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Ways to Soundproof Your Generator


This is a close look at a portable generator with wheels.

You probably love your generator. It provides you electricity when the power goes out. You take it with you when you go camping, and you have all the comforts of home.

Now, if it just roared a little quieter.

No one ever accused a generator of being a quiet machine. You can make your generator quiet though.

You can wrap it, box it, muffle it, and much more. Read on to learn how to keep your generator quiet while you run it to your heart’s content.

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Top Ways to Soundproof Your Generator

A ton of ways to muffle sound exist, and you can use them all. You pick and choose, too. The top ways to soundproof your generator include:

  • Set it up on rubber feet.
  • Build a soundproofing box to surround it.
  • Build a baffle box to put it inside.
  • Install an exhaust muffler if there is none.
  • Upgrade the exhaust muffler if you already have one.
  • Surround it with sound deflectors.
  • Set the generator upon an anti-vibration mat.
  • Move the generator as far from your home or campsite as possible.
  • Angle the exhaust vent upwards.
  • Set up the generator in a woodshed or storage shed.
  • Purchase an inverter generator.

A few of those items really do not need explanation. For the others, let us delve in-depth, especially with the idea of building those boxes.

Rubber Feet

Much of your generator’s noise comes from vibrations. The motor causes the vibrations which occur inside the metal housing. You can reduce those vibrations by attaching rubber feet to the generator’s bottom. A product such as Sellerocity Rubber Pads can also add to the unit’s stability.

Construct a soundproof box.

Yes, you essentially construct a doghouse for your generator, but a soundproof quiet box one that blocks the generator noise. You can construct it simply and soundproof the interior with medium-density fiberboard (MDF), mass loaded vinyl (MLV), a foam square, green glue, and a ventilation duct. The latter is so the smoke and exhaust can still vent from your portable generator.

You can still take it camping with you, but you will need to take the generator out of the box to transport it. Inside this hearty, hefty box, it would weigh too much to carry. Separate them to transport it.

1. Measure your generator using a measuring tape.

2. Add three inches on each side to provide space for the soundproofing materials and generator.

3. Cut six pieces of MDF to fit the dimensions you measured.

4. Cut a ventilation hole to match the size of the ventilation duct. This typically is the ceiling panel, but it goes on the side of the generator that has the vent, so it could be a side wall with your generator.

5. Bore a hole in the opposite bottom corner wall.

6. Cut the mass-loaded vinyl to match the panels.

7. Affix the MLV to the interior walls using green glue. Do not cover the vent holes.

8. Cut the foam to match the interior walls.

9. Affix the foam to the inside of the panels on top of the MLV with green glue. Do not cover the vent holes.

10. Screw the panels together to form a box. Do not yet attach the ceiling panel.

11. Reinforce the seams of the exterior of the box with green glue.

12. Attach the ceiling panel with hinges to the generator box. This lets you open and close the box to add fuel to the generator or turn it off to remove it.

13. Add the vents and seal them with the green glue.

14. You can add feet to the bottom of the box, too.

To make the generator even quieter, you can set the box with the generator inside on a table or other raised, flat surface. This further reduces vibrations.

Zombie Boxes

This is the extra large portable noise enclosure box from ZombieBox.

Source: ZombieBox

You do not have to build a box. If you do not have the handy person touch, you can buy a soundproof box. The Zombie Portable Soundproof Enclosure reduces 99 percent of generator noise. Zombie designs these boxes specifically for the purpose of blocking generator noise.

Build a Baffle Box

You essentially use the same design as the soundproof box except it has no floor. You slip it over the generator and can easily pull it off the generator when you need to add fuel or turn off or on the generator. The top panel of these does not have hinges. You do not need them since you lift it off of the generator.

Build a three-box system

If you have ever seen the Russian dolls that stack within each other, the three-box system uses a similar concept. You build three soundproof boxes. One fits over the generator. The next one fits over that. The third you fit over that one.

Install an exhaust muffler

This is a close look at the mufflers of a car.

Most generators you buy new have a muffler installed similar to the muffler on your automobile. The generator muffler helps reduce noise. If you have an older generator, you might need to install a muffler. Have a professional install the muffler. While it won’t silence it completely, it will make it much quieter.

Upgrade your generator’s exhaust muffler

You do have muffler options. You may have a generator that already has a muffler. You can upgrade your exhaust muffler. Consult with a professional for the installation. If you do not know a lot about generator mufflers, you can ask them for advice before making a purchase.

Use sound deflectors to reduce noise.

A sound deflector simply redirects the sound to a different path. This lets you send the sound towards the forest rather than your tent or cabin. It points it toward your yard if you use the generator at home. This low-cost option works well and weighs little, so you can easily take it with you when camping. You can lean plywood boards against each other in an A-frame shape over the generator. This dampens the sound and send it into the ground.

Set the generator upon an anti-vibration pad

This works great when you have a pretty quiet generator and just need to run a little more stealthily. Set it on top of an anti-vibration rug or square. Try the Casa Pura Anti-Vibration Pad for good noise reduction.

Set the generator up in a woodshed or storage shed

This is a look at the backup generator of a camp site behind wooden fences.

You can safely set up the generator in a shed and run a long, outdoor extension cord. This puts the noise in the shed and keeps it far from you. It does need a form of ventilation, such as cracking a window or boring holes in the wall at the level of the generator exhaust.

Buy an inverter generator

Inverter generators run much quieter. Most of them range between 1,000 to 2,000 watts. Try the following five options for the quietest generator a:

  • WEN 56200i
  • Honda EU2200iYamaha EF2000iSv2:
  • Westinghouse iGen 1200
  • Generac iQ2000.

Remember, you can combine the methods of reducing noise. You can add rubber feet, set it on an anti-vibration pad inside a Zombie box or soundproof box, or three-box system. Combining a quiet generator with a soundproof box can rid you of nearly all noise from the generator, so you achieve the results you would if you had regular electric service and just flicked a switch to turn on the lights.

Frequently Asked Questions

This is an illustration showcasing the different sizes of an industrial generator.

Generators vary in size so the number of materials required to build a soundproof box or the size of an acoustic rug varies.

Do these methods work on all kinds of generators?

Yes. Any generator can become a soundproof generator by using these methods. You can use these methods to soundproof your standby generator whether it is a solar generator, petrol/gas-powered generator, propane-powered generator, diesel-powered, or natural gas-powered generator.

It may surprise you to find out that your diesel-powered device can become a soundproof diesel generator but with the right sound proof canopy, acoustic foam, and other soundproofing material you can make any type of generator quieter.

Where can you buy portable home generators?

You can buy these devices at most home improvement stores, such as Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, and Home Depot. You can also purchase these items at major online retailers, such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target. You can also find these items at most large farm supply stores.

Where can you buy soundproofing material?

From acoustic caulk to acoustic insulation, you can purchase the materials to sound proof your generator from Home Depot or Walmart. If you want to purchase higher-grade materials, you need to shop at a specialty store such as ATS Acoustics, Soundproof Cow, or AcoustiMac.

You can make your noisy generator quieter by using an acoustic enclosure. Whether you build it or buy it or simply use acoustic rugs and rubber feet to dampen the sound, you can lessen the amount of noise coming from your home generator.


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