GENERATORS AND NOISE

From time to time as people consider buying generators they want to know how loud it can be depending on the intended use since for domestic applications you would want something relatively silent. Generator noise is usually given as decibels just like any other sound producing apparatus. The decibel which is normally abbreviated dBA is the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound. Our human ears are amazingly sensitive; a person’s ears can distinguish between wide ranging sounds such brushing their fingers on a notepad to the loudest explosion or Jet aircraft.

When looking at generators and their noise levels, they are normally considered and measured within the industry at a given distance, some will be given at about 1m or mostly 7m but it will be indicated on the generator the decibel level on the generator and at what distance. Below is a chart to give you an idea about decibel intensities taken from Encarta 2005;

0 – Threshold of hearing

10 – Rustle of leaves, a quiet whisper

20 – Average whisper

20-50 – Quiet conversation

40-45 – Hotel, theater between performances

50-65 – Loud conversation

65-70 – Traffic on a busy street

65-90 – Train

75-80 – Factory noise (light/medium work)

90 – Heavy traffic

90-100 – Thunder

110-140 – Jet aircraft at takeoff

130 – Threshold of pain

140-190 – Space rocket on takeoff

Generally a generator that one person considers quiet another person can deem noisy. If you are looking for a generator and are considering the noise levels it always good you have it tested so that you gauge for yourself but then again on the other hand it is not possible to find one that is completely silent.

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