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Are power outages common in your area?

Are power outages common in your area?

Old Jul 22nd 2006, 2:53 pm
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Default Are power outages common in your area?

Since moving here it seems common to have power outages, I guess because most power lines are above ground? It got so bad recently that I bought a small generator to power an AC unit - we have an old Husky dog who doesn't do too well in the Texas heat. Is this unique to my area of Texas, or a State/Country wide problem?
On average the power is off at least once every 2 months, for anything from 30 mins to a couple of hours.
The utility companies here seem to damage each others infrastructure regularly. A recent example was when the water company dug through our gas line at the office, even though the gas company had been notified of work and had placed flags along the whole length of their lines.

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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

During the summer here in lower NYS it is common for spotty outages over the months of July and August. However, the two storms the last week (a tornado and a high wind, heavy rain storm a few days later) have left over 50,000 people without electricity during the heatwave. In fact for the last 7 working days, our office building has been working under a mandatory 25% cutback.

Above ground wires are only a part of it. Demand is a huge drain on resources and the heavy rains which are flooding underground cables are shorting out feeder cables. So there it goes.

Originally Posted by Texas_Dave
Since moving here it seems common to have power outages, I guess because most power lines are above ground? It got so bad recently that I bought a small generator to power an AC unit - we have an old Husky dog who doesn't do too well in the Texas heat. Is this unique to my area of Texas, or a State/Country wide problem?
On average the power is off at least once every 2 months, for anything from 30 mins to a couple of hours.
The utility companies here seem to damage each others infrastructure regularly. A recent example was when the water company dug through our gas line at the office, even though the gas company had been notified of work and had placed flags along the whole length of their lines.

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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

Pretty common here during the summer when severe thunderstorms cause problems. The company is bloody good at restoring service though and the power isn't normally off for long.
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

Very common, and we frequently lose the cable/internet as well due to someone or something fiddling with the cables.

Happens in winter, too, as we're in the midwest and get the storms.

Always keep a few torches and extra batteries to hand! We will buy a generator, too, as losing power in the winter is a disaster.
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

We get occasional long ones in winter and then in summer get a lot of very short ones and flickers in the power - we live in a small town in the country and apparently its hay getting on the power lines that does it.
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

Yep!,we're in the mid-west,in a small rural town,and I'd say our power goes off at least once a fortnight for a few minutes here and there,usually just after I've re-set the clock on the microwave!,then we have lots of squirrels which run up the poles and throw themselves at the transformers...usually out for an hour or so then,then if it rains hard it blows the transformer across the road,course, high winds do it as well.........I swear that someone coughing in town blows the power as well!!!............Sophia

Last edited by Sophia_S; Jul 22nd 2006 at 5:07 pm.
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

Texas Dave:

Part of your situation is local, part state-wide.

WRT outages: I would say this is very local. ERCOT, the statewide grid, is pretty good at preventing wide-spread outages. When I got my electricity from the City, we had outages all the time; since I've been on an electric co-op, we have *never* had a prolonged outage (12 years+).

As to the utility companies damaging each other's infrastructure: this is a hot topic of mine since this contributed to a friend's death (long story). Austin has tried to enact laws that mean that the utilities have to coordinate to dig together so that roads aren't constantly dug up every time one company decides to make repairs or add capacity -- but the State Legislature sides with the utility companies. Insanity -- if it's not an emergency repair, you'd think they could, for example, get together once a month or so and coordinate a dig, but nooooooo.

The utility companies own the Legislature and will get their way every time.
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 7:59 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

I'm sorry to hear your experience resulted in a tragedy. Just this week we had a utility company come to correct a blocked rain drain, they served notice on the other utilities to mark services with flags. They still managed to damage a gas main and leave a big hole in a main gas pipe - the fire service had to be called out etc.

It transpired the reason the drain was blocked was that previously the gas company had broken the water drain and run their gas pipe straight through it. Subsequently the water company did the same to them!

Originally Posted by snowbunny
As to the utility companies damaging each other's infrastructure: this is a hot topic of mine since this contributed to a friend's death (long story).
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

Originally Posted by Texas_Dave
Since moving here it seems common to have power outages, I guess because most power lines are above ground? It got so bad recently that I bought a small generator to power an AC unit - we have an old Husky dog who doesn't do too well in the Texas heat. Is this unique to my area of Texas, or a State/Country wide problem?
On average the power is off at least once every 2 months, for anything from 30 mins to a couple of hours.
The utility companies here seem to damage each others infrastructure regularly. A recent example was when the water company dug through our gas line at the office, even though the gas company had been notified of work and had placed flags along the whole length of their lines.

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Don't get me started! We lose ours at least once a month. You can guarantee if we are having a storm then it will go out, usually for a couple of hours at a time (and ALWAYS) at dinner time, someone explain that one to me!
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

Perhaps a solution is to charge utilities a 'digging fee', this fee being the same amount regardless as to the amount of utility companies involved. That way it would make financial sense for utility companies to talk to each other and co-ordinate work, thereby sharing the charge.

Originally Posted by snowbunny
Austin has tried to enact laws that mean that the utilities have to coordinate to dig together so that roads aren't constantly dug up every time one company decides to make repairs or add capacity
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

DC - Never in 1 year.
Seattle - Not yet in 6 weeks or so.
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

Originally Posted by Kate2112
DC - Never in 1 year.
Seattle - Not yet in 6 weeks or so.
I'm led to believe your favourite "electrical appliance" runs on batteries anyway Kate.
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

Originally Posted by blaze
Don't get me started! We lose ours at least once a month. You can guarantee if we are having a storm then it will go out, usually for a couple of hours at a time (and ALWAYS) at dinner time, someone explain that one to me!
Same in these parts I use to go with out cable for day's till they came out and fixed it, now I've learnt how to do it out of utter frustration.
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

Yes
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Old Jul 22nd 2006, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Are power outages common in your area?

I've had a few Brownouts and the electricity goes out every now and then.
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