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Posted: 10/27/2010 8:21:20 AM EDT
During yesterday's outage I used my $64.00 harbor freight 800w gen to power the sump pump. Which, surprisingly, worked perfect for what I needed at the moment even though it was pretty close to max watts for the gen.

But, after 5 hours the temps in the fridges started to climb where they hit 50* before power came back on.

So, I decided I needed a bigger generator.
For the fridges, sump, septic pump, and well, etc...

Off to SamsClub to pick up a Generac xg7000e unit. Lists for $1500, can be found online for ~$1200-$1300, Sams has it for $999.

Got it home (power was back on), powered up and ran it for just over an hour with shop lights and a small heater for the load. Everything ran just fine.

But, it is loud and I realized I need to find/make some type of enclosure for when it's raining/snowing and we are without power.

Any suggestions on helping with the noise? maybe an additional muffler? but I don't want to mess up the engine or anything...
And, has anyone here built an enclosure? what should I be aware of for that project?


J


BTW, when the lights went out and I was scrambling around to get the HF gen up and running all I could think about was "Lights Out". Really makes you think...
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 8:55:06 AM EDT
build a "dog house" with a chimney.

Insulate it for sound proofing cuz rover is loud.

provide cooling ventilation to prevent over heating
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 1:27:37 PM EDT
I don't think you will ever be able to silence it to the point where others can't figure out you're running a generator.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 1:33:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tc556guy:
I don't think you will ever be able to silence it to the point where others can't figure out you're running a generator.


yeah, I highly doubt that, it's pretty loud.

Just figured some of the SF crew would have already built some cool/unique enclosures they could post a pic of

J
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 1:47:36 PM EDT
That's the problem with inexpensive generators, they're loud.

An enclosure will cut the noise some, but most likely it'll still be pretty loud. If you do put it in an enclosure you have to make sure the exhaust is vented to the outside and you have enough air flow to keep the generator cool, of course the vents for the fresh air is going to cut down on the noise reducing capabilities of your shelter.

A 3 sided lean-to type shelter would be the easiest to build, it will work to help deflect the noise away from the house and take care of the exhaust and cooling issues, but once again it's still going to be pretty loud.

Link Posted: 10/27/2010 2:12:07 PM EDT
That's the problem with inexpensive generators, they're loud


Uh yea There are plenty of high dollar generators that are just as loud. Price tag has nothing to do with noise level.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 2:23:10 PM EDT
i have mine on the patio with it's back to the garage wall and on each side i have cinder blocks , the exhaust side has the openings of the cinder blocks . over the top i have planks with firewood stacked. on the front i have just a frame of 2x4's with old paneling that i slide into the opening.. it DOES dampen the noise plus i have several lengths of chains and padlocks intertwined thru the cinder block openings to deter theft. It ain't a Cathedral but it serves the purpose.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 2:29:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MIhunter:
That's the problem with inexpensive generators, they're loud


Uh yea There are plenty of high dollar generators that are just as loud. Price tag has nothing to do with noise level.


Link to these sub $1000 7kw generators that will produce less than 65dBa? The steps a manufacturer has to take to keep a generator quite most definitely does increase the cost of the generator.

And yes I do agree price alone won't get you a quiet generator.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 2:31:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JeepMP:
Originally Posted By tc556guy:
I don't think you will ever be able to silence it to the point where others can't figure out you're running a generator.


yeah, I highly doubt that, it's pretty loud.

Just figured some of the SF crew would have already built some cool/unique enclosures they could post a pic of

J


Based on my experience in the east coast outtage a decade ago, your enclosure should be more for security than silence. People were having their gennies stolen right off their porches during the night during those times. Even chains weren't enough in some cases.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 4:15:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/27/2010 4:16:52 PM EDT by Seabee_Mech]
Security was definitely a concern after Katrina. The quietest generator in the world won't help when your house is the only one in the neighborhood lit up like a Christmas tree, everyone will know who has a generator.

My house was fairly rural, the yard was fenced in, Beware of Dog signs and the GSD roaming the yard helped deter the thieves, but even with all that, I still caught a couple of people snooping around the property when they thought no one was home . I ran my house with a HONDA EU 2000I generator. All I needed to run was a few lights, a fan, the refrigerator and the TV so it was big enough. The generator only ran when I was home and awake, when I went to bed or to work the generator got locked up in the garage.

Now I really live in the boonies, so noise and light discipline isn't as much of a concern. The noisy 7kw genny I run now just gets put on the far side of the house, you can barely hear it running inside.


Back to the OP: If you don't get any ideas here, a quick internet search for "building a generator enclosure" will bring up some good examples on what you can build. Sound proofing mats will help a lot on the inside of any enclosure you build to reduce noise, a cheaper (but usually less effective) material would be foam insulation board or even regular fiberglass insulation (the higher the R factor the better). Vibrations transmitted through the generator frame to the floor of the enclosure will make a lot of noise, placing the generator on a heavy rubber mat or using rubber mounting blocks (like the engine mounts on a car) will help reduce noise from vibrations. Depending on what engine you have you may be able to find a quieter plug and play muffler or if you're handy you can fabricate one. For a full enclosure adding a fan for drawing in cool air and removing heat would be a good idea.

Link Posted: 10/27/2010 4:27:54 PM EDT
quiet genny ideas

copy some of the techniques they use in this genny enclosure. huge muffler, sound dampening foam, correct airflow.

i rented one of these to power my brothers wedding ceremony out in the sticks and it was so quiet i was seriously impressed.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 6:04:32 PM EDT
What would happen if you used the outboard motor principal to quiet down the exhaust noise. Ever hear the difference when you trim the motor out of the water while it's running? I was wondering if you attached a steel tube to the muffler and the other end was inserted into a bucket of water. As long as the pipe didn't suck up water back into the engine it might work. what potential problems could arise other than back pressure and water in the valves?
Link Posted: 10/28/2010 10:47:29 AM EDT
Here's another idea that's been tested.

Quieten That Generator
Link Posted: 10/28/2010 11:04:04 AM EDT
nice, great suggestions, I'll have to spend some time with this
Link Posted: 10/28/2010 11:21:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/28/2010 11:22:38 AM EDT by TylerC]

Originally Posted By Seabee_Mech:
Originally Posted By MIhunter:
That's the problem with inexpensive generators, they're loud


Uh yea There are plenty of high dollar generators that are just as loud. Price tag has nothing to do with noise level.


Link to these sub $1000 7kw generators that will produce less than 65dBa? The steps a manufacturer has to take to keep a generator quite most definitely does increase the cost of the generator.

And yes I do agree price alone won't get you a quiet generator.

There is a $100K generator outside of my office. That thing is LOUD! I have to come in early to run it because it pisses everyone off.
Link Posted: 10/28/2010 1:29:35 PM EDT
I belive that the solution to quieting a generator may be mass. Sound transfer and mass that is. Build a slab and build or pour walls seperately( not touching), corrugated tin on roof, then a form for concrete on top.
Line enclosure in rigid fibreglass insulation for the higher frequencies and the concrete should work for the lower frequencies.
Exhaust should exit throught the roof with a tall exhaust pipe and large volume muffler. Air intake should be similar to exhaust.

My 2 cents
Link Posted: 10/28/2010 2:09:43 PM EDT
holy crap...

You just went from one generator extreme to another. 800watt to a 8000+ watt (max)

You have a tough road to hoe, to quiet down a 15hp generator. As others have suggested, you can try a "dog house", maybe a automotive muffler setup. But at the end of the day, that generator is still going to be loud.

Link Posted: 10/28/2010 4:40:54 PM EDT



ar-jedi
Link Posted: 10/28/2010 9:29:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JeepMP:
Any suggestions on helping with the noise? maybe an additional muffler? but I don't want to mess up the engine or anything...
And, has anyone here built an enclosure?


SuperGen Products GenTent - Product review here.


Link Posted: 10/29/2010 1:06:24 AM EDT
I've actually run across a few cheap generators that were fairly quiet. Not as quiet as a new Honda, but still pretty decent. I just picked up a 3k watt model from a local pawn shop with a 6.5HP motor, and I couldn't believe how quiet it was. In fact, the noise level was what sold me on the unit. I was in there just shooting the breeze, and wasn't even looking for a generator at the time. Hell, I didn't even know they had one until they cranked it for a customer to check out. He passed on the generator, I offered $135, and walked out with the thing. I can't remember the name of it, but will post pics of it when I get home. I believe its just a Chinese clone, but I have been impressed so far. One thing I did notice, compared with my other generators, is this particular model has more "muffler" than my others, which helps with the noise.
Link Posted: 10/29/2010 4:47:10 AM EDT
Yeah, having a bigger generator is good for short-term stuff, but I think the longer the outage, the more you'll rely on the smaller generator. You'll find gas consumption is killer with the bigger engine. So much so, that I consider my little harbor freight generators as more valuable in a SHTF event than my big 5500 watt gen.

I've started a project of adding a muffler to my genset.. just hasn't been a priority so I haven't completed it. With this solar storm looming, I'd better finish it up. Oh, and adding a muffler isn't going to damage your engine.

The next two years are going to be interesting. Handgun on the belt is absolute minimum during a power-outage.. at the very least until you can verify that the outage is in a small localized area.
Link Posted: 10/29/2010 6:55:42 AM EDT
bales of hay with about 3' of clearance stacked 2-3 high
Link Posted: 10/29/2010 9:35:46 AM EDT
Great stuff, thanks all

I did realize that the 5 - 5Gal gas containers I have won't cut it for fuel. This thing has a 9gal tank, which is supposedly 12hour @ 50% load. That's a lot of gas for an extending outage.

Off of one corner of the house I have a 9x9 slab that is fenced, so I'm thinking I could build a 'doghouse' in there and run a connection to the house fairly easily.

J
Link Posted: 10/29/2010 7:11:08 PM EDT
Just make sure you get a transfer switch, unless you are planning on plugging individual appliances to the gen set.
Link Posted: 10/30/2010 7:21:43 PM EDT
at this point I plan on plugging in individual appliances. But eventually want to put a transfer switch in for the two fridges, sump,septic, heat, and well and possibly air
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