Electricity has turned out to be an important aspect of our daily life. It is almost everything in your home. Sometimes we tend to take electricity for granted until it becomes unavailable. An abrupt and unexpected loss of electricity also called a power outage, can affect everything negatively, from cooking and storing food to working and other night activities. It can affect several blocks, an entire neighborhood, or even a whole town. It can happen randomly without warning and go on for hours or days. So you need to know how to report a power outage.
You can restore power by reporting an outage to your power supplier once it occurs. This will help them fix the problem and restore power to your property.
Read more to know what to do if you’re experiencing a power outage in your location and where to report the problem.
Types of Power Outages
Before we get into how to report a power outage in your area, we must understand different types of power outages.
Though it is called a permanent fault, it is not permanent. This type of outage entails unusual or unbalanced current, voltage, or flow disruption. After the fault is fixed, electricity resumes. It’s a permanent fault since it can’t reset or fix itself without somebody fixing it.
A blackout happens when the entire system fails. It is the most serious power outage. With a blackout, it can be hard to recover power, particularly when power stations trip and knock off the grid. A blackout outage can stay for hours, days, and even weeks.
A brownout differs from a blackout in that power is temporarily less in a brownout and not completely cut. A brownout outage can prevent the grid from overloading, resulting in a total blackout.
Rolling brownouts happen when the utility provider reduces power section by section. It happens with advance notice and usually lasts for a set time. Rolling brownout is intentionally created by utility companies to cope with the demands of peak power that the existing electricity supply cannot meet.
Rolling blackouts typically affect just a particular service area. Your energy provider usually spreads these short-term blackouts among diverse service areas to make sure that no consumer suffers more than the other. This differs from a planned outage, commonly announced by when repair work will happen in a certain area.
How to Report a Power Outage in Your Area
Reporting power outages is necessary to speedily restore power in cases involving permanent faults. But how do you report a power outage in your area? Before you report a power outage, check if your neighbor’s electricity is also out. You’ll be sure that it’s indeed a power outage and not a personal case. You must find your local TDSP (Transmission and Distribution Service Provider) and call them. TDSP also provides support in restoring electricity to your home.
Your utility provider owns and operates the power wires that bring voltage into your business or home. They are responsible for maintaining the poles, lines, and meters. This means they are the ones you are supposed to call and report an outage in your area.
How to Check Power Outages in Your Area
To check the status of the outage and an anticipated restoration time, search for your address on the United States outage map. Then, click on the ‘circular outage’ icon, which will take you to the “Outage Information” screen with all the information about power outages in your area. On this “Outage Information” screen, you can check the ERT (estimated restoration time) and when the report about the outage was done. Here, you can see the cause as well as the restoration status. Some utility companies may give you a timeframe for restoring the power.
All utility companies have a customer service line. Most have a special number to contact and report power outages. A way to report to them is also using the company’s website. The outage can be fixed only by the company which maintains Power Lines in Your area. It’s very important to report a power outage in the right channel. The sooner you call those responsible for power lines in your area, the sooner they will address the problem.
Benefits of Reporting a Power Outage
Power outages have direct as well as indirect effects on almost everything in daily activities. A power outage might:
- Interrupt communications and transportation
- Close businesses, gas stations, banks, ATMs, grocery stores, and other services.
- Cause water contamination and food spoilage
- Disrupt the use of medical devices
When a power outage is reported and addressed in time, it will help to prevent the following:
- Health problems such as temperature-related diseases, gastrointestinal illness, respiratory, cardiovascular, and renal disease hospitalizations, particularly for those relying on power-dependent medical equipment
- Disruption of the use of medical devices
- Loss of productivity in businesses results in less supply and, thus, a loss of income. To finish the tasks, you may require paying workers overtime to compensate for the lost time, which could cause a budget overrun.
- Data loss
- Supply Chain Ripples
- Ineffective Customer Care
- Disruption in communications and transportation
- Water contamination and food spoilage
- Reduce carbon monoxide-related deaths when using alternative sources of fuel
- Mitigate the risk of damage to sensitive electrical equipment
- Enhance security
The Common Cause of Reported Power Outages
Below are the most common causes of power outages
Weather, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, and floods are some natural disasters that can cause havoc on systems. Though less common, tidal waves and volcanic eruptions can cause power outages. These major occurrences can damage transformers and transmission lines and destroy substations.
Severe weather is the most common cause of power outages. However, there’s usually more than one cause of a power outage. Lightning can fall a tree on power lines, while heavy rains can cause mudslides or floods. Too much heat or cold can also spoil the mechanism of the electricity grid. Let’s not talk about hurricane season.
Accidents near power lines can cause power outages. A truck or vehicle can lose control, hit an electricity pole, and fall power lines and equipment. A disaster can happen due to a driver’s impairment, a short lapse of attention, or a slippery pavement. Power outages from accidents typically affect a small area.
Power lines alongside the road are prone to damage from falling branches and trees. Extreme winds and the weight of heavy ice or snow can break the trees bringing down electricity poles and wires. A power outage can occur after an unhealthy or old tree falls over without warning. Big trees planted on your property should be located well away from power lines to avoid possible hazards associated with trees growing too close to power lines.
The power equipment can be faulty or wear out with age, just like any other equipment. Insulators can rust and break, while transformers can fail. Cable insulation can snap, and wires can crack. Power distribution needs complex equipment. This equipment can stop working appropriately in several ways, leading to numerous cases of power failure.
High Power Demand
High power demand is a common and unanticipated cause of a power blackout. It is usually caused by excess people drawing too much electricity in a particular area. For instance, the air conditioner in every house might be working during a hot summer day, overloading the system. This can result in an outage.
Damage From Construction Work
Many times, power outages occur as a result of avoidable accidents. They occur because of human error. Equipment from construction sites can fall into electricity poles. Landscapers and excavators can damage underground lines.
Planned Power Outages
Some power outages are planned. The electricity supplier can have reasons for it, such as when they want to conduct normal maintenance.
Planned power outages don’t occur often and depend on the age and the system configuration. The suppliers do their best to inform you about the plane outage.
Find Out More About Power Outages With ONIT Home
A power outage doesn’t mean taking supper using candlelight. For homeowners, it can result in wasting perishable food and burst pipes, which result in water damage. It can also cause severe damage to valuable electronics. Businesses get affected too. Power outage affects overall performance, resulting in increased economic costs, a drop in produced quantities, and an instant decrease in sales and productivity. Many power suppliers are equipped with digital systems that detect power outages automatically. However, some companies still rely on client notifications to get information and manage blackouts and other kinds of faults in the electrical supply. So, this is why it’s important to know how to report a power outage.
Get in touch with ONIT Home and get life back on track and prepare your home for power outages with renewable energy. Our solar experts will install solar energy systems in your home to ensure reliable power throughout the year. You’ll never have to worry about power outages, just call ONIT Home today at 1-833-433-0331 and speak to our experts.