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Common Causes of Power Outages




We’ve all experienced the inconvenience of losing power all of a sudden, or perhaps our electricity intermittently coming on and going out. Luckily, these power outage issues can be easily identified and many can be solved quickly. Here’s a guide on identifying the causes of power outages.


External Causes of Power Outage


These external causes have nothing to do with your physical home. Your circuit breaker and outlets work fine, but electricity isn’t flowing to your home.


Electricity Bill is Overdue


Perhaps you’re struggling to pay your bills, forgot that it was due, or maybe there’s an issue with the provider receiving payment. Once you give your provider a call and pay them, your power should be back on.


Natural Events and Accidents


If you’re sure you paid your electricity bill and the power goes out, it might be a local blackout. These can last for hours or days depending on the circumstances.


If you’re suspicious, try to call or visit a neighbor to see if they have power. A blackout can be widespread throughout a city, or just in your neighborhood.


There are many causes for blackouts:

  • High power demand in the city or area, especially in heat waves, can cause too much stress on the power grid equipment.

  • Natural events, such as storms or bushfires, or even high winds can cause power outages by damaging the power grid equipment.

  • Human-caused, as in people accidentally cutting above ground or underground power lines.

  • Animals can break power grid equipment by causing a short circuit.


Internal Causes of Power Outage


These issues are contained within your home, and there are often identifiable causes and ways to quickly fix these issues.


Tripped Fuses


If you just started using a device or appliance, and the power goes out, then you’ve tripped a fuse. You can find your fuse box and flip the switch on the fuse to return power. However, try not to run as many appliances or devices at the same time to keep the fuse from tripping again.


Circuit Breaker is Malfunctioning


If your fuses trip during light electrical usages, or perhaps under very little load like at night, your circuit breaker might be on its way out. The best thing to do here is to hire a qualified electrician to diagnose the issue.


Problems Caused by Power Outage


Sudden power outages can cause issues with many devices and appliances. It’s important to be aware of these problems to help you prepare for an outage.


  • Food can spoil in the refrigerator.

  • Medical equipment can suddenly go off.

  • Power outages and surges can destroy sensitive components in computers, like hard drives.

  • Lights can go out, so it’s important to have emergency flashlights around.


Flip the Power Back On


Now that you know of the common causes of power outages, there’s little need to fear if your power goes out suddenly. Ask around about external issues, and then diagnose your internal issues and possibly consider contacting a qualified electrician if the problems persist.


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