Are you experiencing a “brownout”? How to tell.



If you’re reading this article on your phone, crouched on the floor in a dark house because your power is out, then we offer you our sympathy. It’s possible you’re experiencing what we call a ‘brownout,’ not a ‘blackout,’ which can be solved in a few easy steps, usually for free. Keep reading to learn more!


A blackout is when your power is completely out, and most likely your neighbors lose power, too. It usually happens during a bad storm when, for example, a tree knocks a power line loose. A car crash or construction gone wrong could also be the culprit. If you’re experiencing a blackout, the best thing you can do is wait for your utility company to address the situation. They will most likely have an outage map on their website or send you an email to say they are aware of the problem and are working to correct it.


There’s also something called a “rolling blackout” which is a controlled power outage that the utility company uses to manage energy and keep the electrical grid from being overloaded. Usually you will be given advance notice of a rolling blackout, and it’s only utilized in emergency situations.


A brownout happens when your power is only partly out. You might notice that some of your rooms have power and others do not, or some appliances are dark while others are working as expected. Typically there are two live electrical wires that enter your house. It’s possible that only one of them is not working correctly. In this case, you don’t need an Electrician, and it shouldn’t cost you anything to have it addressed. We advise you to call your utility company first, because they will usually come out and fix the problem for free.


So there you have it! If what you’re experiencing has the telltale signs of a brownout, then your first step should be to call your utility company. If you don’t have their number handy, look for your latest utility bill or check their website. And as always, reach out to us with any questions.



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