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WHAT ARE POWER INTERRUPTIONS?

The many electric devices around us today register power interruptions that went unnoticed years ago. Before digital clocks, some people never noticed when the power went out momentarily.

Now these aggravating events seem to happen more often. In reality, they aren't more frequent; we're just more aware of them. 

Some power quality problems begin at home. A spike (or transient surge) can occur in a house's wiring upon startup of electric motors, such as those on a refrigerator or air conditioner. Other problems might come from faulty wiring, loose connections, poor grounding or inadequate wire size. These conditions can cause partial power, momentary interruptions (blinks), dimming or too-bright lights. 

Most times, having the power interrupted is better than the alternative of having it go out completely. These external interruptions are often caused by devices used by Rusk County Electric Cooperative to protect the electrical system. These devices are called reclosers. 

Reclosers essentially act like the circuit breakers in your home, with one major difference; They reset themselves after breaking the circuit. The intent is that after a tree touches the line - or some other problem causes the recloser to open - the device will reset itself, and power will once again flow down the line. If the problem has cleared the line, power will stay on. 

If the problem remains, the recloser will again cut the flow. Most reclosers are designed to stay open after trying three times until the problem is fixed and the device is manually reset. The opening and closing of the recloser is almost instantaneous and is often not even noticed, except by electronic devices such as digital clocks.

The alternative to using a recloser is to use fuses on each line. Although greater use of fuses would result in fewer brief power interruptions, it also would create more extended outages, as a fuse can only operate once. 

Rusk County Electric continually evaluates our power lines to identify potential problems so that blinks and outages can be avoided. We will never be able to prevent all blinks, but please let us know if your home or business experiences an excessive number of power interruptions or other problems so that we can investigate the issue to better serve you.