From suburb wide or district-wide power outages to brown-outs and horrid dimming lights in your home, power outages are often caused by a variance of different factors. Here we take a look at some of the more common factors, and how you should take steps to avoid the risk of damage to yourself and your property whether it is for home or business.

 

OVERLOADED POWERBOARDS

The biggest sign of an overloaded powerboard is that your breaker is tripping frequently. These overloads are common in homes and business premises where there are a massive amount of electrical appliances plugged into the power boards. You should unplug any devices that aren’t currently in use and resist the urge to create an octopus where you stack power boards one on top of the other. The last thing you want is your latest iPhone or Samsung causing a housefire!

 

FAULTY CIRCUITBREAKERS

Circuit breakers perform an essential job around your home or business. These re the switches located inside your switchboard or fuse box that will trip when the system is overloaded, thus shutting off the power and preventing damage or harm to your property (and more importantly the people inside it). A faulty circuit breaker, however, can actually even do the opposite. As if your home loses power often, or if the breaker cuts off the supply of electricity to your entire home instead of just a single circuit, then you should get your electrician to take a look as soon as possible. Call us on 02 9656 1858 to book an electrical safety check in your workplace today!

 

ELECTRICAL STORMS

Everyone in Sydney remembers back in February 2020 (this year) when almost half of Sydney went without power for some length of time due to freak storms that occurred. They shutdown some poor Sydney residents power for up to 3 weeks whilst repairs were done to the power network. Large storms sucghs as these, cyclones, hurricanes and other heavy weather events can cause trees to knock down poles, damage the electrical network, damage to substations and generally wreak absolute havoc with the electrical grid.

 

BUSHFIRES AND FLOODING

Sydney seems to have really copped a beating when it comes to these freak weather events. Electrical storms aren’t the only types of weather that will affect the power network and cause power outages. Flooding can damage the electrical infrastructure and will increase the difficulty for repair crews to even access the affected area let alone do the repairs. In Sydney with the bushfire season thousands were left stranded and without power. As of 9th March 2020 an estimated 18.6 million hectares of land were burnt. So you can imagine just how much electrical infrastructure was damaged and needed to be replaced.

 

“Electrical storms aren’t the only types of weather that will affect the power network and cause power outages “

 

WILDLIFE

Believe it or not, our native (and not so native) fauna can often find itself to be the cause of power outages. When animals come into contact with transmission wires and other electrical equipment the power will go out. Last year in 2019, two Kookaburras literally caused sparks to fly when mating on live powerlines and over 1000 homes had a power outage as a result. The outage was short lived as the power technicians were able to restore power quickly after the event.

 

TYPES OF POWER OUTAGES

 

Brownouts

A ‘brownout’ happens when the voltage on your supply of electricity temporarily drops. Sometimes brownouts are intentional when a technician is wanting to avoid overloading a circuit. However unintentional brownouts will occur when there is a dip in voltage (otherwise known as a voltage sag) caused by an overload or short circuit. A brownout is pretty easy to identify by the dimming of lights inside your home or business.

 

Blackouts

A blackout is basically a complete loss of power within a certain area. Blackouts will usually last minutes or hours, but can continue up to weeks if the root cause of the issues isn’t found or if there is significant damage to the network. Prolonged blackouts can leave residents and businesses without access to power for weeks and cause major disruption to businesses and also public services.

 

Permanent faults

A permanent fault usually occurs when there is a significant loss of power to the area being serviced. Despite its ominous sounding name, permanent faults are not forever, the power is generally restored once the fault in the line is cleared.

 

What should I do if there is a power outage?

In the case of an emergency such as a bush fire or major storm damage, of course your personal safety is way more imperative that re-establishing your power connection. The first step is to identify if the power outage is only at your residence or place of business, or whether is more widespread. If the blackout is affecting the entire neighbourhood, once you have reported it to your network provider, there is not much more you can do than sit back and wait for the professionals to get the power back on.

However if the fault seems confined to only your business premises or home, or if it is a recurring issues, you should consider ringing a professional electrician to diagnose the problem.

 

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