8 Common Causes of Power Outages
There’s no doubt that businesses today are extremely dependent on electricity in their everyday operations. When a power outage happens, it often has adverse implications for companies. Power outages can be caused when the flow of power is disrupted, disabling reach to the end-user. Depending on the complexity of the problem, outages can affect a small area or an entire city. During a blackout, the top concern for business owners is losing revenue due to prolonged periods of unproductivity.
Power outages may be a result of natural factors such as adverse weather conditions but can also be caused by humans and animals. Here are some of the most common causes of power outages:
Vehicles sometimes knock over utility poles, making power lines break. Accidents that involve a vehicle hitting a power pole are among the most common reasons for power outages. These kinds of accidents do not usually affect a large area. They typically only cause outages in the buildings served by the damaged power lines, and power is usually restored within a few hours.
Power lines may come into contact when strong winds are affecting an area. This may cause a short circuit to occur, thus leading to a power outage. Sometimes, winds may also break power lines and poles, which often leads to serious power supply issues.
In winter seasons, power outages are a common occurrence. When ice storms hit, ice particles build up on power lines, which make them dense. As a result of the heavy weight, power lines break, causing power outages. In other cases, ice build-up on trees causes them to break and fall on power lines.
When lightning strikes, there’s always a chance that a power outage might occur. Lighting takes the quickest route to transmit its charges to the ground. Due to their tall nature, utility poles are often struck by lightning, which leads to damage to power lines and other equipment. Lightning destroys wires, transformers, and breaks poles, resulting in power outages. Also, trees struck by lightning may fall on power lines and cause blackouts.
Heavy rains and melted snow may cause flooding in cities, which leads to severe damages. Power substations on lower grounds are usually affected by floods. Heavy rains and melted snow cause damage to the underground as well as overhead electrical equipment. Typically, in cases of flooding, power substations turn off power to prevent the destruction of equipment.
Trees are responsible for many power outages in the United States. Even with perfect weather, trees fall on utility poles and cause interruptions in the power supply. Trees that grow beneath power poles may also cause blackouts when their branches make contact with wires.
Utility companies need to undergo maintenance from time to time to ensure quality services to their customers. During maintenance services, these companies turn off electricity supply to protect their employees from getting shocked. Usually, such power outages last for only a few hours. Before the maintenance begins, customers are given a notice in advance through direct messages, emails, or phone calls, so your business will be able to prepare accordingly.
Small animals such as squirrels like to climb up power poles and other electrical equipment. These animals can eat up electric wires and interfere with the flow of electricity. Some utility companies prevent such instances from occurring by installing guards that stop small animals from climbing utility poles.
Why You Need a Generator
As extreme weather conditions have become more common in recent decades, an increased number of businesses have experienced a power outage. In fact, a 2018 study found that 25% of companies experienced an outage each month. Even one hour of downtime can result in significant financial losses. You can’t afford to lose employee productivity while you wait for power to be restored. You might also lose relevant data and fail to meet specified deadlines, which may also harm your relationship with clients. As many outages come without warning and may last for prolonged periods, it’s imperative that you’re equipped with a backup source of power.
What to Consider When Buying a Generator
There are several factors you’ll want to keep in mind when you’re selecting a new power system. The most important of these are size, fuel type, and cost.
- Size: Generators come in a wide variety of sizes. Generally, the larger the generator, the higher the power load it can handle. You don’t want to make the mistake of purchasing one that can’t manage all of your important power systems during an outage. The professionals at Valley Power Systems can help you choose the right generator for your facility.
- Fuel type: Commercial standby generators typically run off diesel or natural gas. Both fuel types have distinct advantages, and the best choice will largely depend on your budget and individual preferences. Check out our blog on generator fuel options to learn more.
- Cost: The cost of a new commercial generator can be substantial. A diesel-powered generator is usually less expensive than a natural gas generator, but natural gas offers some advantages that can outweigh the cost for many business owners. For example, natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that’s more easily accessible than diesel. However, diesel engines are very durable and low maintenance. Whichever you choose, you can be sure that your industrial generator will be a good investment in the future of your business.
Get a Backup Power Source
To ensure that your business can run without disruption in the event of a blackout, it’s essential to install a backup power source. Valley Power Systems specializes in providing a variety of power solutions to businesses in California. We have a team of highly skilled technicians who can help you install a generator at your facility to keep your operations flowing. To learn more about our power options, contact us today and speak to a member of our knowledgeable sales team.