A power outage, lasting one minute or longer, usually happens when a problem occurs somewhere along the electric distribution system – this can be any place between the power plant and your home or business. When a power outage occurs, Tampa Electric will respond to the outage and make any repairs necessary to restore power. If you notice damage to your meter or related equipment, please view this illustration to determine who is responsible for repairs.
A momentary interruption typically lasts less than a second and is usually caused by a short circuit. Short circuits happen when something comes in contact with power lines, such as an animal or tree, or when power lines come in contact with each other. When this happens, a "breaker" automatically de-energizes the circuit and causes an interruption to your service. Special electrical equipment is designed to quickly open and close the breaker two or three times automatically – in separate attempts – to clear the problem. When this occurs, you might experience a momentary interruption each time. In most cases, short circuits clear themselves and a power outage is avoided. If the problem persists however, Tampa Electric will respond to the outage and make any repairs necessary to restore power.
It's important to understand that a momentary interruption lasting less than one second is the result of a "safety device" designed to automatically open the circuit to prevent damage that can lead to an extended outage. During Florida's hurricane season, outages may increase due to high winds and lightning. To keep outages to a minimum, Tampa Electric inspects and clears away trees and limbs from power lines. In addition, Tampa Electric works with environmental experts to protect birds and other animals by researching new ways to prevent them from coming into contact with power lines.