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Anything to quiet a noisy generator?

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#1 Qtiep

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Posted August 30 2011 - 11:37 AM

Have a Husky 5000W w/Subaru Engine generator bought at HD and this thing can be heard throughout the neighborhood. Is there anything that I can do or purchase as an add-on that will make it a little more quiet?

Also, what do you guys think about Husky brands?


#2 ted527

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Posted August 30 2011 - 11:55 AM

does not look good........:(

if you look up that generator on the HD website they have noise cancelling headphones listed as an accessory.:confused:

you could try putting an open top enclosure around it to direct the noise up.

depending on how the muffler attaches you may be able to get a better one.

#3 Qtiep

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Posted August 30 2011 - 12:06 PM

Like a bigger cardboard box with the top cut off? I'll check the mufler tonight. Thanks Ted.

#4 Jae

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Posted August 30 2011 - 12:17 PM

larger vented box with sound dampning insulation glued on the inside aim the exhaust tward it it might damnpin it out some, but not directly over it

#5 Qtiep

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Posted August 30 2011 - 12:45 PM

Thanks Jae.

Was looking into getting a muffler silencer but now hearing that the loud noise is from the engine and not muffler. Anyone else agree? Or is it actually coming from muffler?

Also heard that if it is a muffler noise, I could put a hose over it and stick the hose end into a hole 2 feet deep by 2 feet wide will dampen the noise. Anyone see a reason why this would fail?


#6 longcaster

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Posted August 30 2011 - 3:04 PM

If you restrict the exhaust flow, you will burn up the motor. If you restrict the air-flow around the unit, you will burn it out from heat.

Cheap air cooled generators are not quiet, sorry.

Building a box around it allowing a couple feet of space on all sides will keep some of the noise local.

If you want a quiet generator, get a water cooled one.

#7 Jae

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Posted August 30 2011 - 7:25 PM

ya just want to angle the exhaust tward something that will absorb the noise

#8 jamesdart

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Posted August 31 2011 - 7:48 AM

i am a welder and i got tired of listening to a maching so i brought in a muffler i had at home i took off a car, i slipped it over the exhaust, it made it quieter but i realized how much of that noise is actually coming fro mthe generator side of it, not the engine.

#9 sams

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Posted September 01 2011 - 8:49 AM

I happen to make stuff quiet for a living. Small air cooled generators with no fan and enclosure are difficult to quiet, mainly, because they need a reasonable amount of air flow to keep them quiet. Any box that you build will need to be ventilated and have a fan for airflow. Installing a fan will use some of the power you are trying to generate.

How fancy you want to get is really up to you. My guess is that this is an emergency generator for very periodic use and that after a few days it is bothersome, but, probably not worth a huge investment. If this is the case the first thing that I would do is upgrade the muffler. This will get reduce the greatest volume of low frequency noise, which is the component of the noise that will go through the walls of your home most easily. The mechanical noise of the engine and alternator are somewhat higher in frequency are more easily blocked by standard home construction.

If you want to go further with it you can build an insulated plywood box that to place around the unit. If you do build a box you need to remote mount the muffler so that the exhaust is outside the box and make sure teh box had adequate ventilation. This is a standalone unit that does not have a fan so you will need to build one in. Ideally you would test the unit in non emergency conditions and take a temperature reading inside the box to make sure it is below manufacturers max operating temp.

Let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with.


#10 Qtiep

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Posted September 01 2011 - 11:16 AM

You're right about it being an emergency generator and use periodically and I can live with that. I found this article about building a soundproof boxes using MDF boards if anyone is interested.

As for swapping muffler, is the "silencer muffler" all that it's name claims it to be?

"Soundproofing a Generator
February 22nd, 2010 | Author: bjnash
Soundproofing a Generator! (or other noisy something in a box!)

Posted Image

We’ve upgraded the basic generator soundproofing info from the book: “Quieting: a practical guide to noise control“. The new system is shown below. It is based on the fact that air will go around corners well, whereas sound doesn’t like to. This baffling method works well for pool pumps and many other kinds of noise sources.

Enclosure is best made of panels of “Soundboard” or “Homasote” (from the hardwood store), with corner support strips of wood (not shown). screwed, (not just nailed) and glued for strength. Plywood is not recommended because wood transmits sound so readily. “MDF” Medium Density Fiberboard is best. A lined, triple wall box as shown is the most effective, but sometimes a double box may work well enough, depending on the level of sound control needed.

For maximum effect, use the 2″ thick “Super Soundproofing Mat” for lining your box. Make sure the box is entirely covered: no gaps. Cement edges for a tight fit. If in a damp environment, use our contact cement as it has a mildew resistant retardant in it. See the “Prices” page for ordering and price info. (On the sidebar). Cut strips of mat for the airtight seal for the bottom edge.
Leave about an inch between the inner and outer boxes for air circulation.

Lead or mass loaded vinyl can be attached over the box for even more sound control. Edges must be sealed! Use lead tape and the non-hardening acoustical caulk available on our prices page.

Vibration pads should be used for isolation of the noise source to the floor. Probably not needed if floor is concrete.

Wrapping the pump or motor is an additional way of reducing the sound emitted by it. Leave the ends open if needed for ventilation. Use lead or mass loaded vinyl. Tie it in place with wire or nylon “Tie wraps”.

If a pump, isolate the in/out pipes by cutting out a section at the pump and replacing with rubber hose. Automotive radiator hose works well. Don’t allow the inlet/outlet pipes to contact the box and be sure to insulate the openings.

Keep the box as small as practical to reduce “drum” effect and if possible, locate the box to the other side of walls, other natural barriers, etc. If located next to a wall, sound reflection from it to or through the wall can be reduced by covering the wall with thin absorbent mat.

Concerned about temperature inside your box? Don’t know if you need fans? Use a meat thermometer inserted through a hole drilled in the box to monitor temperature. Check with the manufacturer to find the temperature tolerance of your noise source.
(Small computer power supply box fans move a lot of air are cheap and can run on 12VDC or 110AC).

Muffler noise: Best to use a small car muffler as a replacement for your generator muffler. Of course, all muffler exhaust must be directed outside the box!

How to figure how much mat is needed: determine the total square footage of the box you are lining, (width times length), then divide by four for acoustical mat and/or Mass Loaded Vinyl. (These are the widths of the rolls we cut the material from). This will give you the lineal or “running” feet we sell the material by."

#11 scoobydoo

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Posted September 01 2011 - 4:42 PM

Just remember mdf soaks up water like a sponge and may collapse due to iets own weight...

#12 DougH

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Posted September 02 2011 - 7:19 AM

That box article is gonzo... are they going to buy you a new generator when their 400 dollar box causes the "air cooled" engine to overheat and die!