How to quieten noisy generators

How to quieten noisy generators

Generators are commonly used to provide power if you are off the beaten track. Whether you are on a camping trip or carrying out work away from a mains power source, a generator can be an essential piece of kit.

How to quieten noisy generators

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A generator can also be an irritating source of noise pollution to people nearby. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to make your generator less of a noise problem.

How to quieten noisy generators2

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Where does the noise come from?

Before we talk about reducing the noise problem, it is important to have some idea of what causes it in the first place. The majority of noise comes from the engine, so less-powerful generators will tend to be quieter than more powerful ones.

Similarly, diesel generators will be noisier than petrol ones. If you are looking at generator rental from a supplier such as, consider the fuel type.

The design of the generator also matters. Some have noise abatement features – such as rubber engine mounts to cut vibration, or noise insulating covers – built in. Some designs also have an ‘eco mode’, which is designed to save fuel but often also reduces noise.

Practical tips

What can you do to make noise less of a problem? The obvious first step is to move the generator further away if you can. Also, consider which way round the machine is. Much of the noise comes from the exhaust pipe, so having it pointing away from you can cut the problem – just make sure you are not annoying someone else! Another trick is to attach a hose and put the other end in a bucket of water.

Often generator noise is caused by vibration that gets transmitted to other surfaces. Keeping the generator off hard surfaces such as patios and wooden decks and putting it directly on the ground can reduce the noise. If you have to place it on a hard surface, look at using rubber feet or a sound-deadening mat to reduce the transmission of noise.

Another trick is to create an acoustic barrier. Put the generator behind a wall or build a small fence around it to provide a barrier to the sound. Alternatively, consider getting or making a soundproof box lined with insulation material, but make sure that it is properly vented to enable the machine to operate safely.


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