Momentary power interruptions
power outages are brief
in electric service, usually lasting no longer than a few seconds.
These interruptions are the result of temporary faults in the
distribution of electricity. The most common causes of momentary
interruptions are lightning strikes, fallen branches, or animals, such
as squirrels, coming into contact with power lines. Momentary outages
can also happen during normal transmission and switching operations.
For example, if a utility changes power suppliers to obtain a cheaper
source of energy, a momentary interruption may occur as the system
drops the old supplier and picks up the new one.
Are we having more outages?
past, these brief power
interruptions weren't as noticeable to consumers as they are today. We
have always experienced momentary power outages, but did not
realize it. Now, with the use of advanced electronics,
appliances can be more sensitive to the slightest variations in the
power supply. The effects of the outages are mostly seen when they
cause digital clocks in appliances
such as VCRs, microwave ovens, stereos, and TVs to blink on and
They are a sign that the system is
momentary outages are
they serve a useful purpose. Much like a circuit breaker that "trips,"
interrupting the flow of power and therefore preventing damage to an
electrical system, momentary power interruptions occur to prevent
damage to the utility company's electrical system and a sustained
service outage. Following a
momentary outage, power is usually restored automatically, unlike a
tripped circuit breaker that must be reset manually.
momentary power interuptions
Service Commission brochure, Electric
Power Interruptions, provides information on what causes power
interruptions, what you can do to help prevent them, and what to do
when they do occur.