Your lights went out, but came back on quickly, and now the digital clocks on your microwave, etc. are blinking. What happened?

You experienced a momentary outage caused by a temporary short circuit, or a fault. If a tree limb blows into an electric line, for example, it causes a fault. Other causes include lightning strikes, animals (like squirrels) in lines, or vehicles hitting utility poles.

The fault interrupted your power, but what turned it back on so quickly?

These momentary outages can be annoying, but without the temporary interruption from the recloser, the fault could damage KUB’s electric system and lead to a longer outage and greater inconvenience.

Do momentary power outages damage electronic equipment?

No. A recloser that initiates momentary outages is like a light switch: it just turns the power off and on. But some faults that trigger reclosers (like lightning strikes or vehicles hitting utility poles) may cause power surges that can damage your equipment. You might want to consider a surge protector to help safeguard your equipment.

Take these steps to minimize the impact from momentary power interruptions:

  • Look for built-in protection from brief power interruptions when purchasing your next television, microwave oven, or other electronic device. 
  • Use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with built-in batteries to power your computer during momentary outages.
  • Save computer files frequently and regularly back files up to protect your work.