March 2, 2023

If the Main Breaker Is off Will the Standby Generator Switch On?

A backup generator for your home can be a lifesaver when storms, fires, or other events cause your electricity to go out. A generator can provide temporary power for your lights, your heating and cooling system, your refrigerator and freezer, and any other devices that you feel you absolutely need during a power outage.

Portable Generators

Portable generators, available in various sizes and power outputs, can come in handy if you need power for activities such as camping or tailgating. With these generators, you merely start them up and plug in any devices you need.

If you’re going to use a portable generator at home however, it’s very important for you to know that you should turn off the main breaker in your home’s electrical panel when the generator is running. This will protect the electrical system in your home when the power is restored from the grid. If you fail to turn off the main breaker, you risk damaging the items that are running on power from the generator with a power surge once the power grid is back up. Running a generator when the main breaker is on can even cause a fire once power is restored. You can switch off your main breaker manually, or by the use of a transfer switch.

Generator with a Editable Stroke

Automatic Standby Generators

If you have an automatic standby generator, things work a little differently. The automatic standby generator is connected to your home’s electrical system via a transfer switch. When the transfer switch detects that your power has gone out, the electronics in the generator switch it on to restore power in your home.

Once power is restored from the grid, the transfer switch is once more alerted to that fact, and it directs the generator to disengage. After the restoration of power, the generator will continue to run for a minute or two performing a cool down cycle. Once the generator has cooled down sufficiently, the generator will turn itself off to be ready for the next power outage.

If you have any questions or concerns about the use of a standby generator, you should check with the professionals at Seidel  Electric Inc. We are a family owned and operated electrical contracting firm that has served the Blairstown, New Jersey area since 1944.  We specialize in meeting the needs of our community for residential electrical work, indoor and outdoor lighting, home entertainment lighting, and electrical project design services. Our fully trained technicians meet the highest professional standards in the industry and provide outstanding customer service. We are experts when it comes to reputable generator installation and have earned the designation as a Generac Power Pro Professional company. 

If you would like information about the products and services we offer, visit our website or give us a call at 908-760-6941.