Electrical Contractor in Vancouver WA addressing a power outageIf your power goes out on a sunny day, you may be confused. Where’s the storm? The fallen trees? Why did my power go out?

Determining the cause of a power outage when it’s least expected can be a surprising challenge. Three common causes of power outages during great weather include:

Planned outages

If your local electrical contractor is performing work in your area, they will need to turn off the power in that area to complete the task. Most tasks will only affect a few homes at a time. However, larger planned outages are announced by Portland General Electric (PGE), who update their outages page by zip code when more than five customers lose power. You can use your home phone number to sign into their site for updates or call 503-464-7777 to speak directly to PGE about your outage. PGE even offers two-way texting so you can report an outage and request updates via. Check out their outages page for more details.

Nature . . . even on sunny days

Great weather can still be windy weather. If a tree has been weakened by a prior storm, one sturdy gust is often all it takes to level your power line. Once that happens, it could be a few hours before your power is back.

Non-weather-related accidents

Cars hitting utility poles, equipment issues, animals contacting power lines or  construction activity can all adversely affect your home’s electrical connection. Accidents like these can take down whole power lines and affect hundreds, if not thousands, of homes. The good news is that these issues pose a public safety hazard and so will be cleared and fixed quickly. Report any outages to PGE as soon as you experience them and consult local news stations for more information.

Issues with your own wiring

Sometimes, a power outage originates in your home. It could be due to outdated wiring that requires replacement. Buzzing outlets and flickering lights prior to outage indicate that your wiring is faulty and could be dangerous, potentially causing a home fire.

Circuit breakers that are overloaded can trip, causing the lights to go out. Consider the age of your home, as houses built before 1980 require updates to handle the energy output of current appliances.

If you have pets, make sure that they have not been chewing on your wiring, as this can not only cause partial outages but serious injury to your furry friends. Contact Prairie with your home wiring concerns to avoid electrical fires and outages.

Power outages are inconvenient. By keeping aware of the reasons behind them and devising a plan of action, we can quickly troubleshoot when the unexpected happens.