News & Announcements

OUC Momentary Outages

Jul 22, 2016

  • A momentary outage, is an interruption that is usually less than one second and is enough to cause the lights to quickly flicker, but can last up to 15 seconds in duration. Sometimes customers refer to momentary outages as a power surge, brownout, flickering or blinking lights – but a brief interruption is really just a momentary outage.

  • Momentary outages protect OUC’s system, which in turn protects customers. That’s because it’s a built-in automatic defense mechanism in OUC’s electric system and is standard in many other high quality electrical systems in the U.S.  This mechanism is designed to prevent you from experiencing a long-term outage from an event that has occurred somewhere else on the grid.

  • They happen more often in the summer. That’s because of lightning, storms and sometimes wildlife. If a tree branch or a squirrel makes contact with an above ground power line, OUC’s system automatically senses it and very briefly opens up the line. It allows whatever made contact with the line to clear off and prevents the need for longer outages where line technicians would need to roll a truck.

  • OUC works very hard to limit momentary outages, but they will occur to some extent. OUC conducts yearly tree-trimming throughout the entire service area to limit both momentary and extended outages in one of the most lightning-prone areas in the country.  As standard practice, wildlife protection is installed at our overhead transformer locations in an attempt to minimize the impact of wildlife related outages. For example, a squirrel can jump on an overhead line and cause the power to go out.

  • They are inconvenient, and we understand that. But, they do not cause damage to your home. There is a slight, quick change in voltage, but it’s not enough to damage any equipment inside the home. Momentary outages are also an important tool in keeping OUC’s electrical system up and running.

  • Why do I keep having to reset my clocks? Even short power interruptions can cause some of your clocks without an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to be reset. OUC will do everything it can to limit momentary interruptions, but customers may wish to purchase a UPS device for modems or computers to help ride through the brief event.

  • What about surge protection? That’s different and is usually caused by a direct or nearby lightning strike. OUC employs a comprehensive system of lightning arresters to limit a storm’s impact, but lightning strikes do occur and there are additional levels of protection customers may choose to add either through home warranty programs or through a certified electrician.