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The only way to check the health of a residential standby generator is to test it. Periodic testing is essential since it lets you know whether or not your generator will work in an emergency.

Note: If you work at a business with a commercial-sized generator, learn more about our full-load bank testing services.

Why Non-Emergency Generator Testing is Crucial 

Your generator needs to be maintained just like your car does. 

But the reality is that home generators often lie unused after installation and initial tests. So, needless to say, it’s a terrible idea to wait until an emergency to find out how reliable your home generator is. 

Thankfully, many modern residential generators automatically test themselves. While this has advantages, nothing can replace manually turning off power to test the generator in emergency conditions. This assures you that your generator works and can alert you to repairs or maintenance before an outage happens.

How to Test Your Residential Standby Generator

A residential standby generator connects directly to a fuel source like propane or natural gas before connecting to a mainline circuit breaker. Your home’s main utility line may be in a box inside or in the garage or basement.

Don’t be intimidated by this technology, though—testing it simple! Here are four easy steps to do it:

  1. Flip the mainline breaker OFF. Flipping the main utility disconnect will cut power from the incoming utility line and force the standby generator on. 
  2. Listen for the generator to turn on and the transfer switch to click. Transfer switches are most commonly responsible for sending power from incoming utilities or generating power throughout the house. The generator may run for a few seconds before the transfer switch clicks. This is because the transfer switch is waiting to ensure the incoming power is stable.
  3. Let your generator run for about 10 minutes. Then, give your generator time to warm up and “exercise.” This is a good time to walk through your home and check to see that power fully returns. 
  4. After running a test, be sure to turn the mainline breaker ON.  Once you’ve done this, wait for the transfer switch to click and the generator to return to standby.

Record the Test and Follow Up If Needed

As a general rule, test your generator a few times a year. You can also do so as needed. It’s always a good idea to run a test before hurricane season or a major storm headed toward Myrtle Beach.

Keep a record of your test in a notebook or electronic device you can readily access. If you experience any problems, contact a residential generator specialist for a more thorough test and inspection.

Get in Touch

The Cooper family has been serving the Myrtle Beach area’s HVAC and electrical needs since 1989. We’re proud to deliver comprehensive commercial generator sales, service, and repair to complement our HVAC and electrical services. We’re ready to keep you up and running during the next emergency.

Don’t put off generator maintenance until a hurricane is on the way. Schedule your appointment or Call Cooper at 843-626-3689 today!