Generator Noise Level Information

Noise Level Information

The decibel, sometimes abbreviated dBA, is the unit used to measure the loudness of a sound. The human ear is extraordinarily sensitive, allowing its owner to differentiate between the quietest noises (like brushing fingers on a notepad) and the loudest explosions (or jet planes). To give you an idea of how much louder a jet plane is compared to the quietest audible sound, consider this:

The absolute minimum audible sound, which is very close to silence, is represented by 0 dB on the decibel scale. In terms of how loud something is, a boost of 10 decibels is equivalent to a 10-fold rise.

The standard height at which generators are evaluated and compared in the business is 7 metres. To comply with EEC requirements, all generators must be labelled in LWA, a separate measurement of sound taken from a different distance. A quiet Honda EU20i, for instance, registers 52 dBA at 7 metres on the LWA scale, equivalent to about 88 decibels. All items have LWA markings; however, many fall short of the industry-standard 7-meter threshold.

Above 115 dBA is pain threshold; fast-acting hearing damage in short action is possible.

Some examples of everyday noises, along with their corresponding decibel levels, are as follows:

dBANoise Example
190Heavy weapons, 10m behind the weapon (maximum level)
180Toy pistol fired close to ear (maximum level)
170Slap on the ear, fire cracker explodes on shoulder, small arms at a distance of 50cm (maximum level)
160Hammer stroke on brass tubing or steel plate at 1m distance
150Hammer stroke in a smithy at 5m distance (maximum level)
130Loud hand clapping at 1m distance (maximum level)
120Whistle at 1m distance, test run of a jet at 15m distance
115Take-off sound of planes at 10m distance
110Siren at 10m distance, frequent sound level in discotheques and close to loudspeakers at rock concerts, violin close to the ear of an orchestra musicians (maximum level)
105Chain saw at 1 m distance, banging car door at 1m distance (maximum level), racing car at 40m distance, possible level withmusic head phones
100Frequent level with music via head phones, jack hammer at 10m distance
95Loud crying, hand circular saw at 1m distance
90Petrol Lawnmower
852-stroke chain-saw at 10m distance, loud WC flush at 1m distance
80Very loud traffic noise of passing lorries at 7.5m distance, high traffic on an expressway at 25m distance
75Passing car at 7.5m distance, un-silenced wood shredder at 10m distance
70Level close to a main road by day, quiet hair dryer at 1m distance to ear
65Normal Conversation
55Low volume of radio or TV at 1 m distance, noisy vacuum cleaner at 10 m distance
50Refrigerator at 1m distance, bird twitter outside at 15 m distance
45Noise of normal living; talking, or radio in the background
35Very quiet room fan at low speed at 1m distance
25Sound of breathing at 1m distance
0Auditory threshold

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