Why Is My Generator Making So Much Noise?

Causes & Potential Solutions for a Noisy Standby Generator

standby generator

Power outages can be frustrating, especially during a storm or natural disaster. Having a standby generator in Norfolk, VA, provides not only comfort but also safety when the lights go out. However, if your standby generator is making loud noises, it can be irritating. The following are possible causes of a noisy standby generator and potential solutions to restore the peace and quiet in your home:

Loose or Worn-Out Parts

A loose or missing bolt, screw, or clamp can cause unwanted vibrations which result in a humming or rattling noise. Check all the bolts and clamps on your generator and ensure they are sufficiently tightened. If any parts are missing, you should have them replaced immediately to avoid further damage to the generator.

Imbalanced Fan Blades

If the fan blades on your generator are imbalanced, they can create a lot of unnecessary noise. To solve this problem, try balancing the blades using a kit specifically designed for that purpose. If the problem persists, you may need to replace the fan blades altogether. You can contact a professional generator repair team to fix this issue.

Damaged Exhaust System

The exhaust system may also be the culprit of a noisy generator. When the muffler is damaged, clogged, or disconnected, it may result in a loud popping or rumbling noise. A professional technician can help solve the issue by cleaning or repairing the mufflers and exhaust pipes.

Dirty Air Filters

A dirty or clogged air filter can also cause noise in your standby generator. During operation, the generator requires a consistent flow of air to facilitate proper combustion and keep the engine cool. When the air filter is dirty, it may cause the engine to work harder than necessary, resulting in unwanted noise. Regular air filter maintenance is necessary to keep your generator quiet and efficiently running.


Fuel System Issues

If the fuel system in your standby generator isn’t properly maintained, it can lead to unwanted noise. Over time, the fuel filter may become clogged with debris, and the fuel injectors may become stuck in either an opened or closed position. Both of these scenarios lead to a louder generator. The best solution is to have a professional technician perform a complete fuel system cleaning and repair.

Low Fuel Levels

When your generator runs low on fuel, it can begin to sputter and make a lot of noise. Make sure to keep your generator’s fuel tank topped up at all times, and consider investing in a larger fuel tank if you frequently experience power outages.

Battery Problems

If your generator’s battery is weak or dying, it can cause the generator to run irregularly and create a lot of noise. Check your battery regularly and replace it as needed to keep your generator running smoothly.

Improper Placement

Where you place your generator can also have a big impact on how noisy it is. Avoid placing it near windows or in enclosed spaces, which can amplify the noise. Instead, choose a location that’s away from the house and any neighbors and that provides ample ventilation to help reduce noise levels.


If your generator is running too hot, it can create a lot of noise as it struggles to keep up with demand. Check your generator’s cooling system regularly to make sure that it’s working properly and consider investing in additional cooling options if necessary.

Regular Maintenance

Regular generator maintenance is essential for ensuring your generator operates efficiently and provides the required electricity during an outage. Like any machine, your generator requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly and quietly. Make sure to keep up with regular maintenance tasks like oil changes, air filter replacements, and spark plug replacements to reduce noise levels.

Choose Hutton for Generator Services

If you notice unsettling noises coming from your generator, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional to address the issue to minimize further damage. At Hutton Electric, Heating & Air, we are committed to providing high-quality services for standby generators, ensuring your safety, comfort, and peace of mind. Our team serves Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and surrounding areas.

Call Hutton at 757-302-8770 to schedule generator repairs in the Hampton Roads area.

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