What causes power outages?
Small animals and birds - Outages occur when animals, especially squirrel, climb on transformers or fuses and cause a short circuit.
Trees - Trees falling on power lines or tree limbs coming into contact with power lines are frequent causes of power outages and “blinking lights” even in good weather. Holmes-Wayne Electric works to maintain right-of-way clearances using contracted tree trimmers.
Vehicle accidents - Vehicles coming into contact with utility poles are another common cause of power outages.
Lightning - Poles, wires, transformers and other electrical equipment are easy targets for lightning strikes, causing severe damage and loss of power. Lightning also may strike trees, causing limbs or even large trees to fall onto power lines.
Wind -Wind may cause power lines to swing together or limbs/trees to blow into lines resulting in a fault or short circuit that interrupts service.
Ice - Weight of ice can cause broken line and poles. One inch of ice on electric line between two poles (one span)weighs up to half ton or 1,250 pounds. If equipment is covered in ice, slight wind can cause poles and lines to come down. Also heavy ice can bring large trees outside of the right-of-way down onto lines creating outage and damage to infrastructure.
Equipment failure - Although Holmes-Wayne Electric inspects and monitors equipment throughout our service area, transformers, aging underground power lines and other electric system equipment sometimes fail. This happens more frequently when the temperature is very cold and very hot.
Power supply outage - We depend on American Electric Power (AEP) and First Energy transmission lines to deliver the electricity from our generating plant to our substations. When they have an outage on their transmission lines, many co-op members are affected as well. In some cases, we are able to transfer power from another substation to restore power for many of those members and reducing the time of outage while the transmission supplier fixes the problem.
Digging - Even underground power lines are susceptible to outages. Before digging, you must call Ohio Utilities Protection Service at 1-800-362-2764.