Problems related to quality of power supply can be experienced as voltage fluctuations, power surges and spikes. They commonly cause lights to flicker, glow brighter or dimmer and can even cause incandescent bulbs to blow prematurely. Poor power supply can also cause electronic equipment to fail (especially computers) and may cause interference of radio or television reception.
What causes poor power quality?
Voltage fluctuations are generally caused by loose or corroded connections at either the house or on the power lines, and are often noticed by flickering lights.
Dim lights can be a symptom of the voltage being too low. This can be caused by overloading on the network, loose connections or the conductor wire carrying power to your house being too small. In extreme cases, a loose connection can cause electric shocks from metal appliances and surfaces in your house.
Power surges and spikes are commonly caused by lightening, power switching on the lines or sometimes from household appliances drawing excessive amounts of power in either your own house or neighbouring premises. Other less common causes of power surges and spikes include lines clashing as a result of trees, strong winds, vehicle accidents or possums and birds on the lines.
What do I do about poor power supply?
The quality of power supply you receive does vary from time-to-time as a result of the above factors and with most one-off situations does not require further action. However, if the problem is a continual or regular occurrence it may be worthwhile contacting Northpower Faults to inspect the problem.
Step 1: Complete our Voltage Fluctuation Observation Form by recording your observations in regards to the quality of power supply you are experiencing.
Typical problems experienced with poor power supply:
- Lights flickering or dimming
- Computers restarting/crashing
- Light bulbs not lasting
- Cooking equipment problems
- Electric motors not starting / unexpected trippings
- Equipment slowing down
- Stray voltages (shocks off appliances or other metallic surfaces)
Step 2: Call Northpower Faults on 0800 10 40 40 to arrange a Faultsperson to come and inspect the problem. It would be useful if you can complete the Voltage Fluctuation Observation Form prior to the Faultsperson being dispatched. You can fax the form to Northpower Faults on (09) 438 2818 or email it to email@example.com.
Step 3: A Northpower Faultsperson will be dispatched to your premise to investigate the quality of power supply you are receiving. In the majority of cases, a loose or poor connection is usually found to be the cause and can be fixed while they are on site.
Who pays to fix power supply problems?
If a problem exists on the Northpower Network there will be no charge for the problem to be remedied. If Northpower discovers the problem is on your equipment it is your responsibility to rectify the problem. You are welcome to hire your own electrician or ask Northpower to complete the work for you.
If you are prone to frequent power fluctuations, it may be worthwhile having an electrician install a surge protector in your distribution board. A cheaper option is to ensure you have power surge protectors on all electronic appliances, for example computers, televisions and DVD players.
Browse our Knowledge Base
Subscribe online to ensure you receive your copy of ConsumerLine direct to your email box and help reduce the impact on our environment.
We only print our ConsumerLine Newsletters on recycled paper.
Did you know?
We are the largest electrical contactor in New Zealand, specialising in building and maintaining other network owners powerlines.