Common causes of power interruptions
Every year, we invest millions of dollars maintaining and improving the electricity network. However, no electricity system is 100 per cent reliable, unplanned outages do occur and in many cases are unavoidable.
Common causes of power interruptions include:
- vehicle or machinery accidents
- high winds, lightning strikes and storms
- debris or vegetation hitting powerlines
- animal life, such as birds or possums
- pole top fires
- equipment failure
- wiring or appliance faults on property
- planned interruptions
Preventing power interruptions
You can help prevent power interruptions by:
- keeping trees and shrubs clear of powerlines
- dialling 1100 before you dig to avoid damaging live electrical cables and other underground infrastructure
- reporting vandalism or suspicious activity around powerlines and other power infrastructure
- discouraging people from throwing items over powerlines which can cause widespread power interruptions
- reporting any obvious damage
- reporting any electrical incidents such as arcing powerlines or bright flashes on pole tops
Some interruptions may only last a few seconds, but disrupt appliances such as clocks, which then need to be reset.
In most cases, the cause is a fault that is recognised by our system. A protection device is activated, shutting the power off to protect infrastructure from potential damage. It can also help moderate bushfire hazards.
If the fault 'passes' - for example a branch blows across a line and falls to the ground - the protection device can 'reclose' which restores power to the line. Sometimes this operation, known as an 'automatic reclose', may try to fix the fault two or three times. If unsuccessful, the protection device will 'lock out' and our crew will locate and manually restore the power supply.
While we understand this situation can be frustrating, momentary interruptions mean larger and longer power outages can be avoided.