Salt Air and Recent Power Blinks
We are aggressively working to resolve "blinking" power to services along our transmission line from Maysville to Pine Knoll Shores that have occurred over the past few days.
Those momentary power interruptions are caused by salt contamination on the power lines and equipment. The harsh coastal environment, coupled with a lack of rainfall causes salt buildup. That, in turn, can cause arcing, sparking and even outages.
A hard rainfall would help remove the salt contamination, but in the meantime, we are working with the assistance of specialized crews to make repairs and hope to eliminate the “blinking” problem soon. However, they may persist a little while longer as we continue our repairs.
The power “blinks” are built into the system to protect the lines and equipment hooked up to the line by and cutting off power to the affected section. A device called a “recloser” acts similarly to a breaker in your home, except it will automatically reconnect a set number of times to try to clear a fault that is temporary. This is what causes the “blink” in power.
If the disturbance on the line persists and is permanent in nature, the recloser will continue to operate or “trip” multiple times and then remain open, resulting in a power outage. That cuts the power in the affected area, and it will remain out until crews make repairs and power can be safely restored.
So, the next time you experience a “blink,” be assured that our system is operating properly, protecting electrical equipment and ensuring that as few members as possible experience any resulting outage. You should also know that those interruptions are reported to us automatically by our electric meter at your homes or businesses.