Your home has been plunged into darkness. In this day and age of constant electricity and light, the feeling is rather disconcerting.
What has caused your power outage and what do you need to do to fix it? Let’s find out!
External Causes of Power Outages
There are two basic types of causes of power outages — external and internal.
Storms are probably the biggest culprit when it comes to external power outages. Inclement weather can cause damage to electrical equipment and knock down trees or limbs that can bring down power lines.
Drunk or sleepy drivers have been known to run off the road and strike power poles. If they do so with enough force, they can bring the poles down, disrupting power to every home down the line.
Another common cause is simply forgetting to pay your electric bill. It’s okay, everybody’s done it once or twice. The good news about this cause is that all you have to do is pay your bill and the power company will restore your electricity.
Internal Causes of Power Outages
What if your house is the only one in the neighbourhood that doesn’t have power? Most external causes (with the exception of forgetting to pay your bill) will affect everyone around you as well.
If you’re alone in your power outage problems, it’s time to look for an internal cause.
Tripping Circuit Breaker
Electricity runs in a circuit, a closed loop that must be closed in order for electricity to flow. If there is a problem in that loop like a power surge or some other danger, the circuit breaker will trip. This breaks the circuit and stops the flow of electricity as a precaution.
Oftentimes, you can simply flip the breaker back into place. However, if there is a continuous problem, the breaker will keep tripping. This can be either due to a faulty breaker or a problem somewhere else in the circuit. A trained electrician can help you figure it out.
Overloading Power Boards
Power boards are handy for having enough outlets for all your fancy gadgets and electronics. However, they’re not designed to power multiple heavy load appliances at once and you certainly shouldn’t string them together. Doing so will often result in a blackout.
The Problem with Power Outages
Without power, the modern Australian home will face several problems. You won’t have lights in the evening or the ability to charge cell phones and other electronic devices. Worse, if the outage goes on long enough, you’re at risk of losing the food in your refrigerator and freezer.
For most external issues, it is simply a matter of making sure the power company is aware of the problem and waiting for them to fix it. If it’s an internal issue, particularly a recurring one, you’ll want to call a licensed electrician to help sort it out.