When the power goes out, we expect it to be restored within a few hours. But when a major storm or natural disaster causes widespread damage, extended outages may result. Line crews work long, hard hours to restore service safely to the greatest number of consumers in the shortest time possible.
High-Voltage Transmission Lines
Transmission towers and cables that supply power to transmission substations–– and thousands of members–– rarely fail. But when damaged, these facilities must be repaired before other parts of the system can operate.
A substation can serve hundreds or thousands of consumers. When a major outage occurs, line crews inspect substations to determine if problems stem from transmission lines feeding into the substation, the substation itself or if problems exist farther down the line.
Main Distribution Lines
If the problem cannot be isolated at a distribution substation, distribution lines are checked. These lines carry power to large groups of consumers in communities or housing developments.
If local outages persist, supply lines–– also known as tap lines–– are inspected. These lines deliver power to transformers–– either mounted on poles or placed on pads for underground service–– outside businesses, schools and homes.