noisy generator

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mouses
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noisy generator

Post by mouses » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:14 pm

Today I had a 16kW Generac generator installed, the type that runs on natural gas and goes on and off automatically. Somehow I had forgotten reports that they can be noisy, and I had gotten this blissful idea that things would tick along like clockwork if the power failed.

Well, the things sounds like two powered lawn mowers are right outside the window of whatever room I'm in. I'll go crazy if there's a power failure that lasts a week or somesuch as has happened about once a year the past three years. I do have noise canceling headphones I can wear, but my pet will be exposed to this too.

The dealer/installer had no ideas except to say the noise did not bother most people.

I called Generac to ask if they sold some sort of noise reducing addition or exclosure, and got told no and a warning about modifications voiding the warranty. I wasn’t suggesting modifying the actual generator, rather adding some outside thing,

Does anyone have a solution to this? Thank you.

bob60014
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Re: noisy generator

Post by bob60014 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:23 pm

How far is the generator from the building? I've seen a wooden buffer wall, about 6-8 ft tall, installed between the house and generator. Obviously it depends on the placement and home configuration to allow this.

mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:36 pm

bob60014 wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:23 pm
How far is the generator from the building? I've seen a wooden buffer wall, about 6-8 ft tall, installed between the house and generator. Obviously it depends on the placement and home configuration to allow this.
Without going out and measuring, I'd say 12-15 feet from the house. It's at the back wall of the garage as that was easy access to the gas and electric. The yard is small, so not a lot of places to put it. It's interesting that I don't really hear a noise reduction from one end of the house to the other, but it is a small footprint house.

Was the wall just made of wood, or was there some sort of noise insulating material?

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Re: noisy generator

Post by Blueskies123 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:40 pm


Smoke
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Re: noisy generator

Post by Smoke » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:07 pm

First I would try a 4 x 8 sheet of half inch plywood standing on edge 8 ft long on the ground. Start about 4 ft away from generator keeping it between generator and house.
Move it around till you find a sweet spot for noise reduction in home.
Once you find a good location, erect a permanent stockade or solid decorative fence 8 ft long 6 ft high. or two for 16 ft long.

I would not get closer than what the instructions say for distance that might void guarantee.
Air flow and cooling are the issues.
The closer you put it to the Generator the quieter it will be on the other side of the fence.
20 bucks for plywood or so for testing.

I would not enclose it in any box or shed.

Thats my guess,

five2one
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Re: noisy generator

Post by five2one » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:46 pm

You probably aren't hearing the exhaust but the engine itself so mufflers generally don't work.
Need to make a dog house like structure with insulation.
Once you insulate, your problem then becomes heat.
For that you'll need fans and intake louvers.

Rattlesnake
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Re: noisy generator

Post by Rattlesnake » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:49 pm

The best times of a generator noise is when it comes on and when it goes off...

Just my $0.02....
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ddurrett896
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Re: noisy generator

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:51 pm

Just lost power for 2 days. I’ll take the sound of mowers as long as I have AC.

dknightd
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Re: noisy generator

Post by dknightd » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:16 pm

Share your power with the neighbors. They are hearing the same noise

mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:16 am

dknightd wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:16 pm
Share your power with the neighbors. They are hearing the same noise
One next door neighbor has a generator already, as loud, but I don't hear it due to its location, and he doesn't hear mine when he's inside his house. The other next door neighbor, a summer resident only, has loud parties til 4am fairly often, so... Plus he's apparently filthy rich, so he can buy his own generator if he wants one.

Y.A.Tittle
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Re: noisy generator

Post by Y.A.Tittle » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:31 am

Unfortunately, Generac is the Yugo of generators. They spend money on commercials, not on the product.

Kohler is the way to go. The engines are quieter and the enclosure is designed to protect the unit from weather while attenuating noise.

mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:54 pm

Y.A.Tittle wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:31 am
Unfortunately, Generac is the Yugo of generators. They spend money on commercials, not on the product.

Kohler is the way to go. The engines are quieter and the enclosure is designed to protect the unit from weather while attenuating noise.
Too late :-) I did ask in here about brands, and Generac got the thumbs up.

It just did it's weekly test an hour or so ago. It is quite noisy, but not as bad really as I remembered. I think I am going to try those youtube videos leaning OSB boards, leaving room for air flow.

Ron
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Re: noisy generator

Post by Ron » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:29 pm

Y.A.Tittle wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:31 am
Unfortunately, Generac is the Yugo of generators. They spend money on commercials, not on the product.

Kohler is the way to go. The engines are quieter and the enclosure is designed to protect the unit from weather while attenuating noise.
Looks like they are all the same:

"Many central air conditioners are rated at about 68dB when heard from 20 feet away. The Generac Guardian line produces just 66dB at 23 feet. Kohler Power Systems weighs in at 69dB, Briggs & Stratton about 64dB, and Cummins Power Generation weighs in with just 62db – not much more than conversation in a restaurant."

Ref: https://www.norwall.com/blog/generator- ... re-they-2/

- Ron

mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:23 pm

Conversation in a restaurant??? Where do these people eat?

I see they also say:

Central Air Conditioner at 20 feet – 68dB

My AC is a few feet away from the generator, and much quieter.

I suspect the character of the noise may matter.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by Point » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:03 pm

You might look at attaching some egg crate type material to the insides of the boards (gen side) that may stifle some of the noise.

finite_difference
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Re: noisy generator

Post by finite_difference » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:07 pm

Ron wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:29 pm
Y.A.Tittle wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:31 am
Unfortunately, Generac is the Yugo of generators. They spend money on commercials, not on the product.

Kohler is the way to go. The engines are quieter and the enclosure is designed to protect the unit from weather while attenuating noise.
Looks like they are all the same:

"Many central air conditioners are rated at about 68dB when heard from 20 feet away. The Generac Guardian line produces just 66dB at 23 feet. Kohler Power Systems weighs in at 69dB, Briggs & Stratton about 64dB, and Cummins Power Generation weighs in with just 62db – not much more than conversation in a restaurant."

Ref: https://www.norwall.com/blog/generator- ... re-they-2/

- Ron
A restaurant conversation is ~60 dB.

Note that 70 dB is twice as loud as 60 dB.

65 dB is 40% louder than 60 dB.

62 dB is is 15% louder than 60 dB.

It’s a logarithmic scale, so every 2 dB counts.

I would think 63 dB and lower would be very tolerable.

The Honda “EU7000iS” is 52-58 dB(A). But might be hard to have a full house generator that quiet!
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

gd
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Re: noisy generator

Post by gd » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:34 pm

Could be much worse. You could be your neighbors.

I described my neighbor's Generac in every generator post I saw here for a few years, I think. Never seemed to impress anyone, and I gave up.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:46 pm

finite_difference wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:07 pm
A restaurant conversation is ~60 dB.

Note that 70 dB is twice as loud as 60 dB.

65 dB is 40% louder than 60 dB.

62 dB is is 15% louder than 60 dB.

It’s a logarithmic scale, so every 2 dB counts.
For those wondering why a 10 dB difference is only (twice as loud) vs. (10 times as loud) as a math ratio, it has to do with the definitions of sound pressure.

Here's more than what you ever wanted to know about it: SPL sound level to dB pressure level - Sengpiel Audio
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Re: noisy generator

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:53 pm

This is part of the reason that I would never purchase a whole house standby generator. Other reasons include the fact that they consume a huge amount of fuel, they only work at that location (what if you need power somewhere else?), and the huge price tag. I am very happy with my small inverter generator, which can run all of the truly critical items in our home, just not at the same time.

I hope the OP has been instructed on how to change the oil in the generator. It should be done every 100 hours of operation (about 4 days of continuous operation) or once a year, whichever comes first. The replacement oil should be synthetic (I like Mobil 1), but Generac wants the first 100 hours to be run with conventional oil.
mouses wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:54 pm
Y.A.Tittle wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:31 am
Unfortunately, Generac is the Yugo of generators. They spend money on commercials, not on the product.

Kohler is the way to go. The engines are quieter and the enclosure is designed to protect the unit from weather while attenuating noise.
Too late :-) I did ask in here about brands, and Generac got the thumbs up.

It just did it's weekly test an hour or so ago. It is quite noisy, but not as bad really as I remembered. I think I am going to try those youtube videos leaning OSB boards, leaving room for air flow.
If the plywood does a decent job of muffling the sound, concrete blocks would do an even better job at deflecting it.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: noisy generator

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:09 pm

Point wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:03 pm
You might look at attaching some egg crate type material to the insides of the boards (gen side) that may stifle some of the noise.
Our Generac was installed in a Generac-branded metal housing that has this egg-crate foam-looking "stuff' in the lid. I'm not sure about around the insides on the walls.
But when the lid is closed, the sound is muffled considerably.

We don't mind the 10 minute weekly test in terms of noise, and the few times we needed the power, we were so pleased that we *had* a generator, that the sound was a big nothing.

Surprisingly, none of our neighbors seem to have generators, or none that we can easily see, anyway, not even those on the same street where there used to be frequent outages.
We figure IF there is ever a really long outage, anyone who notices the noise and complains will be invited in to power up their devices :happy
Or to get warm.

RM
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Re: noisy generator

Post by iamlucky13 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:35 pm

I suppose the simplest thing to do is to shut it down and start it up as desired, so you can at least have quiet at night for example, if you are willing to have the power off for that duration.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:37 pm

I see that my note above that the noise was not as loud as I remembered when it was doing its first weekly test today was because in test mode it is 55db while in normal mode it is 67db. I just noticed that on its spec sheet.

I already addressed the neighbors issue in a previous post.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:38 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:35 pm
I suppose the simplest thing to do is to shut it down and start it up as desired, so you can at least have quiet at night for example, if you are willing to have the power off for that duration.
The question is, how long can one have the power off if the temp is, say, minus ten degrees.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:42 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:09 pm

Our Generac was installed in a Generac-branded metal housing that has this egg-crate foam-looking "stuff' in the lid. I'm not sure about around the insides on the walls.
But when the lid is closed, the sound is muffled considerably.

RM
There is some stuff on the sides (not sure how many sides as I remember) that is thin and looks like it's covered with aluminum foil, no idea what it actually is, that was pointed out to me as sound insulation. I didn't think to look at the inside of the top, but will tomorrow.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:00 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:53 pm
This is part of the reason that I would never purchase a whole house standby generator. Other reasons include the fact that they consume a huge amount of fuel, they only work at that location (what if you need power somewhere else?), and the huge price tag...

I hope the OP has been instructed on how to change the oil in the generator. It should be done every 100 hours of operation (about 4 days of continuous operation) or once a year, whichever comes first. The replacement oil should be synthetic (I like Mobil 1), but Generac wants the first 100 hours to be run with conventional oil.
...
If the plywood does a decent job of muffling the sound, concrete blocks would do an even better job at deflecting it.
I really don't have a need for power in some other location. The fuel is natural gas. It will be interesting to see what it does to my gas bill. One reason I got a natural gas generator is not messing with getting and refilling gasoline or propane. If I am lucky this is idiot proof, automatic on/off, no trips outside in a snow storm at 2am, etc. At my age, that is a factor.

Thanks for the note about the oil. I will ask about that as we have had several > 4 day power failures. A one year service contract is part of the thing and weekly tests will not reach that in a year, or six months, whenever they service it, I forget which.

Also, thanks for the concrete block suggestion. That would certainly deal with my concern about panels flying away in a wind storm :-) I would not completely enclose it, just build a wall when it's in use.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:16 am

mouses wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:38 pm
iamlucky13 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:35 pm
I suppose the simplest thing to do is to shut it down and start it up as desired, so you can at least have quiet at night for example, if you are willing to have the power off for that duration.
The question is, how long can one have the power off if the temp is, say, minus ten degrees.
We lived in North Dakota for several years, and I can sympathize with sub-zero temps. The last winter we were there, we experienced three straight weeks where it didn't get above -40F.

It depends on how well insulated the home is. If the house is tight with no significant air leaks and has R-60 insulation in the attic, which it really should at that level, I would think that it would take at least a few hours to cool down from say 75F to 65F indoors. Throw some extra blankets on and you might be able to go all night with no power.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: noisy generator

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:18 am

mouses wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:00 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:53 pm
This is part of the reason that I would never purchase a whole house standby generator. Other reasons include the fact that they consume a huge amount of fuel, they only work at that location (what if you need power somewhere else?), and the huge price tag...

I hope the OP has been instructed on how to change the oil in the generator. It should be done every 100 hours of operation (about 4 days of continuous operation) or once a year, whichever comes first. The replacement oil should be synthetic (I like Mobil 1), but Generac wants the first 100 hours to be run with conventional oil.
...
If the plywood does a decent job of muffling the sound, concrete blocks would do an even better job at deflecting it.
I really don't have a need for power in some other location. The fuel is natural gas. It will be interesting to see what it does to my gas bill. One reason I got a natural gas generator is not messing with getting and refilling gasoline or propane. If I am lucky this is idiot proof, automatic on/off, no trips outside in a snow storm at 2am, etc. At my age, that is a factor.
I understand. The convenience of standby generators is by far their biggest advantage. Of course, in the event of a power outage lasting more than a few days, you'll have to brave the elements to change the oil anyway, something that the salespeople tend to gloss over in my experience.

Regarding "some other location," I say that only because you might be forced to evacuate for whatever reason, and you can't take a standby generator with you. Granted, you might not need a generator wherever you're going, but if you have something like an RV or even a large tent, taking your power with you can be a big advantage.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: noisy generator

Post by iamlucky13 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:33 am

mouses wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:38 pm
iamlucky13 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:35 pm
I suppose the simplest thing to do is to shut it down and start it up as desired, so you can at least have quiet at night for example, if you are willing to have the power off for that duration.
The question is, how long can one have the power off if the temp is, say, minus ten degrees.
Good point. I'm glad I added that "if" to the end of my suggestion. I'm guessing you don't have a wood stove then and at a minimum need to be able to run a furnace blower during the night.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:14 am

mouses wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:42 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:09 pm

Our Generac was installed in a Generac-branded metal housing that has this egg-crate foam-looking "stuff' in the lid. I'm not sure about around the insides on the walls.
But when the lid is closed, the sound is muffled considerably.

RM
There is some stuff on the sides (not sure how many sides as I remember) that is thin and looks like it's covered with aluminum foil, no idea what it actually is, that was pointed out to me as sound insulation. I didn't think to look at the inside of the top, but will tomorrow.
"...some stuff on the sides... that is thin and looks like it is covered with aluminum foil..." ??

Your generator doesn't have a *hard* metal housing as the final outer surface?
This doesn't sound right at all.

RM
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:32 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:14 am
mouses wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:42 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:09 pm

Our Generac was installed in a Generac-branded metal housing that has this egg-crate foam-looking "stuff' in the lid. I'm not sure about around the insides on the walls.
But when the lid is closed, the sound is muffled considerably.

RM
There is some stuff on the sides (not sure how many sides as I remember) that is thin and looks like it's covered with aluminum foil, no idea what it actually is, that was pointed out to me as sound insulation. I didn't think to look at the inside of the top, but will tomorrow.
"...some stuff on the sides... that is thin and looks like it is covered with aluminum foil..." ??

Your generator doesn't have a *hard* metal housing as the final outer surface?
This doesn't sound right at all.

RM
It does have a hard metal housing. The "aluminum foil" looking stuff is on the insides of the housing.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:47 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:53 pm
I hope the OP has been instructed on how to change the oil in the generator. It should be done every 100 hours of operation (about 4 days of continuous operation) or once a year, whichever comes first. The replacement oil should be synthetic (I like Mobil 1), but Generac wants the first 100 hours to be run with conventional oil.
Well, I watched a youtube video about changing the oil, oil filter, and air filter; I certainly hope I don't have to do that and that that's what my service contract is for. I will ask the guy when he returns to do the final work.

I wonder if the amber needs service light goes on when the oil needs changing or if I am supposed to keep track of the sum of time it's run, that's another question to ask him.

Hopefully the manual answers some of this stuff.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by smitcat » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:59 am

mouses wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:47 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:53 pm
I hope the OP has been instructed on how to change the oil in the generator. It should be done every 100 hours of operation (about 4 days of continuous operation) or once a year, whichever comes first. The replacement oil should be synthetic (I like Mobil 1), but Generac wants the first 100 hours to be run with conventional oil.
Well, I watched a youtube video about changing the oil, oil filter, and air filter; I certainly hope I don't have to do that and that that's what my service contract is for. I will ask the guy when he returns to do the final work.

I wonder if the amber needs service light goes on when the oil needs changing or if I am supposed to keep track of the sum of time it's run, that's another question to ask him.

Hopefully the manual answers some of this stuff.
FWIW - When the weather is just great the service techs come by on a scheduled basis to do the PM required. When we had hurricane Sandy hit our area these same service techs were far over their head with both personal issues as well as a huge increase in work orders - with no clear way to contact them. About 10 days after Sandy the techs were starting to get to the calls that had come in when the power was out.
Similar to Willthrill81 above we went with a portable inverter genset that suits 80% of our needs for perhaps 10% of the costs. It is easily moved for our off site needs as well:
- work sites
- tailgating at major games
- tailgates with our college kids sports
- remote power when camping/boating
- power at relatives homes when required

ResearchMed
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Re: noisy generator

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:11 am

mouses wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:47 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:53 pm
I hope the OP has been instructed on how to change the oil in the generator. It should be done every 100 hours of operation (about 4 days of continuous operation) or once a year, whichever comes first. The replacement oil should be synthetic (I like Mobil 1), but Generac wants the first 100 hours to be run with conventional oil.
Well, I watched a youtube video about changing the oil, oil filter, and air filter; I certainly hope I don't have to do that and that that's what my service contract is for. I will ask the guy when he returns to do the final work.

I wonder if the amber needs service light goes on when the oil needs changing or if I am supposed to keep track of the sum of time it's run, that's another question to ask him.

Hopefully the manual answers some of this stuff.
About 2-3 years ago, we added a WiFi connection to our Generator, so it now "speaks to us" at least weekly :wink:

We get a text message each time it starts and stops, and if it's the test mode, the message is "Power Alerts: <Generator Name> running in exercise mode", followed a few minutes later by "... Ready to run". IF a service is needed, there is a message about that, too.
This is handy given that we travel a lot.

And we don't need to trek out in the snow to see if all is well with the generator (hopefully), although the weekly tests do give a lot of information, obviously.

RM
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Re: noisy generator

Post by Smoke » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:48 am

You might try something like this inside the gen housing, do not block any vents.

https://www.amazon.com/BXI-Soundproofin ... 7XXTA5E9EV

Seems inexpensive and waterproof, flame retardant.

I have never used it, but something like this may be an easy option.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:20 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:11 am
mouses wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:47 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:53 pm
I hope the OP has been instructed on how to change the oil in the generator. It should be done every 100 hours of operation (about 4 days of continuous operation) or once a year, whichever comes first. The replacement oil should be synthetic (I like Mobil 1), but Generac wants the first 100 hours to be run with conventional oil.
Well, I watched a youtube video about changing the oil, oil filter, and air filter; I certainly hope I don't have to do that and that that's what my service contract is for. I will ask the guy when he returns to do the final work.

I wonder if the amber needs service light goes on when the oil needs changing or if I am supposed to keep track of the sum of time it's run, that's another question to ask him.

Hopefully the manual answers some of this stuff.
About 2-3 years ago, we added a WiFi connection to our Generator, so it now "speaks to us" at least weekly :wink:

We get a text message each time it starts and stops, and if it's the test mode, the message is "Power Alerts: <Generator Name> running in exercise mode", followed a few minutes later by "... Ready to run". IF a service is needed, there is a message about that, too.
This is handy given that we travel a lot.

And we don't need to trek out in the snow to see if all is well with the generator (hopefully), although the weekly tests do give a lot of information, obviously.

RM
Wow, that's great. I will ask about that. Did you get that from Generac?

ResearchMed
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Re: noisy generator

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:32 pm

mouses wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:20 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:11 am
mouses wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:47 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:53 pm
I hope the OP has been instructed on how to change the oil in the generator. It should be done every 100 hours of operation (about 4 days of continuous operation) or once a year, whichever comes first. The replacement oil should be synthetic (I like Mobil 1), but Generac wants the first 100 hours to be run with conventional oil.
Well, I watched a youtube video about changing the oil, oil filter, and air filter; I certainly hope I don't have to do that and that that's what my service contract is for. I will ask the guy when he returns to do the final work.

I wonder if the amber needs service light goes on when the oil needs changing or if I am supposed to keep track of the sum of time it's run, that's another question to ask him.

Hopefully the manual answers some of this stuff.
About 2-3 years ago, we added a WiFi connection to our Generator, so it now "speaks to us" at least weekly :wink:

We get a text message each time it starts and stops, and if it's the test mode, the message is "Power Alerts: <Generator Name> running in exercise mode", followed a few minutes later by "... Ready to run". IF a service is needed, there is a message about that, too.
This is handy given that we travel a lot.

And we don't need to trek out in the snow to see if all is well with the generator (hopefully), although the weekly tests do give a lot of information, obviously.

RM
Wow, that's great. I will ask about that. Did you get that from Generac?
The "guy" who serviced our Generac put it in.
I forget the price, but it wasn't outrageous, and the convenience/peace of mind... not quite "priceless" but close!

It's connected to our house WiFi, so that's probably necessary to have. But... here you are posting, so you probably do, right? ;-)

RM
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mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:39 pm

I just talked to Generac. They're in cahoots with something called MobileLink that will email or text. Doesn't say anything about wifi. Looks like it's some cellular connection. Not sure I want to fork out $295 for the device and $99 a year for their cellular service when I already have cellular service. I will have to look at things a bit more.

If yours is using wifi, perhaps it is from some different company that the Generacs will interface with...

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Re: noisy generator

Post by lazydavid » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:55 pm

mouses wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:47 am
Well, I watched a youtube video about changing the oil, oil filter, and air filter; I certainly hope I don't have to do that and that that's what my service contract is for. I will ask the guy when he returns to do the final work.
In the event you wind up without power for days at a time, you have to be willing to either:
A) change the oil yourself
B) go without power
C) replace a failed generator

Your service contract will not help you during a widespread, week-log outage.

ResearchMed
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Re: noisy generator

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:19 pm

mouses wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:39 pm
I just talked to Generac. They're in cahoots with something called MobileLink that will email or text. Doesn't say anything about wifi. Looks like it's some cellular connection. Not sure I want to fork out $295 for the device and $99 a year for their cellular service when I already have cellular service. I will have to look at things a bit more.

If yours is using wifi, perhaps it is from some different company that the Generacs will interface with...
Well, I would have sworn it was on our WiFi, but... it's not. :oops:
DH just checked.

It must be that same annual fee, as it is indeed a link with Generac. With the online "Generac account", we can see the total number of hours it has "run" (cumulative separately for testing, and for "real backups"), and also a few other things monitored, including the condition of the battery.
(For something like $99/yr, we'd have said yes for this SWAN factor, regardless of "where" we are actually sleeping!)

We are trying to check more carefully for any forgotten, recurring fees that are on auto-bill. But this is one that we'll keep.
We'll need to change the other "recipient" of those text messages to a new electrical company (also Generac authorized) that is closer; they'll be taking over soon and doing some rewiring, etc.

We are getting more and more interested in not dealing with "home ownership and maintenance".
Unfortunately - AND fortunately :wink: - DH still absolutely loves this house... so here we are, still...

RM
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mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:34 pm

:-)

Life gets more and more complicated...

What I will do about the oil situation is talk to the guy, stock up on oil, an oil filter, and an air filter under the theory that if there is a widespread problem those will be at hand regardless of who does this, and have him take me through changing the stuff. As a fall back, my good guy neighbor who I am pretty sure maintains his own generator can help me out if I get stuck.

Ron
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Re: noisy generator

Post by Ron » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:34 pm

Changing oil on a Generac standby unit is fairly simple. It takes me (at the most) about 10-15 minutes to do.

Here's a step by step instruction:

https://www.hunker.com/13409529/how-to- ... -generator

The only step I'll add is to remove the dipstick. That allows air pressure to equalize and let the oil drain quicker.

BTW, the oil change frequency on the newer units is 2 years/200 hours after the original break in period, FWIW.

- Ron

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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:09 pm

Thanks, Everyone, this has all been very useful.

Ron, what is "the original break in period" to get to the 200 hour interval?

I did grub through some Generac document that said 100 hours, but I am not even sure that was my model. I've just had three major house projects finishing up and my brain is shot :-) I clearly have to get organized.

Ron
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Re: noisy generator

Post by Ron » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:28 pm

mouses wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:09 pm
<snip> Ron, what is "the original break in period" to get to the 200 hour interval?
Since my unit is just over 5 years old, the new units may have different requirements. That being the case, I'm not going to suggest what you should do for your unit.

Rather than depend on your installer (who may not be Generac certified), just give them a call at 1-888-436-3722. If you have the serial number, they can look it up for you and give you specifics on your unit for start up/break in requirements.

- Ron

mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:43 pm

I'll post an update when I know more, in case it's useful to others.

The installer is an authorized dealer and service place.

If the generic documentation for a bunch of the Generac generators is correct, it comes with wireless. The mobile link writeup is quite murky. However, apparently using the homeowner's wifi is now the default, but they can also use cellular. It is not clear what it costs for a mobile link "subscription," which seems to possibly be the data notices to the homeowner/service place and web access.

Generators on Sched. A go 200 hours before oil changes, on Sched B 400 hours, but no idea what Sched mine is on. The menu on the generator is supposed to tell me. No mention in the documentation of a shorter initial time.

Hopefully the main installer guy, who was supposed to be here today, will be here in the next few days and answer my questions plus set up the mobile link, as I am clutching his last check in my hand :-)

ResearchMed
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Re: noisy generator

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:02 pm

mouses wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:43 pm
I'll post an update when I know more, in case it's useful to others.

The installer is an authorized dealer and service place.

If the generic documentation for a bunch of the Generac generators is correct, it comes with wireless. The mobile link writeup is quite murky. However, apparently using the homeowner's wifi is now the default, but they can also use cellular. It is not clear what it costs for a mobile link "subscription," which seems to possibly be the data notices to the homeowner/service place and web access.

Generators on Sched. A go 200 hours before oil changes, on Sched B 400 hours, but no idea what Sched mine is on. The menu on the generator is supposed to tell me. No mention in the documentation of a shorter initial time.

Hopefully the main installer guy, who was supposed to be here today, will be here in the next few days and answer my questions plus set up the mobile link, as I am clutching his last check in my hand :-)
Please let us know if you find that it can now be done by WiFi.
We'll be having some work done, and I'd like to know if they can/will switch it, assuming that is possible now.
We'll report back, too, but it sounds like your scheduling is ahead of ours.

Thanks.

RM
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mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:49 am

RM,

The guy is not here yet, but I was talking to Generac on the phone, and apparently there is a wifi module in the generator or a cellular module. Mine came with the wifi module he says. I am assuming you have the cellular module. I would guess you can buy a wifi module...

ResearchMed
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Re: noisy generator

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:21 am

mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:49 am
RM,

The guy is not here yet, but I was talking to Generac on the phone, and apparently there is a wifi module in the generator or a cellular module. Mine came with the wifi module he says. I am assuming you have the cellular module. I would guess you can buy a wifi module...
Thanks!

I'll ask about that when I schedule the next visit, including re-wiring.
No need for a second visit if they can do it all at once :-)
I'm assuming it wouldn't cost more than a year or two (or 3?) of the other service.

RM
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mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:24 am

The guy was here, but I was going crazy talking to people doing another project also. My take away is the 100/200/400 whatever hours for an oil change is too long and he prefers to do that sooner. I will ask him more clearly when he comes back to do the mobile link stuff. I punted on that because my wifi is an undependable mobile hotspot and we decided to wait until I got a router up.

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Re: noisy generator

Post by Luke Duke » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:45 am

mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:24 am
The guy was here, but I was going crazy talking to people doing another project also. My take away is the 100/200/400 whatever hours for an oil change is too long and he prefers to do that sooner.
Of course he does. Just like the Quick Lube places want you to change your oil every 3000 miles.

mouses
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Re: noisy generator

Post by mouses » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:55 am

Acoustiblok has documents they sent me of a sound deadening enclosure for Generacs. Looks very nice. No way for me to upload the documents. You have to build it yourself or hire someone.

By the way, if the generator detects low oil, it shuts itself off. I don't know if it detects dirty oil.

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