build a Machine Enclosure

Building an enclosure is akin to building a sound proof box. First, you have to think of where your want to put your generator. After choosing the most optimal spot, you can now start taking the measurements. You can choose a concrete spot that doesn’t make a lot of vibrations while crafting a design enclosure with wood or bricks. Then you must consider the covering or roofing of that enclosure.

You have to include the proper ventilation system. Consider this air vent on Amazon for getting this job done. You could also make an enclosure using a fireproof insulator because this is lighter and would absorb sound and heat a lot better than bricks or wood. A smaller investment may be necessary, but this reduces noise better and is so much safer for you. It is critical to remember than any encasement must have vents to ensure that heat doesn’t get trapped inside, which can affect the generator’s performance and can serve as a fire hazard.

Ensure the Exhaust Pipes are Vertical

This handy trick is very important because the generator’s pipes position can affect the sound quality significantly. When the pipes are in a horizontal position, the air blown outside travel horizontally as well. This means that the sound waves have a better chance of traveling to reach you.

However, a simple movement of the generator’s pipe to make it vertical will make sure that it is not as loud. A vertical pipe will move the noise up and down, so the direction of the sound waves will be much slower in moving to where you are.

Replace the Muffler of the Machine

The loudest part of your generator are the motor and exhaust pipes. You really can’t do much to change the motor once the unit is yours because it will compromise the machine’s performance. If you do not like the motor, you have to get a new one with better specs.

However, the piping system is another story because you can modify or even replace them. Choosing the right set of pipes for your generator set can make a lot of difference when it comes to the sounds your machine makes. Apart from changing the piping’s direction, you can change the pipe into a bigger muffler because the bigger it is, the more capable it is of muffling the sound your machine is making. The main purpose of a muffler is to muffle sound, so get a good quality one that can get the job done with ease.

Make or Buy a Baffle Box

A baffle box is the the same as a muffle box or a quiet box which serves as an encasement for your generator, so that the noise in side will not bother your. Making your own baffle box will be an interesting and not so costly project to start with. But if you don’t have any time or inclination to DIY, then there’s not shame on buying it directly in the store, just make sure that there is proper ventilation system to mitigate any potential issues. Access to the machine’s control panel is also crucial and this must be within easy access of your baffle box, so you can adjust things with ease.

Install or Put a Good Rubber Flap

By putting this device, you can have a quicker way to access the control panel. Instead of having to remove the enclosure each time you need to check or make adjustments to the machine, installing a rubber flap will make things a lot easier for you to get to the control panel. Another idea would be to install a lid with hinges. If you can’t find a rubber flap, a lid with hinges is another good alternative.

Keep the Unit Far From Your Camping Location

Location is key so by placing the generator a good distance from your sleeping tents means that the sound is further away and is not as annoying. Combining the location, with the sound deflector and the enclosure will make sure that the generator is buzzing away at a safe distance that will not disrupt your slumber.

Leverage the Power of Water

Water and generator may not seem like a good mix and appear as if they do not belong together. But having a hose and a bucket of water can go a long way in muffling the annoying sound of your generator. There is a very good reason for this, so read on below for the amazing physics behind this.

What you need to do is connect the hose to the exhaust pipe. Then, you must place the free end of the hose into the bucket that has been filled with water. The water sitting quietly in the bucket will muffle the sound making things a lot more peaceful for you.

The main consideration is to ensure that the water doesn’t make its way into the generator itself. The trick is to make a small hole on the hose just above its entrance to the exhaust pipe. The hole will be small enough not to cause any sound leaks, but its presence will ascertain that no water can get into your generator.

Bottom Line

With these simple tips and tricks, you can make the necessary adjustments to make your generator much more quiet. Reducing the unpleasant sound while not interfering with its performance will let you enjoy your home and camping experience even if you have your generator running in the background. Enjoy the power of a good generator without busting your eardrums!