How To Make A Generator Quiet (8 Ways)

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To make a generator quiet or reduce the decibel levels of a noisy generator you can add noise-absorbing material or move the generator farther away.

Can you make a loud generator quieter?

Yes, you can make a loud generator quieter with techniques like using sound deflectors, building a quiet box, and replacing an old muffler.

How quiet your generator can get depends a lot on the machine you start with.

If you have one of the quietest generators, you may not want to put any effort into reducing the remaining decibels.

On the flip side, making louder generators even just a few decibels quieter can already make your experience a lot more comfortable.

How to make a generator less noisy or quiet

Take the following steps to make a generator less noisy or quiet:

  1. Use generator sound deflectors
  2. Build a generator quiet box
  3. Place the generator on a sound-absorbing surface
  4. Replace an old generator muffler
  5. Move the generator farther away
  6. Face the generator exhaust away from yourself
  7. Safely add sound-reducing material to your generator setup
  8. Consider a generator silencer

Step 1: Use generator sound deflectors

You can use something like plywood plates as generator sound deflectors by putting them sideways on the machine.

By directing the noise ways to the ground or the air the number of decibels arriving at your ears will be smaller.

Using generator sound deflectors works especially well on surfaces with grass or dirt, for example while camping.

Concrete is less good at absorbing sound waves.

You do want to keep in mind that certain parts of the generator tend to get hot.

Leaning plywood against these hot generator parts on an already hot day is not a good idea.

Step 2: Build a generator quiet box

You can make your generator quieter by building or buying a quiet box.

A generator quiet box is basically a closeable construction with sound-absorbing material and enough ventilation.

Keep in mind that generators can get hot if you plan to build your own quiet box. The materials you use should be able to deal with the heat.

Additionally, generators with CO sensors will turn off if the ventilation inside of the box is not good enough.

Step 3: Place the generator on a sound-absorbing surface

Placing your generator on sound-absorbing surfaces like grass, dirt, or a special sound-absorbing mat will make your generator quieter.

Additionally, keep your generator away from sound-enhancing locations like right next to walls or cliffs.

As long as you can do so safely of course.

Step 4: Replace an old generator muffler

Generator mufflers typically reduce the noise of your machine but over time this part can lose its effectiveness.

By replacing your generator muffler you could reduce the noise levels without investing in an entire new machine.

Step 5: Move the generator farther away

Moving your generator farther away to reduce the noise is straightforward but worth mentioning.

Investing in a longer extension cord can be worth it if you can also use this equipment while camping or for other purposes.

Step 6: Face the generator exhaust away from yourself

Facing the generator exhaust away from yourself can reduce the decibel levels arriving at your location since part of the noise comes from this part.

Step 7: Safely add sound-reducing material to your generator setup

You can add sound-reducing material to your overall generator setup similar to how you would soundproof a room.

This can mean adding material like this to your generator sound deflectors, quiet box, or potentially even inside.

You do want to keep safety in mind.

Since parts of the generator get warm you want to be careful about what sound-reducing material you apply where.

Step 8: Consider a generator silencer

There are generator silencers that attach to the exhaust to reduce noise.

You do want to know that generator silencers are relatively pricey.

Customers also do not always find these attachments as effective as other ways to quiet a generator.

How to build a generator quiet box

To build a generator quiet box you want to take the following steps:

  1. Gather the necessary materials
  2. Measure out the materials
  3. Cut the materials to size
  4. Drill holes in the material for ventilation, fuel sources, extension cords, and more
  5. Build the frame
  6. Add soundproof material that can deal with generator heat
  7. Make sure everything is put together tightly
  8. Complete the last finishing touches like adding a ventilation duct, sealing remaining gaps, and adding a quiet box handle

Follow the video below to get more in-depth tips like what material to use, how to avoid overheating parts of the generator quiet box, and details you don’t want to forget.

Can you get a quiet muffler for a generator?

Yes, you can often get a quieter muffler for a generator.

Especially if your current muffler is old and worn out.

At the same time, you want to know that there are typically more effective ways to make your generator super quiet too.

A lot of the noise comes from the engine itself. Generator mufflers do not really help with this.

FAQ

How to make a Predator generator quieter?

You can make a Predator generator quieter by using sound-deflecting plates, using a quiet box, and putting the generator on sound-absorbing material.

How to make a Generac generator quieter?

You can make a Generac generator quieter by facing the exhaust away from yourself, safely adding soundproof material, and using a generator quiet box.

How to make a Firman generator quieter?

You can make a Firman generator quieter by putting the generator on a sound-absorbing surface, using a generator quiet box, and using sound deflectors.

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Author:

Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.