Power blinks. What’s up with that?

Grey SquirrelA power blink is exactly what it sounds like. The power blinks off for a second, just like your eyes blink. You might not think anything of it, but after it happens a couple times, you may start to question the cause.

Members in the Socastee area recently experienced blinks several days in a row. Horry Electric’s servicemen and engineers investigated. They rode the lines, looking for the cause and made a discovery. It wasn’t mechanical. It wasn’t a tree. It wasn’t a snake. There was equipment damage and the culprits that did the damage were furry. Squirrels.

That’s right, guilty as charged.

A power blink is a brief interruption that’s designed to prevent a longer power outage. Blinks occur when an obstruction, like a tree limb, comes into contact with a power line or transformer. Wildlife, such as snakes and squirrels, can also cause blinks.

It’s fall, which means these animals are stocking up for the winter months. Squirrels tend to scamper across power lines to get from tree to tree.

It happens with underground service, too

Underground service is not immune to interference.  While some members on the system were experiencing blinks due to squirrel activity around overhead equipment, others were experiencing blinks followed by an outage due to cable damage apparently caused by termites.

That’s right. Termites. Crews spotted mud tubes and determined the culprits, in this case, were Formosan Termites.  This subterranean species of termites are known to be voracious and aggressive. They have been known to chew not only wood, but also flooring, wallpaper, and even the material used to make underground power cable.

If you experience a power blink, please call 843-369-2211 and let us know. More than likely, an animal is the cause of the problem. Regardless, we’ll investigate and get to the bottom of it. If you experience it more than once or twice, make a note of the date and time and please share that information when you call. It helps us

 

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