What to Do During an Outage
Sullivan County Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) does all that it can to provide the best possible service for members at the lowest possible cost. Programs such as Right-of-Way-maintenance, pole inspections, line improvements, etc., help reduce but cannot eliminate outages.
Electrical outages can be caused by trees, tree limbs, lightning, cracked insulators and, even squirrels. Many times only a small number of members are affected by an outage. However, in the case of a major storm a wide area can be affected.
During a large outage the co-op works to restore service to as many members as possible in the least amount of time. If a substation or a main distribution line is out, crews work to restore power to these systems first.
Breakers & Fuses
To help prevent lines from sustaining major damage fuses and breakers are used. You may have noticed that before power fails the lights may blink several times.
If an object such as a tree limb falls on a line a breaker will reset or “trip” in the hopes that the object has cleared the line. If, however, after three attempts the object has not cleared, the breaker will cut the electrical feed preventing a line from burning down.
Fuses on the line work similar to those in your home. If an object falls on the line the fuse trips. The only way to restore power is for linemen to go to the fuse, check the line, remove any object on it, and insert a new fuse.
What to Do if an Outage Occurs
There is no good time for a power outage. In the summer heat and humidity can cause the temperature inside the home to rise quickly. In the winter the opposite is true and keeping warm is hard to do.
- Check your circuit breakers or fuses in your fuse box.
- Check with neighbors to see if they have power.
- If a cabin or trailer with a fuse box on a center pole, check fuses or circuit breakers.
- If your power is restored and goes out again call the outage number to report the problem again.
- Turn off lights and electrical appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer. Even if it's dark, turn light switches, buttons on lamps or appliances to the "off" position.
- After turning the lights off, turn one lamp on so you will know when power is restored. Wait at least 15 minutes after power is restored before turning on other appliances.