Electricity flows to and from your home through power lines. You know that part. Occasionally, something comes into contact with a line and interrupts this flow. That’s what we call a “fault,” and they can be caused by a variety of things, from tree branches touching a line, to lightning strikes, or small animals or birds making contact with energized lines.
If a fault occurs, you may also experience a power blink that lasts a few seconds, or just long enough for your microwave’s clock to give up on life. These blinks are the result of protective devices, such as reclosers and cutouts, working like they should to prevent prolonged outages.
When reclosers and cutouts detect a fault on a line, they’ll open connectivity for a few seconds, or in other words, stop the flow of electricity to the point where the fault is in hopes the problem will clear itself. If the fault doesn’t go away the first time, the reclosers will repeat the process two more times before opening permanently, which limits the impact of the outage. This opening and closing is what causes power to blink. Without these blinks, every tree limb or critter coming into contact with a power line would cause a lengthy and widespread outage.
Of course, if you’re experiencing continuous power blinks at your home, there might be a more serious issue. The equipment that delivers your electricity might be in need of repair, or your transformer might be
overloaded, so it’s a good idea to give us a call and let us know.
Follow these tips:
1. Give it a minute. If you experience a power blink, there’s no need to report it to us immediately. Reclosers or cutouts might be operating nearby, in which case, you may experience a few blinks before the issue clears itself, or power goes out completely.
2. Let us know if the blinks don’t stop. If you’re experiencing continuous power blinks at your house, or if your lights are frequently dimming, that needs our attention. There might be damage to the lines or other equipment that bring power to your home, or there could be vegetation in need of clearing. Please call our main office and make us aware of the issue, and don’t try to handle it on your own. Remember, it’s our job to put ourselves on the line so you don’t have to.
3. You can help ease the effects. You can reduce the frustration of blinks by making sure your important electronic devices have battery backups. This is especially true for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that are connected to your home’s wiring. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can also help minimize the effects of power blinks on computers and laptops.