How to soundproof a diesel generator

Are you looking to make your generator less noisy, or soundproof it completely? Where would your diesel generator score in the “Noisy Generator Olympics?” We’re guessing it would take a podium spot, and the reality is that generators are by no means quiet things when in operation. With ongoing load-shedding, backup power generators are in private homes, residential estates, office parks, and other places where emergency electrical supply is critical. The question that many people ask is: can generators be made less noisy? This article explains why generators are noisy, and four ways you can try to soundproof your diesel generator:

Why are generators so noisy?

  • Fuel type
    How loud your generator is going to be during operation will depend largely on the type of fuel it uses. Solar power generators are practically silent, so these are commonly used indoors. Fossil fuel generators, like diesel gensets, are known to be the loudest. Diesel generators take the cake, followed by petroleum generators and then gas generators.
  • Engine size
    The engine capacity of the generator set will also play a role in the noise levels. Understandably, the larger the engine – the louder the sound. This is true in cars as well, so you can expect industrial-size generators to be much louder than your garden-variety portable generator.

4 ways to soundproof a diesel generator

  1. Bucket of water
    Starting with the most rudimentary noise-cancelling solutions, here you’ll need a bucket of water and a suitable section of piping. Use this to divert your generator’s exhaust fumes into the full bucket of water (via the section of hose). The bucket of water acts as a muffler, but shouldn’t be left unattended, so use this one as a last resort.
  2. Rubber matting
    If you’re looking for a quick noise-reduction solution that will dampen some sound while you find a permanent solution, try a thick rubber mat. When placed under your generator, this will reduce the prevalence of vibrations that add even more noise to the already-noisy engine.
  3. Soundproof cover
    Speaking about rubber, a slightly more involved noise solution that could work for you is a rubber soundproof cover. Think of it as a rubber box without all of the panels that sits over the whole generator set. It still allows all exhaust fumes to be funnelled out, but contains most of the noise within the thick rubber covering.
  4. LF125 acoustic panels
    These professional sound-absorbing sections of foam can dampen over 70% of noise at 125 Hz. Used on the inside of your generator covering, LF125 panels will make a generator a lot quieter – and are specifically designed to never catch alight. This solution is only recommended for permanent generator quietening solutions, as it will come in on the more expensive end of the spectrum.

Diesel generator repairs and maintenance in KwaZulu-Natal

Whether you have a generator that goes CLANK too often for your liking, or you’re looking to install a new generator but you have noise concerns, we’re able to assist. Our company has been specialising in generator installations, relocations, repairs and planned maintenance for over 50 years. Give us your noisy generator and we’ll find the perfect soundproofing solution for your unique challenges.