This is a small feature in the complex dominated by Grand Geyser, and its eruptions usually precede by a few minutes to hours those of its mighty neighbor. (It is not a reliable predictor for Grand, however, even though experienced gazers tend to get mildly excited when they see it.) Because its vent is near the sites previously occupied by the defunct North Triplet and East Triplet Geysers, and because it was not active (or at least not noticed) before 1970, the possibility exists that its current play is a manifestation of the thermal energy that once powered the Triplets. However, T. S. Bryan has obtained photographic evidence that all three of the Triplets and Percolator were seen in eruption prior to 1900, so the relationship of Percolator to its dormant or dead neighbors is unclear. Note that Percolator does not appear to be linked directly to the "Sputniks," a group of small features also occupying the area where the Triplets once played.
Eruptions usually last a few minutes and reach heights of 2 feet or so.