A noisy generator can be a source of conflict in the neighborhood. That is a common thing, especially if running on heavy fuel such as diesel. It also happens when working for long hours. The only right thing to do in such a case is to soundproof it. A question that arises is, how can one do so? What is the procedure of making it less noisy?
In this guide, we will look into the steps, the dos, and the don’ts of undertaking this procedure. The aim is to equip you to undertake this noble task. Read through for more information.
How to soundproof a generator
It is a straightforward task to undertake. You need to have all the material before beginning the work. Make the enclosure where the generator will sit.
What is it used to make an enclosure?
There are several materials which you can use for this purpose. Among them are:
Ensure that the generator is not in contact with the floor. Add vinyl to the walls to increase the density by between 50% to 100%. The walls will absorb the noise, hence making it quieter inside the enclosure. Add BlocknZorbe sound panels to block and absorb the sound further. Screw the metal panels into the walls away from the exhaust pipe for a significant noise reduction.
Use the rubber mounts to detach the generator from the floor. Apply loaded vinyl, vibration damping, and noise absorption to minimize sound.
Like all the other methods, ensure that the generator is not in contact with the floor using rubber mounts. A Damplifier Pro vibration will damp the noise to the metal. Wrap the box in a mass-loaded vinyl. You will hear zero sound!
Metal soundproofing is an excellent deal. Implement it if you can.
As usual, detach the generator from the floor. The ground tends to amplify the sound and hence the need to decouple it. Use the rubber mounts to lift it off the floor. In this method, you do not need to add the mass vinyl. The concrete itself is an excellent sound barrier. Use BlocknZorbe sound panels to line the interior of the enclosure. It helps to waterproof and to absorb any form of noise. Leave some airspace for the exhaust pipe. If the exhaust does not have adequate space, the generator might not function optimally.
Are there wide air gaps for the sound to escape?
Airgaps derails the soundproofing effort. On the other hand, inadequate airflow is not safe for the generator. Planning will help to solve the two problems. The size of the enclosure will determine the amount of plan you need. A smaller one will require less planning, and the opposite is true.
All the ventilation should face away from the living spaces for proper air circulation. Install a chip box inside the enclosure to circulate the air and to keep the environment cool. You can build external baffles to act as secondary sound barriers. The outside closure will also not limit the airflow between the environment and the enclosure.
Before using the enclosure for soundproofing, always test the operating temperature. You should operate at safe levels all the time!
Does the sound absorption happen inside the enclosure?
Yes, the absorption occurs inside the box. All the walls are hard sound-reflecting surfaces. These features help reduce the reverberations and the noise by a high percentage. I would recommend that you install a sound absorption mechanism on two adjacent surfaces. If you can cover the wall in a checkerboard pattern, then the noise will even diminish more. Such designs absorb the sound by up to 50%. If you are working on outdoor applications, then BlocknZorbe will be the best choice to install.
How to build your soundproof generator box
There is an option of buying one from the shop. However, you can build one cheaply for your generator.
The dimensions and the size
Since the generators produce a lot of heat, it is wise to leave enough space for airflow and circulation. Add some extra width and height during construction to serve this purpose. Remember that you will add extra-insulations after building, and hence you will need more space. Please note that if the generator is too close to the walls, it might get damaged. Lastly, make the correct measurements for the cutouts for the exhaust. It will also include space for turning down the cables from the generator to other connections.
If the generator is producing a lot of heat, then you need to insulate the generator box. The easy way to do this is to create some panels and leaving spaces in between them. These panels act as walls with openings for free circulation of air.
To improve temperature regulation, install a fan in the enclosure box. Since the space inside the box is small, So a small fan will help a lot. Make a hole in the box that can fit the fan. Seal and fill the gaps with caulk after installing the fan. Make sure the cord is pointing inwards. Then you can plug it directly into the generator when it is running.
Wood is one of the best materials for making an enclosure box. Lighter and flexible material such as an MDF board is ideal for paneling. Plywood would still serve the purpose, only that it is heavier than the fiberboard (MDF). It will make the box difficult to port around. Where possible, avoid using metals for this task because it will lead to the production of more noise.
Exhaust and ventilation
It is dangerous to operate a generator in a congested environment. The effects can be devastating for both new and old machines. A smaller box will require that you install an extended exhaust pipe that goes outside the box. On the contrary, if the enclosure is large, then you can do without the exhaust pipe. Some shops do sell these accessories, specifically for the generators. You can purchase one for your machine. Where necessary, cut out more ventilation windows on the box to let out extra heat and fumes.
Naturally, generator engines are loud, especially when the air in the environment is damp. To mitigate the sound, add a loaded vinyl mass material. It will completely block the noise and keep the environment quiet. Install a Luxury Liner to the exterior walls of the box. Cover the walls from one end to another and attach them with vinyl. Use foil tape to connect the edges or an acoustic caulk. It helps to ensure that the seams are airtight.
Can I soundproof a portable generator?
Yes, it is possible to do so. Place it on a sound and vibration absorbing mat, and the noise will disappear. When it vibrates, it creates noise, and hence placing it on the mat will help a lot.
Can one cover the generator while running?
You can do it at any time, even when it is running. The cover will not cause the machine to overheat. That is because most offer natural cooling options.
A noisy generator can be troublesome to the neighborhood. To minimize the impact, it is worth soundproofing it. The procedure of undertaking this task is as mentioned in the article. The first step is to ensure that it does not sit on the floor. Then, constructing an insulation box, leaving enough space for insulation and exhaust pipe. Finally, you can cover the generator to keep it cool when it is running.