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Quiet a Briggs and Stratton model 197412 8hp generator engine.

This is a discussion on Quiet a Briggs and Stratton model 197412 8hp generator engine. within the Small Engines forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Had a power outtage all night and day july3rd through the 4th. Kept my neighbors up with the noise. I


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Old 07-06-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
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Had a power outtage all night and day july3rd through the 4th. Kept my neighbors up with the noise. I have to find a way to replace or otherwise quiet this generator motor. I need the quickest and surest solution. My one neighbor said to run the muffler line in a tub of water? Don't know where to start but did see some after market mufflers at some expense!
Any simpler or cheaper ideas? I need this to work before the next power outtage. We get several a year.

Also, this 12 year old engine (but not used that much) surges and sputters at as it runs and prevents me from using my window airconditioner. It cuts the power and the air condo starts to stop turning.

Changed spark plug and checked air cleaner. No help.

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Old 07-07-2012, 11:41 AM   #2
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As far as the running problem goes, the carburetor is probably in need of a good cleaning or rebuild. For the noise, I would hardly recommend putting the muffler underwater. The engine will run hotter and you will certainly lose horsepower as well. Buy a bigger muffler that uses regular pipe thread and adapt it on there.

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Old 07-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #3
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As KB suggested – your best approach is to start with a bigger after market muffler or maybe a series of them and I would definitely NOT be putting the exhaust into a water bath.

As KB suggested, get hold of an adapter that allows you to connect a larger “conventional” muffler and maybe you could get hold of a couple of used ones from a small car from an auto wrecker and see how you go. If you do this, you will need to independently support the larger muffler/s as your little Briggs engine is not designed to support that kind of weight.

Silencing engines (or any other machinery) is one of the “black arts” of engineering – so you maybe in for a bit of trial and error before you get a satisfactory solution. Most mufflers work by a combination of reflecting sound waves back on themselves so that the reflected waves cancel out the incoming waves - plus a sound absorbing function which is usually done by reflecting the waves back onto an irregular / rough surface that cause the reflected wave to split up and bounce back on itself – hence cancelling out the noise.

The noise is vibration / shock waves and are generated by both the engine firing = exhaust noise + the internal noise of the engines moving parts. These waves are reflected by hard surfaces and tend to be absorbed by soft surfaces – so in addition to better muffling – you need to erect a barrier on all sides around the gen set that will absorb the internal engine noise but still allow lots of air flow so your air cooled engine doesn’t “cook itself” in the heat.

I guess all this sounds like a real PiA – but killing noise is always a tedious problem. If you have a look at a new model “silenced” gen-set you will see how they are kept quiet and you might get some tips / ideas on what you need to do. Good luck with this one
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
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Wow, thanks for the information. I thought the water idea sounded a bit too simple. I'll start trying things and post what worked and what didn't.

I guess I could always move to the country!
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:23 PM   #5
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cmiri19 - you are most welcome

Another thought that would be cheaper - do you have space in your yard to move the gen set as far away from your neighbours as possible - maybe down along the back fence and see if you can cover it with a "dog kennel" that open enough for the unit to breathe. I know it sounds rough but noise attenuates over distance and whilst not a proper solution - might keep you of trouble in the short term. But you will need a really good quality extension cable so you don't get too much line loss.

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