Power Out? 4 Potential Causes and Solutions


We rely so heavily on electricity these days that we go into a tailspin anytime that power is lost. With technology improving all the time, outages are fewer and further between than ever today, but they do still happen. If you unexpectedly find yourself in the dark, here are four possible reasons for the shutdown.

An Outage in Your Area

The most obvious reason for most power outages inside your home is a problem outside your home. Trees down on lines, blown transformers, and problems at substations can all lead to outages that may affect just a few homes or possibly thousands of customers. The first step for you is to check with neighbors and see if others are in the dark. If so, call your provider.

A unlit light bulb fading in a power outage.

Problems in Your Breaker Box

If you’re the only house with no power, there may be something wrong inside your home. It could be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker–which would be indicated by the loss of power in just a part of your home–or it could be something with the breaker box itself. Check your breakers to see if anything is in the “tripped” position. If so, reset it and see if it stays on. If it immediately trips again, or if there are no breakers tripped, call an electrician for professional help.

An Individual Outage

Just as a falling tree can eliminate service for many customers, a disruption can happen just at your house if something knocks down the service drop that connects your home to the main line. This would give you all the symptoms of a larger outage–total loss of power–but no nearby homes would be in the dark. This is a dangerous situation because there could be live wires down right outside your home. If your service drop is down, call your power company immediately and stay away.

Service Work

From time to time, your power provider may have to upgrade or replace equipment. This process is necessary for safe, reliable delivery of power to the grid. They’ll be notifying you of the planned outage, so be sure you’re paying attention to the mail, phone calls, emails, and other notifications you receive. Planned outages are typically scheduled in the most convenient time possible for crews while still considering the impact on customers.

Nobody likes to be without power, especially in this day of climate control and heavy reliance on technology. When you find yourself without electricity, see if one of these situations exists.

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