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Worried about generator noise attracting attention

Was looking at reddit when I saw question about generator noise and wanted to get some advice and your opinion on what I should do. 

I have a large whole house generator that I store in a shed, but will pull out and plug into the side of my house if the power goes off for more than a couple of hours. If there was a true disaster and the whole neighborhood goes dark for a week or more, I can see this as a security issue. I don’t want my generator to be the only noise and house the only one lit up on our entire block. 

I can see people trying to come and steal it, or think that I have tons of preps(which I do), coming over and asking to charge their phones, or heat something in my microwave. 

I want to help others, but also keep my family and our preps safe. 

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  • Comments (13)

    • 5

      Some people route the exhaust for their generator with an extension so that they can run it in their garage. You have to be EXTREMELY careful with this though. A small leak in the hose can lead to quick carbon monoxide poisoning. I would not even consider this unless you have two reliable and quality carbon monoxide detectors.exhaust-extension

      On top of the carbon monoxide risk, there is heat build up from your generator, as garages are not meant to have good airflow and circulation. 

      Better options are to put your generator in a fenced in area, like a covered dog cage. 81grs-NUliL._AC_SL1500_

      or make a DIY little shed just for it. I would go full out with security in mind if you make your own shed, as you can make it however you want. Maybe line the inside of the walls with chicken wire, multiple hardened padlocks, motion sensing lights around the shed, sound proof the shed as much as possible (still have to have good airflow though), and maybe an alarm that goes off when opened. generator-shed

      Sources: My own thoughts, and https://www.garageadviser.net/can-i-run-a-generator-in-my-garage/ 

      • 3

        I don’t think I want to mess around with running it in my garage. The risks to my family are too high. 

        Thank you for the little generator shed idea, I do want to increase my security of it though and this will be a good way to do it.

    • 4

      Yes, fuel operated generators are noisy and they scream “COME SEE HOW PREPARED I AM”.  That is the last thing you want during an extended crisis.  I have a whole house generator, that is in an insulated enclosure but it is still noisy.  Keep in mind, if you try to suppress the noise too much you have to also be concerned with the unit overheating.

      The noise is why I also have two solar generators and associated panels.  Nowhere near the amount of power but they are completely stealthy.

      • 3

        I’d like to get some solar generators and panels, but you are right, they don’t have near the amount of power of a gas generator. 

        Maybe i’ll get both so that if I sense that things are going really bad, I can lay low and live a little bit off of the solar generator. 

      • 4

        My prepping strategy for a long term, severe crisis, is to run fuel generators just long enough to empty the freezers.  From then on, I will proceed with minimal electrical needs… handled by solar generators.  Even though I live pretty far out in the country and my farmstead is a mile off the rural road, I still think staying quiet is the best strategy

      • 2

        That is a good strategy, very realistic, and something I will probably follow. You can only really store so much gas to run your generators, and there is only so much food in a freezer. So using both of those up and then relying on the smaller renewable solar is a smart idea.

      • 3

        I have a 10k generator hardwired for the house.  It will run everything, just not all at once.  I bought a tri fuel carburetor kit for it and now have it connected to a 500 gallon propane tank.  The propane  is cleaner and much longer lasting than a limited amount of gasoline.  I live in the country as well so even though noise is a real consideration it’s not too big of a worry here.  I was on the same thought as you though about long term.  The generator is just a stop gap for long term outages.  I figure that I could ration it’s use to a couple hours a day and make it last a year or so.  I eventually got started with solar.  I bought 20 250w panels and right now I have 8 of the panels set up and charging ten 100amp batteries.  This first part of three systems is running my freezer and refrigerator currently.  I could run a bit more but don’t want any stress on the most important system I have.  I will set up a 2nd similar system soon to run several circuits in the house.  I will never even attempt to run the central heat and air, but hope to cover most other needs.  I am going to stay connected to the grid as well, and the solar is completely separate and isolated.  The third solar setup will be to just run the well pump.  I am using 24v components on all three systems so I could easily interchange parts to keep things operating as best as possible.  I think the stealth and the long term aspects of the solar is worth perusing but it is still a really expensive addition to your preps.

      • 2

        I saw your solar setup in another forum post. I would love to get some solar eventually. It is just something i’ll have to save up for.

      • 1

        At least the 29% credit has been extended now.  That alone pays for close to a third of your project.  Of course that’s retroactive and you still have to buy it up front, but still helps.

    • 3

      There are (nearly) silent generators that are built for the film industry, but unfortunately they are very expensive. But looking at their construction might give you some ideas:

      https://www.multiquip.com/multiquip/studio.htm

      • 3

        Thanks for the suggestion. I’m sure that the film industry would need powerful yet quite generators, so that will be a good source to emulate.

      • 2

        It would be really nice to have the budgets they work with!

    • 3

      Another consideration is planting bushes near where the generator (or its shed) will be. Bushes are great for dampening noise. So, if you do end up going with the shed idea, insulation should muffle sound quite a bit and if you add bushes, they can help dampen the noise further.

      • 2

        That is an excellent idea! Especially if I can find a bush with multiple uses such as a berry bush. I’ll have to look up which bushes have the most dampening ability though, as that will be it’s number one purpose.