Everyday, we rely on electricity to make our lives easier. Unfortunately, few people understand exactly where it comes from, how the electrical system works and what it takes to keep it up and running for millions of customers across the United States.
The first thing to note is that electricity is often produced and distributed locally, as opposed to a singular national system powering every single home’s appliances and electronics. Truth is, the national system is made up of thousands of state, local and private energy producers, and each electric supplier must keep up services—like oil circuit recloser maintenance—to avoid outages.
Here are some other facts you might not have known about electricity that are worth understanding:
- Consider the source: Often overlooked are the ways in which electricity is produced, and there are many different methods to creating electrical power: It can be generated through hydroelectric facilities, wind turbines, solar farms and even through the burning of materials, like coal or fossil fuel. But each method has its benefits and drawbacks. For example, the burning of coal or fossil fuel is an effective way to produce energy, but it creates a large amount of pollution in the process. And options like wind or solar production are very clean, but require a substantial investment and retooling of existing infrastructure. Some areas have adapted to such methods, while others are still hesitant to take these steps.
- Getting power to you: Once electricity is produced, getting it to the customers is the number one priority. You can often find high-capacity transmission lines along major transportation corridors. With these lines, power producers can effectively push electricity hundreds of miles to distribution points throughout a region. From these transmission points, electricity is delivered to homes and businesses by way of smaller under- and aboveground cables. When there’s a problem with the electricity, it is generally because something has occurred at the local level, rather than where it’s originally produced—like cars crashing into power poles, transformer explosions and bad weather. Report such power outages to repair crews.
- Other issues: As we mentioned earlier, bad weather and outside interference can affect your power delivery. Sometimes, during bad weather, you might notice your lights or appliances falter. This is to do with the safety features built into power transmission lines. A device called an oil circuit recloser temporarily opens the electrical circuit—stopping the flow of electricity—when an animal or tree branch comes into contact with the power lines. This is meant to prevent damage to the system that might cause a more substantial issue.
- Safety: Whenever it comes to electricity, always be cautious. Never approach or touch a downed power line. If you hit a power pole with your car and bring down the lines, remain in your vehicle. It might be scary, but the rubber tires of your vehicle are protecting you from electric shock. If you can, back your vehicle to safety. Always assume a downed line is active, and alert emergency crews and linemen as quickly as possible.
For all your oil circuit recloser maintenance and service needs, don’t hesitate to call the skilled team of techs at Central Illinois Reclosers Inc.!
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