Understanding Electrical Power Drops

July 3, 2021

Installing a backup generator is more complex than having an appliance delivered to your home because it is connected directly to your home’s electrical system.  In order to safely connect your generator, there will be a temporary loss of power to your home. 

What type of power disconnect will be required?

Sometimes this is a local disconnect that can be performed by the electrician. At other times it requires a pre-scheduled power drop through your utility provider. The type of disconnect and length of power loss depends upon the details of your project, the setup of your electrical system, and the standard practices of your utility provider and building inspector. 

Your Canter Customer Experience Coordinator (CEC) will ascertain whether your installation will require a temporary disconnect by the electrician or a power drop by the utility provider. Once your CEC knows the answer, she/he will confer with you and plan the next steps.

What can I expect with a power drop by the utility provider?

If the electrician determines that a power drop is necessary to connect your generator to your electrical utility’s power supply, your CEC will help you coordinate this with your utility provider in order to best align with your electrical installation. The lead time for a power drop varies by utility company and in some cases, the homeowner must authorize it directly. If that is necessary, the CEC will instruct you on how to provide that authorization.

On the day of installation, the electrician can begin work to prepare your generator prior to the power drop.  Once your electric utility drops your power, the electrician can safely connect your generator. Typically an on-site inspection is required at that point before your power can be restored. Once this inspection has been completed, the building inspector will notify the utility provider that power can be safely restored. Your CEC and the electrician will work diligently to ensure that power is restored as quickly as possible. In almost all cases, power is restored that same day. 

What if installation takes more than one day?

Your electrical installation will usually take place over the course of one day. However, in more complex projects, the installation may take more than one day to complete. Your CEC will advise you beforehand if your project will require a multi-day installation. If it does, the electrician will try to consolidate all work that requires a power drop into a single day to limit disruption for you.

In the rare event that power will be off overnight — usually due to your locality’s inspection schedule — the electrician will strive to ensure that your generator can provide power to your home until your electrical service can be restored.

Convenience Guaranteed

But don’t worry. Canter customers are covered by our unique Inconvenience Guarantee. Canter covers hotel costs if you are without power for more than four hours for any reason and need overnight accommodations.

Once you are connected, your generator comes on automatically within a few minutes any time it detects a power outage.  And your life goes on! 

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