Common causes of power outages

Posted on Aug 02 2022 in Kankakee Valley REMC
downed power lines
Storms are just one of the causes for power outages.

Power outages are never convenient. Sometimes, it’s no mystery why we are left in the dark, like when lightning and thunder rattle the windows and walls. Other times, an outage may come with no warning. 

The length of time it takes to restore power will vary by the cause, severity of damage to the electrical equipment and the number of outages. Kankakee Valley REMC shares outage information through its website outage map and Facebook page. Here are some common outage causes we face. 

ANIMALS: Squirrels, other small animals, and birds can climb on poles and electrical equipment, which may cause a short circuit or equipment to shut down. 

WEATHER: The most common reason for power outages is Mother Nature. High winds during a severe thunderstorm can be particularly devastating. The high winds can cause trees or limbs to fall and take down power lines. The routine tree trimming maintenance program addresses many branches growing through or around utility lines. It is sometimes even necessary to remove an entire tree. 

Lightning strikes during a storm can also cause significant damage to electrical equipment, transmission towers, wires, and poles and is likely the culprit if the lights go out in the middle of a thunderstorm. 

Extremely hot weather can cause power lines to sag into vegetation and can also cause unusually high demand that can overburden transformers and other electrical equipment, causing them to fail. 

During the winter months, heavy buildup of ice and snow on power lines, poles, and equipment can bring them down. 

ACCIDENTS: A vehicle hitting a utility pole can break the pole and knock lines from their overhead perch. Excavation work can disturb buried electric service lines, causing an outage. Always call 811 before any gardening or digging project. 

VANDALISM: People shooting at insulators and transformers is still a sad cause for power outages in rural areas. Thieves also steal copper wire and other pieces of electrical equipment. Both acts of vandalism can be extremely costly and deadly. 

PLANNED OUTAGES: If our crew is performing maintenance or upgrading its equipment, power may need to be temporarily turned off. Kankakee Valley REMC will try to notify members affected. Therefore, making sure your contact information is updated with the co-op. 

If you experience an outage, report it through the SmartHub app or call to report your outage 24/7 at 800-552-2622.