Power outages are unpredictable and extremely common for a number of reasons and can be inconvenient and even pose a risk to your family. With the help of your local electrician in Manassas, VA, he may be able to help you avoid some of these risks and inconveniences.
Let’s look at some of the causes of power issues and how an electrician can help.
Brownouts—Brownouts or power sags happen when the power supply temporarily drops and cause lights to dim or flicker.
Controlled brownouts are intended reductions in voltage implemented by power utilities in response to the distribution grid or excessive demands that threaten to overload the system. Typically it reduces voltage by 10% to 20% to prevent complete outages.
Brownouts that aren’t controlled happen when demand exceeds supply causing a brief voltage drop. These may last a few minutes or hours. To reduce your risk of damage and to help prevent an outage, shut down electronic components and turn off as many appliances and lights as possible.
Blackouts—Unplanned blackouts happen when your power is completely disrupted caused by animals, a vehicle accident, human error, equipment failure or severe weather.
Blackouts are also planned by utilities to offset excessive demand, system problems, or maintenance and repairs. Usually, these are announced ahead of time to your particular area.
Severe storms cause more blackouts and are usually more widespread and harder to repair. Sometimes in severe storms, a family could be without electrical power for days and weeks. To avoid the risk of being without electrical power during these blackouts or power outages, check with your electrician in Manassas, VA, and inquire about having an automatic standby generator installed at your home.
Surges—Spikes or surges happen once something disrupts the power supply causing lights to dim or brighten.
External surges may occur when tree limbs brush power lines, lightning strikes equipment, and animals get into a transformer. Spikes or surges also occur once power is restored after an outage or controlled blackout.
Internal surges occur when furnaces and air conditioners turn on because of the amount of power required to turn on this type of equipment.
Check with your local electrician about installing a whole-house surge suppressor at the main panel box, which will protect your electric system from external surges but continue to use individual power surge protectors to defend against internal surges at your Manassas, VA, home.