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Electrical Outages  
Updated:  1/13/18
  
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     This page provides Q&A for frequent questions asked by Crystal Ridge residents.

    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  board@crystalridgehoa.org.
 
 
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Q: 
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 http://pse.com  or   http://pse.com/accountsandservices/ServiceAlert/Pages/Outage-Map.aspx?WT.ac=Flyout-OutageMap to find this information.
    
    
 A:  myPSE app -  
You can also install the
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.

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      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.

 
   Thank you,

    Tom Thomas J. Swanson

    Puyallup City Council, District No. 3

    253-753-8743 cell

 

   

-----Original Email-----

 
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

Hi Sharmilla.

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.

Thank you,
Tom
253-753-8743 cell

 

 

   

-----Reply to Tom's questions-----

 

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

Hi Tom,


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.

*    The 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    distribution lines.

*    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 transportation.

*    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 online.

*    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.

Best,
Sharmila




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