How power blinks lead to more reliable service


Have you ever noticed your lights quickly blink on and off, even during normal weather conditions? While these power blinks might cause you to worry that there’s an issue with your electricity, the opposite is actually true. Occasional power blinks mean that our system is working the way that it should.

What causes power blinks?

When a quick rise of electrical current is detected in our power system, it causes a switch, known as a breaker, to open which leads to a power blink. The rise in electrical currents often happens when something comes into contact with a power line like:

• A lightning strike

• Vehicle accidents

• Birds or other animals

• Tree & limbs

When the breakers open, it prevents electricity from flowing to the area of concern until the breaker closes again, which usually happens in a matter of seconds. If there are still high levels of current when the breaker closes, it will open and close again to try to let the issue resolve.

If the breaker opens a third time, then it locks out and our Piedmont Electric crew goes to the site to further investigate and resolve the issue.

How does this aid in reliability?

Stopping the flow of electricity at the site of the issue prevents damage from low-voltage conditions to our system. Not only does this keep our equipment in good shape so we can provide you with the power you rely on, but it can also help prevent damage to your electronics and appliances as well.

Without breakers, the power would go out and would not be restored until a crew could arrive. The blinks can allow for enough time for the problem to resolve and keep electricity flowing or, if the problem is not resolved, to disconnect power and prevent further damage.

These brief interruptions in power also help to prevent future, more extensive outages, because they help keep our whole system working properly. As a result, we can provide you with safer, more reliable power.

The next time you notice a power blink in your home, think of it as a quick reminder that we’re doing our part to better serve our members.