This page provides Q&A for frequent questions asked by Crystal Ridge
Please read the FAQ below to
find an answer or solution to your problem. If you have a
specific question about your situation, please contact the Board at
How do I find out about or
report an outage? And how can I find out about current outages
and restoration times for our neighborhood?
A: Online - You can check online at
to find this information.
A: myPSE app - You can also install
myPSE app from the App Store.
Problem with the myPSE app -
During the last power outage on 8/29/15, many were concerned about
inaccurate information on the myPSE app.
Below is an email exchange that
Tom Swanson had with PSE about this discrepancy and an explanation
of the priorities that PSE uses in restoring power to all residents.
I wanted to forward an email
conversation I had with Sharmilla Swansen from PSE regarding the
problems with the myPSE app and how the triage works during major
region storm event.
I don't know if you got some of the same
feedback I did from Crystal Ridge folks, but the answers to some of
those questions/comments are in Sharmilla's email.
Tom Thomas J. Swanson
Puyallup City Council, District No. 3
From: Tom Swanson [mailto:TSwanson@ci.puyallup.wa.us]
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 9:42 AM
To: Swenson, Sharmila
Subject: Crystal Ridge neighborhood/myPSE app
Great work by PSE this weekend.
You can hopefully steer
me straight on this. I got reports that the Crystal Ridge
neighborhood (off Shaw & 23rd Ave, East to the ridge) was down till
about 1:30am. The myPSE app said it was back online around 8pm.
The folks were worried you system didn't know they were down, when
your app had them up. Where can I direct them for answers on how
PSE knows who is down and how you all prioritize restoring service?
BTW - the myPSE app was really helpful and accurate with my
neighborhood (about 1/2 mile South of Crystal Ridge.
From: "Swenson, Sharmila" <Sharmila.Swenson@pse.com>
Date: August 31, 2015 at 4:17:29 PM PDT
To: Tom Swanson <TSwanson@ci.puyallup.wa.us>
Subject: RE: Crystal Ridge neighborhood/myPSE app
One answer may be that while it's usually a very good
indicator, occasionally the Outage App "pin" shows up in the wrong
spot. We are still working to perfect the Outage App and though
it's a great tool, at times locations can be slightly off. That
being said, I have a question into the Puyallup storm base to see if
there was anything out of the ordinary going on at the time.
Here is a rundown on the restoration process:
If high-voltage transmission lines have gone down or are out of
operation, they are one of PSE's highest priorities. We repair
those first because they serve thousands or hundreds of thousands of
customers. They are the superhighways of
electricity, moving power across large distances. Transmission
wires are overhead lines that are 55 to 230 kilovolts (kV).
Work crews must locate where the transmission lines and towers are
damaged, and repair or replace them. That can be time-consuming,
since transmission lines often cover long distances and can be in
remote and hard to access locations. We often use helicopters to
help patrol the transmission line corridors to look for problems.
* After transmission issues, we restore service to
distribution substations, which give us linking and switching
capabilities to reroute power around damaged areas. It's at the
substations where power is stepped down from high to
lower voltages and fed into the distribution system.
An offline substation can impact thousands of customers. PSE has
428 transmission and distribution substations across the 8 counties
where we provide electric service.
transmission lines and substations need to be brought back into
service before focusing on the distribution system.
Our primary distribution voltage is 12.5 kV. Roughly half of PSE's
distribution lines are underground. Distribution voltage is stepped
down to service voltage through smaller transformers located along
* Once power is restored to
a general area, crews can repair downed or damaged wires between
utility poles and homes and businesses.
Priority for power restoration also goes to essential services such
as hospitals, water and wastewater systems, energy services and
* If your neighbor has lights on
while you're still in the dark, your area might be served by a
different circuit which is still in the process of being bought back
* Even if you don't see a PSE or Potelco
crew in your neighborhood, we're most likely already working at a
substation or on a downed wire nearby that will restore your power.
To the question of how we know about outages, our systems
operation center can see when circuits on the grid are down and we
have staff monitoring the system 24/7. That being said we always
welcome outage reports from customers and often they can provide
valuable information such as trees on the lines, customers can call
us at 1-888-225-5773.
I hope this helps, I know that you
probably get a flood of messages every time there is an outage so
we're always happy to provide information.