Muffling a Generator?

Ken_McE

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Jun 16, 2003
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Anybody have any advice on how to muffle a small internal combustion generator without doing it harm?
 

orbital

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+

Hey Ken,
it may not be the easiest project, but there has to be a way to fabricate a muffler for a small generator.

or

if it doesn't have a CO alarm/shutoff, an enclosure with sound deadening material used
 

Dr. Jones

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Adding a more efficient muffler to the average generator won't result in much noise reduction; the sound produced by the engine physically operating (valves/rods/etc.) is quite loud, nearly a match for the standard muffled exhaust.

Most successful quieting schemes involve placing the entire generator in a small doghouse-like structure with sound-deadening material inside, all the while arranging for exhaust removal and forced ventilation for the structure to keep the generator from overheating.
 

Poppy

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I agree with Dr. Jones. Most of the noise comes from the engine itself. I put mine inside of a large deck box that I raised 4 inches above the ground and put an exhaust fan into the side of it. It should really be a fire proof box and at least three feet from the house.

You may find this a quick and easy way to cut the noise significantly.

 

Poppy

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Ideally, choose a quiet generator initially. The inverter generators, especially the Honda & Yamahas, are very quiet on their own.
I agree!!!

When I sold my home, I left my 5500 watt Coleman 10 hp Briggs powered generator for free, because it was so darn loud. During Covid, or rather shortly after it, I used some of my "Stimulus" money to buy a Predator Super Quiet 3500 watt inverter generator; I never looked back.

Since then I bought two, used, Predator 2000 watt units. I gave one to my son, who, when he started it, he smiled at me and said, "it purrs like a kitten!"
 
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TPA

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Noise is one reason, but low fuel consumption is my #1 reason for having my Honda inverter generators. I think most people on this forum will be using them in emergencies. From going through many hurricanes, good luck getting gas immediately after a natural disaster. Even when you are able to get fuel, it's often dispensed in limited quantities. Being able to use 2-3 gallons/day vs. 2 gallons per hour is a great advantage.
 

Poppy

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Noise is one reason, but low fuel consumption is my #1 reason for having my Honda inverter generators. I think most people on this forum will be using them in emergencies. From going through many hurricanes, good luck getting gas immediately after a natural disaster. Even when you are able to get fuel, it's often dispensed in limited quantities. Being able to use 2-3 gallons/day vs. 2 gallons per hour is a great advantage.
Yes. I used my 10 hp briggs powered 5500 watt coleman during hurricane Sandy for three and a half days. I was stunned at how much fuel it used. IIRC it would run for 8 hours on five gallons of fuel. Fifteen gallons in a 24 hour period. That's a lot of gas.
 

TPA

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For Hurricane Irma, I was using about 3 gallons/day. With Ian that went up to 5-8 gallons/day depending on what was going on.

When we had the entire building connected up to semi-trailer mounted generators, we were burning through $300k-$500k in fuel per month.
 

Monocrom

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Ideally, choose a quiet generator initially. The inverter generators, especially the Honda & Yamahas, are very quiet on their own.
Best solution right there. Some folks will buy something, and then plan on upgrading it later. Not knowing that sometimes, with certain things, you have to spend the money upfront. Had a neighbor who later on passed away unexpectedly. He showed off his slightly used car that he just bought. This was many years ago. He knew that I knew about cars. Told me he knew it was slow but was certain he could improve the performance for cheap, later on. So he asked me about options.

It was a Chevy Malibu from right around 1998. Not the classic that was first introduced in 1964. I didn't enjoy giving him the bad news that there were no cheap options. Plus, any options that he might find would involve doing a lot more work than just on the engine.... Costing him more than what he paid for the car.
 
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