How Long does it Take a Generator to Start Supplying Power, if the Power is Out?

You’re going about your business, but then the power goes out and everything is dark. You get that sinking feeling in your chest because you know that your plans have been derailed. What you feel is a type of disappointment combined with the irritation that your time is going to be spent on dealing with the power outage.

When you have a standby generator attached to your home or business, the scenario is a bit different:

You are going about your business, the power goes out, everything is dark, but the emotion you feel is not the same as a person who doesn’t have a generator because you know that your generator is going to start supplying power any second.

The moment the power level drops below acceptable, the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) notifies the generator that it needs to start. It then takes mere seconds for the generator to replace the utility power.

This means the person with the generator is then able to continue what they are doing, not worrying about the fact there is no power.

For a homeowner, this allows for normal activities to occur within the home. Food doesn’t spoil, any electrical medical devices don’t have to shut down, and appliances can be operated. For the business with a commercial standby generator, business as usual can continue. This means that you are going to be able to keep your bottom line intact while the business down the street is going to have to close their doors to business.

Usually when a business has to shut their doors to business during a power outage, the losses can be greater than investing in a standby generator. Take a retail establishment, for instance, they may have backup power that lasts for so long, giving customers a chance to check out. However, they don’t have power beyond a specific amount of time and that causes them to have to close. In other cases, there is no backup power source and that means their customers either have to leave their purchases and leave the store or the purchases have to be checked out manually. Manual checkout can be time consuming for larger establishments that rely on barcodes to determine the price of an item.

So know that when you have a standby generator, you will only be without power for seconds, which is a very mild inconvenience. In the Twin Cities, power outages happen once in a while because of the weather or failure in the power grid. By being prepared, you minimize inconvenience and/or monetary losses.