Momentary power interruptions Momentary power interruptions, or momentary outages, are brief
disruptions in electric service, usually lasting no longer than a few
seconds. These interruptions are the result of temporary faults in the
distribution of electricity. The most common causes of momentary
interruptions are lightning strikes, fallen branches, or animals, such as
squirrels, coming into contact with power lines. Momentary outages can
also happen during normal transmission and switching operations. For
example, if a utility changes power suppliers to obtain a cheaper source
of energy, a momentary interruption may occur as the system drops the old
supplier and picks up the new one.
Are we having more outages?
In the past, these brief power interruptions weren't as
noticeable to consumers as they are today. We have always experienced
momentary power outages, but did not realize it. Now, with
the use of advanced electronics, appliances can be more sensitive to the
slightest variations in the power supply. The effects of the outages are mostly seen when they cause
digital clocks in appliances such as VCRs, microwave ovens, stereos, and
TVs to blink on and off.
They are a sign that the system is protecting
Though momentary outages are inconvenient, they serve
a useful purpose. Much like a circuit breaker that "trips," interrupting
the flow of power and therefore preventing damage to an electrical system,
momentary power interruptions occur to prevent damage to the utility
company's electrical system. Following a momentary outage, power is
usually restored automatically, unlike a tripped circuit breaker that must
be reset manually.
information about momentary power interuptions
The Florida Public Service
Commission brochure, Electric
Power Interruptions, provides information on what causes power
interruptions, what you can do to help prevent them, and what to do when