If Your Power Fails

Why am I out of power and my neighbors aren’t? What is Midwest Electric’s power restoration strategy? These and other common questions are answered in our Power Outage Restoration FAQ document.pdf. And watch this brief video to learn about our power restoration strategy.

We offer 24-hour service for power outage restoration. Once we are notified of an outage, our linemen will determine the source of trouble and restore your service as soon as possible. Below is an illustration explaining how we prioritize areas when restoring power. Here are some important tips:

  1. First, check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers (located in a fuse or breaker panel inside your home, building or garage). If you live in a mobile home, check to see that the main breaker in your home is in the ON position. Also check the breaker panel outside on your service pole beneath your electric meter.
  2. Then, check with your neighbors. Ask if their electricity is off, too.
  3. To report the outage: You can call us at 1-800-962-3830, or report the outage directly through our Smart Hub app. On your smart phone or tablet, search for Smart Hub in the Apple or Android store. After downloading (it’s free), search for Midwest Electric Ohio. Tap the “Report Outage” icon. On the “Report Outage” screen, tap the “Report Outage” link. Verify your contact address. Add comments that will assist in the outage restoration. An example is if you heard a loud “bang” from your transformer, let us know. Then click “Submit.” Or if you have access to a computer with power, you can report it through our e-bill page.
  4. Be sure to plan for these fundamental needs:
    • Flashlight
    • Battery powered radio
    • Extra batteries
    • Matches
    • Water
    • Canned or prepared foods
    • Manual can opener
    • Disposable plates and utensils
    • Wind-up clock
    • Extra blankets or a sleeping bag
    • First-aid supplies
    • Extra prescription medicine
    • Battery operated sump pump
    • NEVER use charcoal indoors. It creates deadly carbon monoxide.

What to do during “brown-outs”

Suddenly the lights get really bright in part of the house, and dim in another part. Or, your lights and appliances work in one part of your home but not in other areas of the home. Those could be symptoms of “brown outs,” also called partial power. (Brown outs, or partial power, is different than “blinking lights” – which is addressed at the end of the article.)

Partial power at a home is usually caused by a problem with the neutral and/or ground connections. This could be a bad connection at the transformer, a bad connection to the pole ground, a bad connection to the primary neutral conductor, a bad connection in the meterbase, a secondary conductor that is failing, or problems within the home at the breaker panel, or individual circuits within the home.

The symptoms include dim lights; lights or appliances work in some parts of the home but do not work in other parts of the home; some lights get really bright while other lights get really dim at times.

Partial power – or “brown outs” or low voltage – for a large number of members could be caused by a transmission problem or a voltage regulator not working properly.
It also occurs when one phase of the transmission three phase is not energizing a substation transformer. Then, two of our distribution phases will have low voltage and therefore cause low voltage at the home.
What to do?
If you experience partial service, or low voltage, you should turn off your main breaker and call us or an electrician.
Typically if the low voltage or partial service is affecting everything in the home then call Midwest Electric. We will advise you whether the problem is ours or if it’s on your side of the meter.
Blinking Lights
Don’t confuse partial power with “blinking lights.”
“Blinking lights” is a complete, momentary power outage – perhaps just for a second or a few seconds. Sometimes, the lights may completely blink off just once and then everything is fine again. Or, the lights may blink on and off a few times. And then after a few blinks, the power may go out completely.
Blinking lights occurs when there is a fault on our electric system, such as a tree or branch contacting a power line. And it’s a sign that our electric system is working as designed.

Prepare Now for Winter Outages

Listen to weather forecasts every day so you’ll know when high winds or heavy snows or ice are on the way. That kind of winter weather is most likely to affect power lines.

Prepare an outage kit that contains: a battery-powered radio, fresh batteries, a flashlight, candles, matches, a wind-up clock, bottled water and paper plates and plastic utensils.

Keep a stock of canned food in your cupboard, along with a manual can opener.

Consider buying a camp stove and fuel that you can use (outdoors only, please) if you can’t cook on your electric stove.

Tape Midwest Electric’s outage report phone number on your refrigerator so it will be handy if you must report an outage: 1-800-962-3830.

Pile a few extra blankets and sweaters together so you can find them easily if the heat goes off. Dress in layers to stay warm.

Teach children to stay away from fallen or sagging power lines. They could be energized and dangerous, even if the power is out.

Our customers are the most important part of our business. When storms or other circumstances cause an outage, we take immediate action to restore service. We thank our customers for their patience and understanding.

Stepstorestorepower-70
(Click to see a larger photo)