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How Long Does It Take a Backup Generator to Turn on When a Power Outage Occurs?

Power outage

A whole house backup generator can be a real lifesaver for your home or business – literally, if someone in your home relies on medical equipment. That’s more true today than ever, with power outages happening far more regularly than they did just a decade ago.

But how much do you know about propane whole house generators? Here are six questions and answers to get you up to speed. If you have more, contact us and ask.

  • How long does it take for your system to turn on when a power outage occurs? Your power system will start and switch power to your home within 10-20 seconds. The generator itself will run for a few seconds to stabilize voltage before power is switched from the grid to the generator.
  • How loud is a backup generator? Although a backup generator is surrounded by a sound-damping case, it still makes a noise just as any engine would. When operating, sound levels typically reach somewhere in the 60-70 decibel range – about the equivalent of the sound of a car running at highway speed. However, some new models have quiet modes and enhanced features designed to bring that noise level down significantly.
  • How long does it take for the backup generator to disengage? A generator will continue to run for an additional couple of minutes once power is restored to ensure that stable power is available from the utility, and to allow the generator to cool before shut down.
  • How big is a backup generator? Although the size of a backup generator depends on its kilowatt rating, they typically stand about 2 feet deep by 4 feet across by roughly 2.5 feet in height – about the size of a central air conditioning unit (it resembles a central A/C unit with a cover on it).
  • What size propane generator do I need for my home? The size of the generator you need depends on what you intend to power with it. Large units are needed to keep HVAC systems up and running; smaller ones are adequate to keep lights and essential appliances on line. To get a better sense of how large a unit you need, contact our generator specialists today.
  • What do I have to do to maintain my backup generator? Like any mechanical device, your backup generator needs to be properly maintained if you expect it to operate correctly when you need it most. Professional generator service – including oil changes, filter changes, battery maintenance, and other check-ups – should be performed at least once per year, or once every 100 hours of operation, whichever comes first.

Want to learn more about propane backup generators? Our specialists are here to help. Contact us today to learn more, or to get a free, no obligation estimate for your Finger Lakes-area home or business.