Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Silencing Your Generator

The sights and sounds of a society WROL are quite different from those of today. In the video on YouTube about the economic collapse of Argentina, the weeks and months following the collapse there were hoards of hungry people that would be drawn to target a home or neighborhood for a variety of different reasons. Lights on at night, the smell of cooking foods, sounds of people or the sounds of generators supplying power. If people had power, they likely had food being kept cool. If you have a generator, great! If you have an almost endless supply of fuel for your generator, better! But even if the lights are off, can you keep your generator silent enough so people don't know you have it?

An emergency generator is a valuable tool to own in a situation like a natural disaster or localized blackout. The drawback of operating the generator in times when many people do not have power is the noise, which can irritate neighbors and attract the attention of thieves. The answer to that problem is purchasing a silencer for the exhaust system of your generator. Some companies have as many as five different specifications of silencer, so choosing which one would be right for you depends on a number of factors.

Consider the location of your closest neighbor. The decibel levels are measured based on the level of sound heard from a certain distance. In the UK and other European countries it is measured in decibel levels at one meter, and in the United States at three feet. If your closest neighbor is more than three feet away from the location of the generator, the sound levels that they would hear would be limited.

Consider the closest location someone may be able to observe your home from a distance to hear your generator. Sidewalks and behind the backyard areas should be several feet from the generator. Study a decibel level chart. The noise level in a typical quiet library is at 30 dB at three feet. A normal conversation taking place three feet away has a noise level of 60 to 70 dB. A telephone dial tone at three feet away has a decibel level of 80 dB. A rock concert has a level of 115 dB from three feet away.

Test the cheapest silencer, sometimes called the Standard Silent specification. This type of silencer quiets the exhaust on your generator to 80 dB. Stand at the furthest point in your yard with the generator running to see if you can hear it. If 80 dB is still too loud for your neighborhood, try the Whisper Silent specification. The Whisper Silent specs measure the decibel level at 60 dB or that of a normal conversation from three feet away. There are even more efficient silencers in the United Statets that reduce the level of noise to 18 to 32 dB. Different companies call these different specifications by different names, so check the dB level claims on the boxes before purchasing.


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