Why Does My Generator Occasionally Start up on Its Own?

Owning a home standby generator can bring round-the-clock peace-of-mind, knowing that even in the worst outages your power will always be on. With this in mind, a standby generator is used for backup-power situations—meaning that most of the time, your generator sits idle.

To ensure everything functions properly when called upon, Briggs & Stratton home standby generators are equipped with self-diagnostic technology that can detect any potential problems related to fuel, starting, or any other component failures before the starting in an outage situation. To do this, the generator starts up automatically and briefly runs, which is referred to as an “exercise”. Briggs & Stratton offers a 16-second weekly exercise cycle with options to set longer or less frequent depending on the requirements. Typically, a 16-second weekly exercise cycle is all that is needed to ensure the unit is ready to run when it is needed. With monitoring technology like Infohub, any potential problems can even be automatically sent to your dealer or service provider for immediate repair. 

Though this process is extremely discreet (most customers may not even notice it), hearing your generator briefly start up and shut down automatically shouldn’t be a concern. If you notice the generator continuing to run (upwards of 45 minutes), this is likely an extended exercise that occurs twice a year in the Spring and Fall. This is done to burn off excess fuel and is explained in more detail in our Generator Quick Start Guide. If you have any questions or concerns related to your generator’s exercise, contact your Briggs & Stratton dealer.


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