Many of you in the Seattle area might remember this incident from last May, when a raccoon managed to somehow cause massive power outage in the Seattle area, affecting almost 40,000 people due to electricity impact. A smaller number of you might recall this strange event, as well. While these examples are rather unusual sets of circumstances, it’s not unusual for animals to cause problems with power and impact electricity on a much smaller scale.
Even though animals causing large-scale blackouts isn’t as uncommon as you’d assume, we’re going to leave that alone for today and talk about animals and their impact on your personal and local electrical situation: your house, and maybe the ones right in your immediate area.
So, how can animals cause the power in your home to have problems?
Bird on a Wire
You see them all the time: birds perched on power lines and electrical poles. What you might not know is that birds, and all the different ways they can interact with power lines, are one of the main culprits when it comes to animals electricity impact.
Of course, birds like to sit on power lines. While the lines are built tough enough to withstand this for a while, over time the amount of birds (even smaller one) can add up, and eventually that accumulated weight can cause breakages and other problems in power lines. In addition, larger birds like to nest on the the tops of the taller poles because it gives them protection, as well as a great view for hunting. The problem? These nests can often result in damaged power equipment, blown transformers, and even lead to the bird’s electrocution.
Woodpeckers can poke holes into the poles, which can cause them to break or lean. And the bird poop? Well, lets’ just say that it carries its own corrosive and conductive hazards with it, which can lead to damage or insulator flashovers, which can disrupt the power grid locally, or even on a larger scale.
Unwanted Pest in Your Home Have Electricity Impact
If you’ve ever heard the pitter-patter of scurrying little feet in your attic, then that might mean you have squirrels, mice, rats, or other pests in your house. For many reasons, this is a problem that you need to take care of as soon as possible. One of the main reasons is how they can affect your home’s electricity. Rats and other rodents love to chew. They will chew through just about anything — clothes, boxes, wood, insulation, you name it. This list includes power lines. A chewed through wire means a serious problem for you and your house, as you have to find it to fix it. Often, this can be a line buried somewhere deep in your walls, which means a lot of time and money could go into solving this problem. Even worse? This chewing can sometimes lead to the death of the animal in question, which may or may not be sad (depending on your point of view) but will almost always end up causing quite a stink — literally.
Pets Have Big Electricity Impact
Of course, if we’re going to talk about animals and your home, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention those few special animals who are actually invited into our homes: our pets. You might love ‘em, but you have to understand that them being there can still affect your home’s electricity in many ways.
First, and most obvious, is that certain pets require more electricity. A fish tank, for instance, requires a continuous source of power for filters and pumps, lights and thermostats. Some pet appliances, like fountains, also require electricity. Your dog might be kept in the yard through an invisible fence or some other powered fencing. Things like these obviously can raise your power bill.
But even pets can create problems like the ones mentioned above. Cats love to chew on things, don’t they? And cats don’t automatically know the difference between what is, and what isn’t okay to chew on. Exposed wiring can become a problem for your house’s power grid. It also includes the well being of your rambunctious pets.
As homeowners, it’s important to understand how all creatures (great and small) play a role in your environment. You try to keep nature out of your house like birds, rodents, and other wildlife — and domesticated animals as well. It can affect what goes on inside the home. It’s best to monitor your home vigilantly for the things you can control. You have to be ready to call others when it’s beyond your capabilities.
Are you not sure about your own home’s ability to withstand animals? Please don’t hesitate to contact an electrician to help.