What to do During an Electrical Outage?

Many factors can disrupt electrical service to your home such as windstorms, ice-storms, accidents and other weather. In our region, recent wildfires have also been a major factor in long term power failures. Our homes have many components that depend upon reliable electricity such as heating systems, water supply pumps, sewer pumps and food refrigeration. The longer the power is out, the greater are the risks for other issues to occur. There are numerous precautionary steps that need to be implemented to minimize these risks.

Short Term Power Outage

The first step in the event of a short term power loss to to confirm that your neighbors are also having a similar experience. If not, the problem could be isolated to your home only and you should check your main fuses and circuit breakers to see if any of these have blown or tripped. Simply replacing these fuses or resetting the breakers may restore your electricity. If the problem is not isolated to your home, then you need to contact your electric supplier to report the outage. You also should unplug any appliances with electronic components such as microwaves, televisions and computers. Many of the newer ranges, refrigerators and small appliances are also using electronic circuit boards so it is prudent to unplug these too. These action steps will help to eliminate electrical surge damage to these appliances when power is fully restored.

Long Term Power Outage

If you experience a longer term power outage, there are more significant issues to address. Many homes in our area rely upon power to supply water either from wells or directly from the lake. Also many have sewer ejector pumps that are necessary for transporting sewage from lower elevations up to drain-fields or to serving utility system main lines. Many homes on low banks adjacent to the lake have sump pumps to keep crawl spaces dry. In these instances it may be necessary to use a standby or portable generator for temporary power needs. Air conditioners and heat pumps need to be turned off during outages and you should wait for a period of time before turning these back on once power is restored to prevent mechanical damage. Longer outages also put refrigerated and frozen foods at risk.

Extended Power Outage

Extended outages generally require shutdown of the home and the unplugging of everything. In cold weather, it may also necessitate winterizing the water supply system and adding antifreeze to drain traps and water supplied appliances. Food in refrigerators and freezers will need to be removed and taken somewhere else. All circuit breakers should be turned off with the exception of one lighting circuit so you will know when the power has been restored.

An Easy Solution

One of the services that we perform at Lake Chelan HomeWatch is the monitoring and preventative maintenance on our clients’ homes when power outages occur. We are your eyes, ears and feet on the ground when unexpected events happen to your vacant or vacation home.

For more information on how we can protect your home, please Contact Us by clicking here.