What to do when the lights go out or the water goes off:
Morristown Utility Systems makes every possible effort to provide inexpensive and reliable electric and water service to our customers. However, on occasion a power outage affecting you may occur. Several factors may be the reason for these outages. Some of the most common reasons are automobile accidents involving power poles, fallen trees or limbs on the lines, and storms.
If you are experiencing an outage, please follow the steps below to assist us in restoring your power.
- Determine if the entire house is without electric or water service. Do some electrical outlets or lights work but not others? Are water problems limited to one area in your house?
- If your electricity is off, check the switchbox for tripped breakers or blown fuses. Main disconnect switches may be located outside under the meter base or at another location in your home. If you are out of water, make sure all valves inside your house are “open”.
- Determine if you are the only house without utility services of if others in your neighborhood are also without power or water.
The quickest way to report your outage is to call our new automated outage response system at 317-8845. Morristown Utility Systems maintains 24-hour service to respond to your call. Please follow all instructions carefully—your telephone number provides us with important information about your account and is critical to dispatching a crew to the proper location. We’d like to know if you’ve heard loud noises, seen flashes of light, or can provide other specific information to help us resolve the problem quicker. Report all automobile accidents involving poles. Lines down are considered an emergency and should be reported immediately.
After reporting the outage, turn off all electrical equipment including heating/cooling systems, electric water heaters, and electrical appliances. Turning off these items will help reduce the initial demand for energy when the power is restored. If the initial demand for energy is too great the power may go off again. Some other electrical appliances or equipment to consider may include:
- VCRs & TV sets
- Microwave Ovens
- Refrigerators & Freezers
- Washers & Dryers
Thirty (30) minutes after continuous power has been restored you can generally resume the normal use of your electrical equipment and appliances.
How power is restored during an emergency:
We realize the importance of your electrical and water service and Morristown Utility Systems tries to restore services as quickly as possible to largest number of customers first. This is usually accomplished by repairing and restoring power to facilities in the following order:
- Bulk power 161 kV delivery point substations
- 69 kV transmission feeders
- 13.2 kV distribution substations
- 13.2 kV distribution three phase feeders
- 7.62 kV distribution single phase taps
- Individual distribution transformer stations
- Individual dwellings and businesses
On occasion when several large areas are without electrical service due to storms life support customers and critical care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes may receive preferential treatment in the restoration of service. Prolonged absence of electrical service to these types of facilities can be detrimental or even life threatening to their patients, Should you have a special medical need, you are urged to contact our Customer Service Department to make us aware of your needs and get information on our Life Support Program.
How we prepare to minimize power outages:
Morristown Utility Systems maintains an aggressive maintenance program of inspections, pole replacements, tree replacements, tree trimming and state-of-the-art system facility upgrades to help minimize the number of outages to our customers. Employees and crews are well trained in the latest techniques of engineering, construction, maintenance, and service restoration.
When severe weather conditions are expected, MUS mobilizes employees and fleet vehicles to prepare for all unexpected outages and any customer needs that may result from inclement weather. Contract line crews and our tree trimming contractor are alerted and placed on standby should their services be needed. Morristown Utility Systems’ employees are dedicated to restoring power and water to our customers as quickly as possible and are willing to work around the clock until every customer has their utility services back on.
Protect your water pipes from freezing:
During colder months some customers may experience frozen water pipes at one or more locations in their homes. Usually pipes are exposed under the crawl space of the home or located in exterior walls of the home, which are the most susceptible to freezing. Additional insulation in the floor and walls may help this situation. Pipes that are easily accessed may be wrapped in an insulation-type tape that can be purchased from most building supply businesses. Another technique often used is to turn the faucet on and allow the water to run a fast drip through the pipes that are prone to be affected by cold temperatures. The movement of water through the pipe often raises the pipe temperature enough to prevent freezing. Vents to crawl spaces under houses may be closed for a few days to assist in warming pipes but is not recommended for long periods of time. Vents should normally be left in the “open” position to allow vapors that may naturally be present to escape and prevent causing moisture-related problems.
Should pipes become frozen, it is recommended to either allow for normal thawing or use a hand held hair dryer. Never use a torch or open flame of any kind on water pipes. During the thawing process, carefully notice water leaking from pipes and joints. New leaks may develop from frozen pipes that have become damaged due to the expansion of water as it freezes.