Power outages can occur anywhere at any time, short or long-term… but seemingly always when you least need one. It’s not always the powerline down the street! Pascoe’s has a team of electricians who provide a 24-hour electrical fault-finding service and can help with anything from replacing a blown fuse to installing a circuit breaker.
Here are the top five causes of power outages:
Generally, if you have a reliable power source and it goes out during a storm, it’s most likely due to outside influences. Perth’s windy conditions can cause trees, branches and other objects to strike power lines or cause transformers to shut down. Heavy rain, fire and flooding can also damage electrical infrastructure. Often, power companies will intentionally shut down electricity supplies for public safety during a bushfire.
Lightning strikes, tripped circuit breakers or short circuits can all see a surge in the lines and trigger safety switches to cut out the power supply. Avoid resetting the switch until the storm subsides. To prevent spikes in the future, consider having an electrician install a lightning rod and lighting arrester system.
A faulty appliance can draw too much current, overloading the wiring and causing the safety switch to cut the supply. If you can detect the problem appliance and it is safe to do so, remove it for servicing and replacement as soon as possible. Old home wiring can also be dangerous if it becomes exposed and contacts another conductor causing a short and the safety switch to trip.
Fuses or circuit breakers
Safety switches are a common cause of power cuts in most homes, which means they are doing their job of protecting against overloading appliances, faulty appliances, or short circuits. It’s a small inconvenience for protection against electric shock, appliance damage, and fire. If flipping circuit breakers or blowing fuses becomes common, try redistributing or unplugging the items, or switch off unused sockets to ease the line. When the power returns, turn the lights and appliances back on one at a time to avoid a surge.
Animals and plants
Animals can be the indirect cause of a power shutdown. Rodents chewing on wires or bumping transformers and fuses can cause havoc, as can larger birds on public transmission lines. The same goes for large trees growing near power lines, which should be trimmed back by a professional arborist.
If you see a downed powerline stay at a safe distance least 8-metres back and make the safe call to Western Power immediately on 13 13 51.