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Momentary Power Interruptions

Momentary power interruptions, often described as lights “flickering” or “blinking” very briefly can last from less than a second to just a few seconds. Even though the interruption is very brief, these types of interruptions can be annoying because they can affect some electronic devices and appliances in homes and businesses.

Why do they happen?

Momentary power interruptions can occur at any time, even on sunny days, and they can be caused by many factors and interferences, including:

common causes of momentary outages

What actually happens?

Most distribution power lines are protected by special devices called breakers and reclosers. These devices are able to detect line interferences and shut off the flow of power to that section of the power line for a split second. This design often allows any interference the ability to clear the power line on its’ own.

branch falling on power line diagram

For example, if a tree branch makes contact with our power lines, the system detects this interference and shuts off electricity to that section of the line for a moment.  If the contact is eliminated, either because the tree limb falls or snaps back into place away from the line, the problem is resolved without an extended outage. This is how momentary power outages can help to prevent damages and extended outages.

Can IPL do anything to prevent them?

Good design and maintenance of electrical systems are essential. IPL constantly monitors and analyzes momentary outages to identify opportunities for improvements that will help to maintain safe and reliable service for our customers. IPL conducts a variety of routine maintenance programs, such as tree trimming along overhead distribution lines which can reduce interferences by decreasing occurrences of fallen branches. We conduct routine line patrols and we even add animal safeguard devices to discourage animal and bird interferences.

What can you do?

In order to allow equipment or a process to remain in constant operation during power interruptions or to restart, consider the purchase of:

  • Surge protectors can help to prevent potential damage to appliances and equipment.
  • Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for sensitive/critical equipment, such as computer systems. An uninterruptible power supply is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power when the power source is lost.
  • Keep records of the exact dates and times of any occurrences in order to help us identify issues.

 

Experiencing Recurring Momentary Interruptions?

Call Residential Customer Service at 317.261.8222

or Businesses Customer Service at 317.261.8444