How to Make Portable Generator Quieter?
Generators are excellent pieces of machinery. When all hell breaks loose, and our homes are without power, you can simply plug your home transfer switch and voila, you’ll have electricity to power your most vital appliance. Generators don’t only have a purpose during blackouts, but if you’re going camping, you can get a portable generator to supply your RV or certain electronics with power.
However, no matter how great a generator is, there’s one huge downside that anybody who’s ever been in the vicinity of one knows all too well: the noise. The constant buzzing, droning, sputtering, and shaking can be a bit overwhelming, especially if your home’s electricity is out. You don’t want the stress of dealing with a generator’s noise piled on top of your frustration.
So what can we do to deal with the noise?
Apparently, we can do a lot. And a lot of what we can do doesn’t involve tweaking the machine and reducing performance. Check out our list of things you can do to reduce the noise output of loud generators.
1. Place it far away from where you’ll be
This is probably a no-brainer, and many of you have probably already done this. Obviously, you don’t want a generator next to or near where you’ll be. Standby generators should always be hunkered down far away from your home and transfer switch since a) they are loud, b) they produce a lot of noise, and c) there might be some unforeseeable disaster that strikes the generator, causing it to explode.
Of course, this means searching for the right power cord or extension cord for your generator and checking that they’re rated for your specific generator model. Also, longer cords mean you’ll need to get cords with thicker wires to provide enough “space” for electricity to travel.
2. Soundproof the generator’s stand or legs
If you find that your generator makes the most noise when it’s sputtering and jumping around, then you may need to check out the stands. Either the machine isn’t chained and mounted properly, or the stand itself is causing all the ruckus. What you can do is encase the stand or legs in rubber. This should muffle the vibration sounds a bit when the generator decides to do cartwheels on paved ground.
3. Turn down the power level of your generator
Another simple trick to getting your generator to quiet down is by reducing how much power it supplies. The tradeoff is that you’ll only be able to supply electricity to a select few appliances.
Check to see that your machine has different power settings. Most models do, even portable generators, so dialing a knob or pressing a few buttons should get the generator to reduce its noise output significantly.
4. Get an inverter generator
This isn’t really a way to get your generator to quiet down, but it’s still something to consider, especially if you’re looking to invest in a generator in the first place. Inverter generators are the newest, hippest things to happens to generators. They supply good, clean power, so sensitive electronics like laptops, Smartphones, and tablets can draw power from this type of generator.
Furthermore, one of the best features of inverter generators is the economy mode. When this mode is active, the generator will supply less electricity – surpassing its maximum runtime significantly – while only producing the slightest whisper in the breeze.
5. Put the generator in an enclosure
What we mean is that you need to build or purchase a large wooden box to house the generator. This idea is more of a “keep it out of view” solution, but the box should be able to muffle the sounds. Soundproof the box using sound insulators to reduce the generator’s volume further. You’ll also need to put rubber feet on your generator since metal-on-wood can still make some loud animal sounds. When building a box for your generator, be sure that you leave flaps so you can access the control panel easily.
6. Use a bucket of water
DO NOT splash your generator with a bucket of water out of frustration. You’ll end up destroying the machine and probably zapping yourself in the process if the explosion doesn’t take you out.
Instead, what you can do is fill a bucket up with water then, using a hose connected to your generator’s exhaust pipe, place the end of the hose inside of the bucket. The water will absorb much of noise that comes shooting out of the exhaust pipe along with many of the fumes. Keep in mind that this method won’t do anything to prevent noise from vibrations.
7. Attach a muffler to the generator’s exhaust pipe
One of the simplest ways to get your generator to quiet down is by installing a muffler. Generally speaking, larger mufflers work better at trapping sound, so you should think of getting a larger muffler if your machine is screaming all night long.
It’ll take a bit of time and power to research the various types of mufflers since they come in different shapes and sizes. Some will even work for motorcycle exhaust pipes. Just be sure that the muffler will fit or can be modified to fit your generator properly. Once again, a muffler won’t help with reducing vibration noises.
8. Change the direction of the exhaust pipe
Unless your generator’s exhaust pipe can bevel or tilt, you’ll need to add an extension to the pipe in order to redirect where the machine will blast the music of its people. It’s rather simple to do; get a flexible extension tube and connect it to the end of the exhaust pipe.
Move and bend it away from your home (perhaps aim it at your neighbors?) and you should notice a significant reduction of noise levels when inside. You can further reduce the amount of noise by installing a muffler prior to redirecting the pipe’s direction.
As you can see, there are several things you can do to get your generator to shut up without changing the output of the machine. All it takes is time, and a few materials and your home or campsite should be virtually free of loud generator sounds.
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