When the power goes out in Michigan, it can affect your entire block or even your whole town. While there are some times you may be able to predict an outage, random blackouts can occur without warning and last for days.
A power outage, or “blackout,” is when there is a break in the flow of electricity to the end-user. Over the last decade, with the improvement of technology, the number of outages has decreased. Still, blackouts happen and can cause serious problems for homeowners. From spoiled food to freezing indoor temperatures, the cost of any type of outage can really add up.
In this article, we’ll discuss the common causes of power outages, look at what kind of financial burden you’re left with when you lose power, and examine some important but maybe overlooked reasons why owning a whole-house generator from Cummins is the best solution.
10 Common Causes of Power Outages in Michigan
It may seem pointless to understand the reasons behind a power outage– after all, the power is out regardless, but the specific reason can affect the length of time it takes to restore power to your home. Below are some of the common causes of power outages across metro Detroit.
Power Outage Causes
While this may be an easily preventable power outage, the fact remains construction work and human error leads to many power outages across Michigan. From utility lines being damaged or knocked down to landscapers cutting underground lines, accidents happen. Many power companies require surveys before digging. Still, mishaps happen. If you accidentally cause an outage, be sure to report it promptly and clear people from the damaged areas to keep everyone, including animals, safe.
While high winds and the heavy, wet snow that is common in Michigan is often a cause of downed trees, it’s when they come in contact with a power line that causes a blackout.
Managing the amount of tree growth near lines or power infrastructure is an ongoing project for power companies in an effort to keep the lights on. It’s not uncommon for companies to provide tree trimming services throughout the year to mitigate this problem.
When you think of power outages, storm damage may be the first reason that comes to mind.
In Michigan, this is for good reason. DTE reports strong winds and winter ice storms to be one of the most common reasons for power outages among DTE customers. Did you know just one-half inch of ice can add an extra 500 pounds of weight onto power lines? With our punishing winters, it’s easy to see how ice storms can have such a widespread impact.
In addition to storm damage, lightning can cause damage by itself. When lightning strikes equipment like transformers, wires, and poles, outages occur quickly and often require additional supplies and tools for repair, causing outages to last longer than expected. When lightning strikes electrical equipment, transmission towers, wires, or poles, outages can occur.
Water and electricity are a very dangerous combination. For that reason, in the event of a flood, either from a storm or a bridge or dam breaking, power companies are forced to turn the power off intentionally to prevent damage to equipment and injury. For this reason, many power stations are built at a higher elevation to try to avoid this problem.
With electrical poles and power lines often running close to many busy roadways, it’s not uncommon for an auto accident to knock over poles and damage lines. While utility companies work with law enforcement to place important transformers and equipment in low accident areas, mishaps still occur and can cause outages for those served by that particular power line, usually only a few homes or so.
Power companies often supply electricity to very large areas of Michigan, this means many power lines, distribution lines, and high-voltage power plants and substations are located throughout the state. While companies often have proactive plans in place to maintain equipment, failure still can occur.
When this happens, crews are often able to make repairs quickly and restore power to customers soon.
The warmth and gentle hum of power lines make them a perfect environment for small animals like squirrels, chipmunks, and snakes to inhabit. These animals can chew through power lines or climb on or inside important equipment. Power companies work to avoid this by installing special covers and fencing important areas.
Like any machine or infrastructure, it’s occasionally necessary to schedule planned repairs or outages. Utility companies may need to schedule routine maintenance, complete larger repairs, or make upgrades to mitigate unplanned outages. For most of these scheduled outages, the power company will let you know in advance and include an estimated length of time power will be off to help you can make alternative plans.
There are sometimes scheduled outages that are not communicated to the public ahead of time because it must be done quickly for safety issues. Typically, your utility company will follow up with a reason for the outage shortly after.
Although not the most common issue in Michigan, power has been known to go out due to high demand. On especially hot days, when many people in the area are running their air conditioning units, the power grid must work overtime. This can lead to excessive demand and can overload the system causing outages.
Know the Cost of Being Without Power
When power outages strike, it’s usually without warning. It’s important to recognize the financial cost you may incur every time the power is out and compare that to the one-time cost of installing a whole-home generator by Cummins.
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Common Forgotten Reasons to Own a Whole House Generator
While you may be aware of some of the more general reasons owning a generator would be beneficial, there are some forgotten reasons that commonly go overlooked. Read on to learn why investing in a generator makes more sense than you may think.
WEATHER IS UNPREDICTABLE
The number, and severity, of storms are increasing. We can’t control the weather and outages can happen at the most inconvenient times.
DO YOU HAVE WELL WATER?
Without power, the well pump won’t be able to provide fresh, safe drinking water to your family.
DO YOU HAVE A SUMP PUMP?
If you have a sump pump in your basement or crawl space, a power outage could cause it to fail. Damaging both the space and any possessions in that area.
SOMEONE RELIES ON ELECTRICALLY POWERED MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
If you or a loved one requires a medical device that runs on electricity, a power outage could be deadly. A whole home generator can keep those devices running.
DO YOU WORK FROM HOME?
If you work at home, every minute counts. Outages lasting even an hour can be a major pain—maybe even a major risk—to you and your business. family.
FOOD GOES BAD QUICKER THAN YOU MAY THINK
The FDA recommends perishable foods be thrown out in as little as 4 hours if left in a fridge without power.
YOU’RE NOT HOME FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME
Maybe you travel for the winter, or travel for work. Having a whole home generator will provide peace of mind, regardless if you’re home or not.
YOU DRIVE AN ELECTRIC CAR
If your transportation relies on power, having a back up system to allow for reliable transportation is a must.
Don’t Leave Your Family in the Dark. Schedule Your Free Quote With FSM
Now that you understand a few of the common power outages causes and the cost of being without power, installing a Cummins QuietConnect™ Series by FSM is the easy choice.
In the event of a power outage, the unit automatically kicks on, enabling you to power your home quickly and allowing for ultimate comfort. Remote monitoring allows for real-time updates, as long as you have Wi-Fi access.
Thanks to the automatic transfer switch, your whole home standby generator will power your home regardless of your location, offering reliable backup power for the duration of the outage. From refrigerators to home medical equipment, you can trust Cummins QuietConnect™ to keep your home and family safe.
FSM offers a free generator inspection and will walk through the steps to this powerful backup power solution. Call or contact us today to schedule your inspection.
WHY CHOOSE US?
Since 2007, Foundation Systems of Michigan has been Michigan’s most trusted foundation repair contractor. We have grown and continue to grow as a leader in the industry because of our outstanding reputation. We have earned this reputation year after year, one job at a time, and we work hard every day to maintain that reputation. We don’t just fix foundations – we help people. Restoring your peace of mind, and protecting your home.
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