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Power Outages: 10 Common Reasons Your Power Is Out

Power outages can be very stressful. It can occur anywhere at almost any time. The best way to tackle this problem would be to know what caused it in the first place and take measures accordingly.

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Power Outages: 10 Common Reasons Your Power Is Out

Power outages are usually caused by an external force that disrupts the regular flow of electricity. The affected areas can vary. Sometimes power only goes out in a few houses and sometimes it can affect the whole neighborhood or the entire city.

Massive outages are uncommon these days but they still can occur. In this article, we are going to talk about some common reasons why power outages may happen in your area.

Types of Power Outages

There are mainly 3 types of outages that can occur and these are:

1. Blackout

We may have heard, seen, and even experienced blackouts. These are considered to be large scale power outages and power can remain off for a few minutes to a few days. Blackouts can occur due to disruptions of power stations.

2. Brownout

Brownouts do not necessarily mean the shutdown of power, rather it indicates fluctuation of electricity and voltage sags. This can sometimes severely damage electrical equipment.

3. Permanent Fault

This also creates a large-scale outage and is caused by a disruption in the power lines.

To deal with any type of outages it is best to contact your local professionals immediately. If you are living anywhere from palm beach, Florida to Fort Lauderdale you can contact electrician west palm beach for any complications.

What Causes These Power Outages?

Power outages mainly happen due to the following 8 reasons:

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1. Lightning Strikes Are Common Phenomenons

If there is a thunderstorm outside and your power goes out with a loud bang, then that lightning strike is to blame.

This is one of the common reasons and there is pretty much nothing you can do about it. When a lightning strike it can suddenly hit electrical poles and burn fuses, transformers, and electric lines. This disrupts the regular flow and shuts down the power.

Depending on the damage, your local utility companies should be able to fix this mess in a couple of hours.

2. Ice Storms Can Break Power Lines

Ice storms are dangerous for electric equipment and the power lines all around our neighborhood and city. If there are heavy snowstorms or if the snowstorm lasts a while then it is likely that the cables have frozen.

These frozen cables can break down due to the extra weight and cause electrical disruptions.

This is a very common thing after heavy snowstorms and can take about a day or two depending on the affected area.

3. Floods Are Extremely Hazardous

We all know water and electricity never go together. This makes floods extremely dangerous. If the flood rises high enough, the water can enter local substations and destroy the equipment.

These substations are responsible for sending power to your neighborhood. So, if their equipment gets damaged you along with other people will be out of power until things get back to normal.

To stop this, most substations are built on higher grounds where floodwater is likely to reach.

4. Planned Maintenance Are Nothing to Worry About

Electrical equipment and utilities will need routine maintenance. During these maintenance periods, the power remains shut off for a few hours.

Generally, the people living in those areas are notified about the time of the outage beforehand by texts, calls, or e-mails.

5. Car Crashes Can Cause Outages

There are lots of electrical poles around the community we live in. On some unfortunate event like a car crashes and knocks down a pole the power line also gets damaged and ripped.

This will cause the power to go out for the particular houses to which the lines were connected. This does not cause massive outages like the previous ones.

6. Tree Branches Can Fall on Wires

Falling trees and branches are a common problem when it comes to outages. Branches can fall on the power lines and rip it. Trees can also sometimes grow directly beneath a power line and get tangled with the pole and the lines.

This is why trees are allowed to be cut & removed in private properties so the power lines do not get disrupted.

7. Excavation Sites Can Also Cause Outages

The poles and lines above the ground are usually damaged due to weather conditions and accidents. However, the equipment below the ground can also be damaged and this mostly occurs due to misinformed excavation projects.

Buried grids can be severely damaged due to constriction works. The construction companies need to be extra careful about this.

8. Animals Can Damage Equipment

Small animals like birds & squirrels can be responsible for power outages at your house. While birds sometimes rest on the cable and damage it, squirrels chew through the power cables, electrocute themselves by accident and cause power failure.

In order to save the squirrel and the power, authorities have to make sure there are squirrel guards at every pole.

9. Malfunctioning of Equipment

Most of the power grids have been established long ago and that means these aged machines are bound to malfunction even after routine maintenance.

10. More Demand Than Supply

During the hot summer days, most houses and offices draw out an immense amount of power to cool things down. And if there is not enough power to supply to any one single area, a power outage can occur in that area.

This happens when there is more demand than the supply of power. This is also known as load-shedding. Load-shedding is very rare nowadays thanks to technological advancements.

What Should You Do When the Power Goes Out?

Since there are a number of reasons for power outages you have to be in control of a few things in case the power goes out at your house.

For starters, keep a torchlight around along with batteries. You do have your phone’s flashlight but it is still safe to have a durable torchlight.

Keep your distributor’s number in a safe place. If there is an outage then you need to call them first because they are the ones who supplied power to your area. And they will take care of the problem.

If the power has only gone out at your house then check the safety switch, main switch, or call in an electrician to fix the issue.


Despite technological development, power outages can still occur but there is nothing to worry about. You can call the local distributor and professional electricians to look into the issue and they will handle the rest.

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