Improving Our Home SafetyImproving Our Home Safety

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Improving Our Home Safety

Every home has its quirks, but a few years ago I realized that my home was especially quirky. It seemed like no matter what we did, we just couldn't keep our electrical system working well, and it was super frustrating. Some outlets wouldn't work, and others were spotty at best. Sometimes all of the outlets would work. Other times the fuse would blow when we were least expecting it. It was really frustrating, but fortunately, a local electrician came to our aid and helped us to make things better. This blog is here to help any homeowner to know when they need professional help with their electronics.

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Blinks, Surges, And Brownouts: What's Causing Your Power Outage?

Are you tired of never knowing what in the world is going on when your power goes out? Are you wondering if there are any clues that could help you determine what's at the route of your electricity woes? If so, read on to learn about blinks, surges, and brownouts so the next time your power goes out, you won't be left in the dark as to why. Then, call your electrician like one from RDS Electric if you need assistance.


A power blink is actually a brief power interruption designed by your electrical company to prevent longer, more troublesome outages. Blinks occur when an object such as a tree branch or squirrel brushes against a power line or transformer outside your home.

As the object comes in contact with the line or transformer, a circuit breaker opens briefly to stop the flow of electricity. The breaker will then try to close again, and if it can't because the obstruction is still in the electrical path, it will try 2 more times.

Finally, on the third attempt, the circuit breaker will remain open, signaling the power supply company that whatever is resting in the way of the electrical current isn't moving on its own, and needs attention.

If your lights and appliances blink three times before going out, call your electrical company and report a power outage due to an interference with the power lines or transformer.


A power surge happens when your home is exposed to too much electricity at once. There are many things that could cause this to happen, the most widely known cause being lightning, and the most common cause being low-efficiency appliances (appliances that require a large amount of electricity to power on). 

When lightning trikes your home, or near your home, or when a low-efficiency appliance begins a power cycle, a huge amount of electricity is channeled to your home at once. If your electrical system isn't set up to deal with these extreme surges, your electrical components will burn out, causing an outage. 

In the case of a power surge, your lights will usually glow a bit brighter, and then dim before going out completely. If you see this happen, call your power company and report a surge-induced power outage.


If it's not exactly an outage you're experiencing, but instead crazy-acting, poltergeist-like electricity, then you're probably in the midst of a power brownout. During a brownout, your lights may dim then brighten, your appliances may get quieter, or some lights and appliances may go off while others stay on.

What's happening here, is that something is causing your home to experience a drop in its supplied electrical voltage. 

This problem could be external; the power lines and transformers that supply your home could be overloaded or going bad, or your neighbor could be doing some crazy project that's sucking up all the electricity in the neighborhood.

A brownout could also be an internal problem. You could have a loose connection somewhere in your home's wiring or breaker panel. To check for clues of an internal problem, open your breaker panel, shut off the main breaker, and then smell for odors of burning wire or plastic.

If your breaker panel does smell like it's been hot, contact an electrician and explain the problems you're having. If you don't suspect that the trouble is stemming from your home's electrical system, contact your power supply company and request the lines and transformers that supply your home be checked out.

Next time your electricity goes out, be the first to know exactly why it happened. Use the clues that your lights and appliances give you to determine if your outage is caused by a blink, a surge, or a brownout.