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Why Your Neighbor Has His Power Back Before You

When your home experiences a power outage, you may be surprised that your home experiences a power outage, but your neighbor may not. Even when you are next door, you may find yourself heading to your neighbor's house for assistance. There are several reasons why you may have to wait longer for your power.

Complex Power Grids

Your neighbor might be on a different set of lines or on a different circuit. Neighborhood circuits work in a manner similar to how circuits in your home work. When one of one of your circuits fails, this does not mean that your other circuits will necessarily fail.
Outages can occur anywhere and are the result of a range of car accidents, lightning, strong winds and winter storms. When there is a power outage, you should report it as soon as possible. While electric companies can identify the general area where a power outage occurs, they are not able to determine the exact location where an outage may have occurred.

Outage Priorities

Depending on the extent of the damage, utility companies may not be able to restore power to everyone simultaneously. Emergency services have priority over residents. For instance, if a hospital, fire department or police department has lost power, utility companies attempt to restore power at these facilities first.
When reporting a power outage, only report exactly what you have experienced. For instance, do not report that there is a downed wire because this will not cause technicians to restore your power more quickly. Many problems besides downed wires can cause power outages. If you report a downed wire and it does not exist, you may have to wait longer for power to be restored.


Occasionally, after experiencing an outage, you may discover that the power goes out a few minutes afterward. The process of repairing downed power lines is complex, and there may be damage somewhere else that may cause another outage.
If your electrical breaker keeps tripping, you may need a different circuit breaker. You may have a short circuit or a ground fault. Call an electrician to have your home inspected.

Power Restoration Time Estimates

In the early stages of an outage, your utility company may make early predictions for how long you may have to wait until they restore your power. However, you may not have to wait as long as the stated estimates because utilities struggle to make accurate predictions early on. Eventually, utilities can make more accurate predictions as they learn about the extent of the damage.

Electrical Contractors

Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need assistance from an emergency service that can perform repairs to your building to restore power. The power grid might be fine, but your own internal electrical wiring may be damaged, and you may need an electrician to perform necessary repairs.
If you have power in multiple parts of your home, the problem is likely not the utility company, but instead, something is wrong with your circuit breaker, or you may have a blown fuse. You may have a broken connector or wire that causes only 120-volt outlets to work. Outlets that require 240-volt service may not work. However, you can continue to use the outlets that are working.