How to Keep a Generator Quiet So You Have a Low Profile

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is a utility company headquartered in San Francisco, California.

PG&E provides natural gas and electricity to two-thirds of northern California (5.2 million households).

The past few years the utility company has shut off power to its customers during bad weather.

These shutoffs are called “public safety power shutoff events.”

And they’re designed to prevent wildfires from electrical equipment.

In recent years, PG&E has been blamed for causing wildfire hazards from downed power lines.

And the company paid out billions of dollars in damages from the deadly Camp Fire in November 2018.

In 2019, hundreds of hospitals were forced to run off generators after PG&E turned the power off.

During the planned power outage, 738,000 customers in Northern California lost power.

At least 248 hospitals were in areas where power was shut off.

These days, more and more by homeowners are using generators for backup power.

Having a generator is crucial for emergencies, especially if you live somewhere with an unreliable power grid.

A big problem with most generators is the level of noise they produce.

Noisy generators can alert others of your presence and make it difficult to keep a low profile.

During an emergency, the last thing you want is for every passerby to hear the sound of your generator.

So, here are a few ways to reduce the noise made by your generator.

Upgrade the exhaust. 

Generator noise comes from two main components: the engine and the exhaust.

Installing a muffler in the exhaust will reduce the noise.

You can even replace the exhaust with a much bigger muffler, almost like a car muffler.

Another issue that affects exhaust noise is the direction of the exhaust pipe.

Horizontal pipes direct sound waves in one direction, making the noise louder in that direction.

Imagine if the pipe was pointed towards your wall. The generator would sound much louder if the noise is bouncing off the wall.

The best thing to do is to modify the pipe to face upwards.

This will change the appearance of your generator, but you can sacrifice the appearance for noise reduction.

Build an enclosure.

Whether you have a portable or stationary generator, you could have a small enclosure to run it in.

The enclosure should be built from brick or wood because these materials are best at absorbing the sound.

Another option is to surround the enclosure with fireproof insulation, which can also help reduce the sound.

Don’t forget to make sure there is proper ventilation and airflow.

If there is not natural airflow in the enclosure, add a fan to keep things moving.

Creating an enclosure is one of the most effective ways to reduce noise.

Plus, it conceals exactly what you have inside.

During desperate times, people will steal and the last thing you want is someone stealing your generator.

Keep some distance. 

For safety, whether camping or at home, always place your generator outside and at least 20 feet away.

And ensure that the exhaust pipe is facing away from your home.

When you decide where to place your generator, put rubber on the feet to reduce vibrations.

There are also soundproof mats that you can put under the generator ton help reduce noise.

Putting your generator on a soft surface is one of the simplest ways to reduce the sound.

While there is no way to completely silence your generator…

These tips can help reduce your generator noise and hopefully avoid drawing attention when the lights go out.

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