Power outages can be caused by many circumstances. Storms, accompanied by heavy wind and lightning, are major causes of power outages. However, people and animals can also cause the power to go out.
During a heat wave, lines, transformers and other equipment may be overloaded because of increased electricity use. In addition to higher demand, extreme heat can cause sagging power lines, cable failures, shorted underground circuits and transformer overload resulting in service interruptions.
Trees falling on power lines or tree limbs coming into contact with power lines are frequent causes of power outages, even in good weather. Tree damage is the second most common cause of power outages. Only major storms create more customer outages on DLC's system.
Momentary outages, which customers see as a dimming or flickering of their lights or even a brief loss of power, are caused by short circuits. Short circuits happen when something, such as a tree limb, comes into contact with power lines or when the lines touch each other.
When a short circuit occurs, a safety device called a breaker automatically deenergizes the circuit and interrupts the flow of power. Electrical equipment is designed to quickly open and close the breaker two or three times automatically attempting the clear the problem. This is the case when a tree limb blows into a line and then swings clear.
Approximately 30 percent of short circuits clear themselves. If the problem does not clear itself, we send a Trouble Shooter out to locate the source of the problem and clear the line.