When the wind blows, the wires might begin to oscillate up and down. In essence, the ice-encased wires function like an aerodynamic airplane wing. This is referred to as "galloping." Galloping can cause wires to come into contact, resulting in a breakdown or a power loss. The higher-voltage lines are generally more prone to this problem than are lower-voltage lines.
Power lines have three main purposes: electricity transmission, electrical distribution, and electric power supply. Electricity transmission uses high-voltage lines to carry electricity from a generator to local substations or voltage regulators where it is transformed into what we use as household current. Electrical distribution divides up the voltage between many outlets using low-voltage cables. At the end of these cables are small metal boxes called fuse holders, which contain several small glass or ceramic tubes that conduct electricity when blown by a tornado or other event. These fuse holders protect their contents by opening them when the strength of the line voltage exceeds what they were designed to handle. Last, power supply keeps track of how much electricity your home uses so you don't get charged more than you should. This is usually done by large metal boxes called meter sockets that hold the meter that measures this usage.
In conclusion, power lines gallop when wind blows them back and forth causing tension failures at times when they're most likely to happen (during severe weather).
During the winter, ice buildup on electricity lines causes them to become too heavy to be supported by poles or towers, increasing the likelihood of collapse. Wind, in addition to temperature and ice buildup, has an impact on sagging. Wind is known to cool wires, allowing them to transmit more electricity than they would otherwise. As wind speeds increase, so does its ability to rotate electrical lines around their axes, which can lead to their collapse.
The best way to avoid power outages due to low limbs or other hazards is to keep your yard clear of vegetation that could block power lines. Keep all tree branches no larger than the diameter of a power line at least 10 feet off the ground. Also, don't try to repair any downed power lines - contact us first at (888) 467-5610.
If you do encounter a low limb or other hazard that may affect your electricity, call us immediately at (888) 467-5610 so one of our experienced crews can assess the situation and provide advice on what to do next. We're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Winterizing your home's power system will help prevent damage to your lines caused by excessive weight on them. Make sure house guests don't connect lamps or appliances with old wiring by using plug adapters. This will protect you and others from receiving a shock if you happen to be visiting when these devices are plugged in.
Causes of power outages caused by the weather Ice Storms: Ice storms cause ice to accumulate on power wires and trees. Because of the weight of the ice, tree limbs and entire trees can fall into electrical lines, producing a power outage. Wind: Strong winds can cause things, such as fallen trees, to collide with electricity wires. This can result in a power outage.
Heavy Rainstorms: Heavy rain can cause roads to become flooded or washout. This can block access to homes and businesses, which can lead to power outages. Lightning: When clouds are close to the ground or to each other, they can come into contact with water molecules in the air, which creates a path for current to flow. If enough moisture is present, then you can get lightning strikes. Power lines are especially vulnerable to being struck by lightning because there are many exposed metal parts that could reach ground potential if not protected.
High Winds: High winds can damage roofs and trees, which can fall onto power lines. This can cause branches to break off of trees and drain pipes to be pulled away from their moorings. This can also cause vehicles to crash into power poles or wires. Power lines are easily damaged by high winds; if this happens, avoid going under power lines or stations. Instead, wait until they are repaired or replaced.
Thawing Freezing Water: As temperatures rise after a cold day or night, frozen water inside pipes may begin to thaw.
A drop in temperature may have an impact on power lines by increasing the quantity of heat lost by the conductors. This increased capacity causes other problems for power companies; more wind-powered generators need to be installed or overloaded circuits must be cleared off their routes.
As temperature drops, water vapor in the air becomes liquid condensation. This occurs when water vapor in the atmosphere reaches a certain concentration and then falls as rain or snow. When it melts or evaporates away, the remaining salt molecules are left behind. This can cause problems for power lines if enough of these salts reach ground level through melting or some other means. Salt deposits can increase the resistance of power lines which might lead to circuit breakers tripping into outages.
If the temperature remains low enough, all the water vapor in the atmosphere will become liquid condensation. This is called "saltating" and can also cause problems for power lines. If saltation occurs and enough particles hit the lines, there could be enough resistance to cause a circuit breaker to trip.
As temperature increases, water vapor in the air begins to boil. This occurs when water vapor in the atmosphere reaches a certain concentration and then rises due to heat from the sun or some other source.