[Vision2020] Local electricity off and on

Saundra Lund v2020 at ssl1.fastmail.fm
Thu Sep 3 10:26:49 PDT 2015

Ken, I’m with you – I wanted to know of the cause because our usually reliable electricity has exhibited the same brief outages, too.  We had two happen Sunday around dinnertime within a short period of time, once last evening between 9-10 PM, and again this morning around 5:15 AM.


How does that compare with what others have been experiencing?


Anyway, I called Avista to ask and spoke with an informative gentleman.  Depending on where one lives, this kind of brief outage behavior is relatively common.  It apparently happens frequently where he lives in the LC Valley.


Most often, the cause is Avista’s equipment detects a fault, shuts the power off as a safety measure, and then turns it back on to see if the issue is resolved.  If the equipment indicates everything is OK, then the power stays on.


They are doing a lot of tree work now, and that can be a cause, and as Ron mentioned, squirrels running across transformers can trigger it.  Basically, a lot of different things (anything that bumps a line) can be the cause of these short reset outages.


For our neighborhood (actually, for all the neighborhoods I’ve lived in here for the past 18 years), this is very unusual behavior – one of the things that amazed me when I moved here is how rock solid electric service is in Moscow.


He did say that if it continues, people need to report it so they can look more closely into what’s going on.


I do worry about the effect on electronic equipment of frequent these brief off-on outages.  While our computers are plugged into UPS devices to protect them, our DVRs aren’t.  The second outage Sunday shortly after the first did a number on one of our DVRs – I don’t know why, but it took quite a bit of time to get sorted out.  Maybe I need to consider UPS devices for them as well.  <sigh>





From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com [mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com] On Behalf Of Kenneth Marcy
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 8:02 AM
To: vision2020 at moscow.com
Subject: [Vision2020] Local electricity off and on


What's the cause of this behavior?

Several times during the last few days the local electricity has blinked off and then back on again, staying off long enough to turn off computers, cause the microwave oven to indicate PF (power failure), and re-set electric clocks to 12:00 AM.  Some countermeasures are in place or possible, including 9-volt backup batteries in clocks and UPSs (uninterruptible power supplies) into which the computers are plugged. 

Aside from the annoyance at resetting devices, and the potential danger of lost or scrambled computer data, there may well be more serious and costly effects at other locations.  So, why is electricity delivery more irregular recently? 


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