Power Outages: Types, Causes, and Risks to Appliances

Power Outages: Types, Causes, and Risks to Appliances

It can be an inconvenience when the power goes out, given our reliance on electrical appliances. However, do note that, in most cases, your electrical company isn’t to blame. In this article, we’ll tackle the various forms of power outages including their common causes. That way, you can gain a better understanding of why they occur.

Different types of power outages

Power outages come in different forms:


This is when a large area loses power simultaneously. It typically occurs when power facilities are damaged because of bad weather.


A brownout is not a total loss of power, but instead, a drop in the power supply. There’s still power, but it’s limited due to the high demand the grid is currently experiencing.

Permanent fault

Contrary to its name, a permanent fault isn’t actually permanent—in fact, it’s the easiest type of power outage to deal with. It’s simply a sudden loss of electricity, which often occurs when a particular power line is down.

5 common causes of power outages

Some of the most common causes of electrical disruptions include:

1. Bad weather

The weather is the most common culprit for power outages. Strong winds, for instance, can topple utility poles, while lightning can fry wires. Additionally, storms can uproot trees, which can fall onto power lines and cut the flow of electricity.

2. Equipment failure

The components that supply power to your home can malfunction. Transformers, for instance, can fail due to overload or simply wear and tear, resulting in power disruptions.

3. Accidents near power lines

Car-related accidents are another common cause of power disruptions. When a vehicle loses control and knocks over an electricity pole, it will likely bring down power lines with it. This can cause a loss of power in a particular area.

4. Energy demand

The power grid can only handle so much. When too many people draw power at the same time, the grid can become overwhelmed, leading to an overload and eventual outage.

5. Planned outages

Electrical companies may cut power during maintenance operations. They usually provide prior notification to allow individuals to prepare for these instances.

What’s the risk of power outages?

The appliances you rely on daily tend to be sensitive to power fluctuations. When the power is restored, surges can occur, which can potentially cause damage to their components. Even seemingly sturdy items such as HVAC systems are at risk due to their sensitive parts, such as control boards, compressors, motors, etc. In some cases, the damage might be so serious that it needs electrical repair or replacement.

To safeguard all of your power-drawing items, make sure to unplug them during a power outage. This precaution goes a long way in preventing damage caused by power outages.

Need electrical repair after an outage?

If your HVAC system has suffered damage due to a recent power outage, don't hesitate to reach out to Beeson Mechanical Service. Our experienced team is here to restore your systems and ensure they perform opt. Additionally, we’ll provide you with the knowledge on how to protect your valuable appliances against unforeseen power outages. Call Beeson Mechanical Service, Inc. at 317-535-9338 today to schedule an HVAC check.