Reasons for power outages

Power line technicians melt ice off power lines using long poles while standing in the back of their all terrain vehicle.

Manitoba Hydro crew melt ice off power lines.
Enlarge image.

The 4 most common reasons for power outages in our province, include:

  1. Adverse weather, lightning, tree contacts
    (35 per cent of outages from 2012–2016)
  2. Equipment failure, adverse environment
    (34 per cent of outages from 2012–2016)
    • Downed power lines.
    • A broken or fallen pole, or old or aging infrastructure.
    • A failure with our equipment such as a faulted transformer, failed line fuse or a problem at one of our substations.
    • Equipment failure due to technical problems within the equipment or abnormal environmental conditions (fire, flood, corrosion).
  3. Foreign interference
    (16 per cent of outages from 2012–2016)
    • Raccoons, squirrels, or other animals can cause short circuits by contacting power lines or other equipment.
    • Birds landing on power lines or transformers can trip fuses.
    • Objects, such as shoes or kites, hanging from power lines.
    • Vehicle accidents involving power lines, poles or other equipment.
    • Equipment, such as a crane at a construction site, coming into contact with a power line.
    • Excavation or digging by contractors or the public without proper line locations and clearances can cut underground wires.
  4. Unknown, other
    (11 per cent of outages from 2012–2016)
    • No apparent cause or reason can be determined.