Answer: Momentary outages occur when a disturbance on the line is detected. These disturbances could be caused by a lightning strike, a squirrel or tree branch contacting the line, or a downed line or outage in a nearby area, etc. If a fault or short circuit occurs on a power line, a device called a recloser opens to stop it and then quickly closes. This device allows power to continue flowing through the line with only a brief interruption of service rather than causing an extended power outage. Although the process is quick and usually temporary, it may cause your lights to blink. If the short circuit continues, the recloser will operate or ‘trip’ three times before eventually stopping the flow of electricity and causing a power outage. This process protects the lines from damage by cutting off power to the affected section of the line and isolating the problem until it can be repaired.
To enter the monthly contest, submit your question by emailing it to or by mailing it to York Electric Cooperative, Inc., P.O. Box 150, York, SC 29745—Attention: SCL Q & A. The deadline for receiving questions is the first of the month, but questions that come in after the deadline will be considered for the following month.
Frequently Asked Questions