Lightning, arresters, and reclosers - OH MY!


We have thousands of lightning arresters throughout our electric system, which protect it from the high voltage lightning strikes by taking the voltage to ground. Most of the time, you will never know when an arrester has done its job. Your service stays on.

We also have reclosers throughout our system, which sense when trouble occurs and automatically shuts off the power. An instant later (the length of time may be noticeable only as a lightbulb flicker), the recloser turns the power back on, but if the trouble is still present, it shuts it off again. If the trouble is still present after three such tries, the recloser is programmed to consider the problem permanent and it remains off. A crew must then repair the problem on the line and reset the recloser to restore power. Examples of permanent problems include: power lines or other equipment damaged by lightning strikes, fallen tree limbs, or vehicle crashes. Reclosers save our ratepayers considerable time and expense, since they permit power to be restored automatically, after only a flicker or two. And, for outages that require a repair crew, reclosers minimize the outage area and help the crews to quickly locate the problem and restore power.

Some information courtesy of