The power suddenly goes out. Everyone is alarmed. The first question you’ll ask yourself is “What happened?”. Without power, you can’t cook dinner, watch TV, and you won’t even have light to read by. You need your power on, and the first step in finding out why it isn’t. Consider this your official power outage checklist and bookmark it on your phone. After all, if you don’t have power, that’s the only place you’ll be able to read it.
Which Power Company Do You Use?
Most people in Tucson will have Tucson Electric Power as their power company. People who live in other areas of the county or out in the suburbs will most likely work with Trico Electric Co-Op. It helps to keep a bill handy in the event that you don’t remember.
The most obvious way to tell if there’s an outage is to look outside. If none of your neighbors have their lights on or it’s dark as far as the eye can see, it’s more likely than not that the entire area is impacted by an outage. You can check outage maps and call to report the outage if everyone seems to be dark.
There are also obvious circumstances under which an outage is likely the culprit. Outages are not uncommon during large storms. Planned outages will sometimes occur for equipment repair or replacement. When this happens, the power company will often notify all customers ahead of time so they can prepare for the event.
Resources for Tuscon Electric Power
Report an Outage here.
View the Outage Map here.
Call at: 520-623-7711
Resources for Trico Electric Co-Op
Report an Outage here. (Requires user Login information)
View the Outage Map here.
Call at: (520) 744-2944
Outage maps are often updated with the latest information. Technicians will usually post the cause of the outage, the status of the repair, and the time that affected people in the area can expect their service to be restored. If the expected timeframe is long, periodically check the status on the outage map. Keep in mind that these timeframes are just estimates – it may be a shorter or longer wait depending on factors like weather conditions and the discoveries technicians make when they arrive at the scene.
If someone in your household is dependent on electricity, like a patient with an oxygen machine, you shouldn’t use these estimates as gospel. Instead, transport that individual to a location where electricity will be readily available, even if that location is a hospital.
Did You Pay Your Bill?
If you aren’t impacted by an outage, you may have been disconnected by the power company. Currently, the State of Arizona has placed a moratorium on disconnecting electricity for nonpayment for customers who have missed bill payment from the dates of June 1, 2020 and October 15, 2020. These are special circumstances related to the pandemic. Customers will continue to accrue bills, but they have that entire span of time to catch up on any late payments or overdue balances without the fear of disconnection.
If you have an unpaid bill outside of that timeframe and there is no outage in your area, it’s likely that your power has been disconnected. If you’re still not sure, you can always call your power company for current information. They’ll tell you if you’ve been disconnected and let you know what you need to pay in order to have service re-established.
What if I’m Disconnected?
If you’re disconnected, the only way to restore power to your whole home is to pay the electric bill. A generator may work to power essential devices in a pinch. Calling an electrician when you’re disconnected is not an option. Electricians can face serious legal ramifications for attempting to reconnect power that was disconnected due to nonpayment. On top of loss of the electrician’s license, the electrician can face a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine as large as $150,000. Don’t call an electrician for help – none of them are willing to risk the overwhelming consequences to reconnect you.
What if The Problem is With My Home?
If your bill isn’t late (or if you’re within the moratorium window), there’s no reported outage, and everyone else in your neighborhood has power, the problem is likely with your electrical system. The power company cannot help you with internal electrical issues. Their job is solely based around the equipment and infrastructure outside of your home. In some rare circumstances, the power company may work directly with an electrician on your behalf if the problem exists on both ends. Otherwise, the job is completely up to an electrician.
What’s Wrong with My Electricity?! Why Won’t My Lights Turn On?!
There are a number of reasons why a home may experience a total outage. It can be due to old, outdated, or damaged wiring. If you haven’t had your wiring updated in an old house and you live an electronic heavy lifestyle (like most people), you may have overstressed your electrical to the point of failure. It might be damage from a surge if you’re in an area that’s prone to external outages. There’s no real way to know until an expert electrician arrives at the scene.
If you see smoke or smell something burning, exit your home and call for emergency assistance immediately. This is a sign that you’re at risk for an electrical fire. Call the fire department first, and call the electrician second. Keep your family and pets outside until an expert says it’s safe to return to the building.
Call JCP Electric
JCP Electric is available for emergency electrical repairs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you’re experiencing an outage in the middle of the night, one of our experienced expert electricians can be dispatched directly to your home. We pride ourselves on the quality of service we provide and our unwavering availability to our customers. Give us a call at 520-808-3108 the moment an outage occurs. We’re always here for you.