For the most part, your camping, tailgating, caravanning, house, or catering generator is unlikely to be that quiet.
But you shouldn’t allow the noise to spoil your day- not when you have some really wonderful solutions.
This guide will show you how to make your generator quiet as a cricket- even the super loud ones.
You will be surprised at how easy to implement some of the noise reduction inventions are.
Let’s dive right in.
How to make your generator quiet as a cricket
Note that you can combine some of the methods to have your generator run even quieter and with minimal vibration.
Perhaps we can first go through the simplest noise deadening ideas.
- Employ a better muffler: A quality exhaust muffler should muffle sound. I recommend a bigger muffler if you have one of those notoriously noisy type.
It might not eliminate the sound totally on its own but it goes some way to cut down on annoying exhaust noise.
- Connect a hose: To further stifle the exhaust noise, install a hose to the exhaust then dip the pipe in a container full of water- the larger the bucket, the more effective. This can make a substantial difference (marine engines are usually silenced this way).
- Fashion out sound deflectors: Here you create a barrier between you and the generator to redirect the sound. You don’t have to spend a penny in this case– just use locally available materials such as plywood sheets. In fact, you can build several barriers.
- Add rubber feet/rubber mat: To dampen buzzing generator vibrations, invest in an anti-vibration mat. Simple rubber legs can also serve the purpose.
Now, in general, the above tricks are only effective to a certain extent.
Here is the method that works like a charm.
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Trust man to invent when faced with adversity and a wonderful invention that almost always gets the job done is a soundproof box (or baffle box).
Okay, it isn’t the most straightforward tactic but you won’t mind if it makes your generator whisper quiet.
First, prepare the following tools:
- A tape measure (regular measuring tape)
- Right-angled ruler
- Piece of paper
- A pencil
- Hammer Screwdriver
- Circular Saw (you can also a table saw)
- Caulking gun
And here are the materials to use for the project:
- MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), cinder block, or other fitting wood type. Fiberboards are most effective.
- MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl such as TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl)
- Foam mats
- Ventilation ducts (2)
- Hinges (for a lid)
- Green glue (or another suitable brand of acoustic caulk)
- Wood screws & nails
I will quickly summarize the steps..
How to make your generator quiet as a cricket using a soundproof box
- Take the measurements
Use the measuring tape to take the generator measurements. To be on the safe side, a couple of inches all around.
Record everything on your paper.
- Make matching wood cuttings
Using your saw, cut out the various pieces of wood/MDF as per your measurements from step 1.
Use your right-angled ruler to measure the corners correctly lest the cuttings fail to fit properly later during assembly.
- Make ventilation openings
Ventilation is obviously vital and you will now cut ventilation holes equal (in diameter) to the ventilation duct.
Simply measure the ventilation duct’s diameter and cut the first hole on the top piece (just off the center) and another on a side panel such that it will be opposite the “roof” hole.
- Introduce the mass loaded vinyl
The secret in overcoming noise is adding layers and layers of mass.
You will add the first layer here and the preferred sound insulating material at this stage is the MLV.
Measure and cut the MLV sheet to the generator soundproof box measurements and glue it directly to the MDF panels (inside side).
- Seal the edges
Finish the job by sealing the edges of the MLV pieces – you need to be sure that your sheets are stuck firmly- with the green glue (performs much better than standard caulk).
Another thing: By applying acoustic caulk, you significantly block heat transfer between the layers and hence sound.
- More layering
The next stage of layering in your soundproofing project involves you gluing the foam mat.
You will repeat what we did in step 4: Measure, cut, and glue.
You will again need to seal the edges as I explained in step 5.
- Assemble your DIY soundproofing box
Now it’s time to join everything.
Place the top panel in the center and the other pieces appropriately.
Now you can attach the MDF panels together with screws and nails.
Add hinges to the “top” (most people prefer to have a lid) to help you access the generator easily.
Next, install the vents while sealing with the acoustic as well.
Be sure to use a generous amount of venting duct to create amazing air supply- this is important since heat buildup can be disastrous .
Lastly, remember to apply some green glue to the joints – you want to leave no gaps for noise to escape.
That’s how to make your generator quiet as a cricket using a soundproof.
PS: Don’t forget to make a channel for the exhaust outlet.
- Consider installing a handle to your completed box. It will help you lift and reposition it whenever you wish.
- To make your generator truly quiet, always place it on a firm stable surface. Wobbly grounds cause vibrations.
- Putting kinks in the vent duct can magnify the deflection of sound waves meaning that your box will be more efficient.
All these methods will help you make your generator quiet as a cricket.
But overall, a well-constructed soundproofing box works wonders.
Besides, implement obvious strategies like positioning your generator further away as well as directing the exhaust to face away from you (ideally vertically).
If you’re still not liking it, fence off the area with soundproof materials such as thick curtains or soundproof blankets.
Finally, for more powerful generators, other options like attenuators work better.