The Amana Service Company has had some power outages over the last few months. The most recent outage on July 31, 2018 in West Amana, South Amana, and Homestead was caused by a rodent getting into a control switch (green boxes along roads or right of way) and bridged across two conductors. The electricity travels through the rodent until a fuse blows or the rodent disappears. If a fuse blows, then every customer on that circuit will be out of power until the power is re-routed or the fuse is replaced.
An outage occurred on June 2, 2018 which was caused by a large rodent chewing through the insulation on a power line. This line takes the power from overhead, down the side of the pole to underground. The outage last ~40 minutes as the linemen searched for the cause of the outage, then re-routed power around the defect. The section of damaged wire has been replaced and precautions have been taken to prevent rodent intrusion.
On April 9, 2018, we had an outage in which the transmission line to the Amanas tripped (fuse blown). The generators started and was picking up load until a possible overload was sensed by the generator control system. The generators tripped off as designed to protect them. The intent in this case is to preserve the generators from massive damage so they could be started again soon after the assumed fault was cleared. The fault sensing was incorrect so we have been working with a vendor to upgrade the generator controls, upgrade the devices that sensed the fault (current transformers) and some wiring that transmits the fault signal. This work is ongoing and expect to have most if not all of it completed by the end of 2018.
Whenever a fault occurs on a power line, power can no longer be transmitted past that point. This means starting a generator will not fix the problem. Fixing the fault, replacing a fuse or re-routing the power around the fault are the only ways to restore power. Some residents who use a CPAP machine at night, oxygen machines, or similar machine, have expressed a concern with power outages. Some these devices (CPAP, oxygen generator, etc.) have a battery backup built-in to allow the user to go without power for 30 minutes or more. If a battery backup is not a part of the machine, then you could consider purchasing an Uninterruptible Power Sources or UPS. These devices are commonly used with personal computers, but can be sized for other purposes. These can be used with a CPAP machine or oxygen generator as long as they are sized correctly.
If you have any questions regarding outages or any of the information above, please call the Amana Society Service Company at 319-622-3052 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.