Outages

Outages

 

While Middle Tennessee Electric's outage rate is well below the national average, power outages do happen.
When they occur, members can be confident that MTEMC will do what it takes to restore power as quickly as possible.
The most direct route to report an outage is through MTEMC's automated outage line.

What To Do If You Experience An
Unexpected Power Outage

 

If your lights go off suddenly, there are two possible causes:

  • Your main fuse is blown or a circuit breaker in your box has opened.
  • There is a problem on our lines.
  • First, try to determine if the problem is in your house or on our lines. If the neighbors' lights or street or security lights are still on, check your main switch panel.

If you have circuit breakers:

  • Flip the main breaker handle to the OFF position, then back ON.
  • If none of your lights or appliances work, call MTEMC at 1-877-777-9111.
  • If only part of your lights are off, check branch circuit breakers by switching them OFF, then ON. Some breakers have to be pushed very hard to re-activate.

If you have fuses:

  • Buy and keep on hand replacement fuses of the proper sizes for main and branch circuits.
  • Pull out the main fuse block and replace and then try them one at a time. You generally cannot tell if a cartridge fuse is blown simply by looking at it.
  • If you are satisfied the trouble is not in your house, call 1-877-777-9111. If you observe flashes along the line, trees down in the wires, wrecks, etc., please report these to help get power back on faster.

Crews are ready to restore power to our members day or night.

Systems Control is monitored 24/7, 365 days
a year for outages in our service area.


 

Outage FAQ

What are MTEMC priorities for restoring service?

Our crews work around the clock until all members have power. MTEMC follows a three-step process recognized as an industry best practice. Hospitals, police departments, fire stations and other public health and safety facilities are priority one.
Step 1 - Repairs are made at substations and on main distribution lines that come out of the substations.
Step 2 - Crews fix damage to tap lines that branch off from these main lines.
Step 3 - Power is restored to pockets of customers and then to individual homes.

Check out the infographic about the steps to restoring power!

An MTEMC truck just drove by my house without stopping. Why?

The most efficient way for our crews to restore power is to begin from the substation and work toward individual homes. After the main circuits are functioning, we turn our efforts to repairing feeders or taps that will restore power to the greatest number of members. Then we concentrate our repair efforts on those whose power was not restored when the main circuits and taps were repaired.

Why does my neighbor have power and I don't?

There could be a few reasons. First, there may be damage to the service wires leading only to your home. These wires don't affect your neighbor's electric supply. Second, MTEMC circuits can sometimes have complex feeds, so your neighbor's home may be served by a different circuit than your home. Finally, there may also be as many as three different phases on the pole in front of your home. Your neighbor may get service from a different phase than you.

How does MTEMC manage increased calls during an outage?

MTEMC has an automated outage management system that is connected 24/7 to a toll-free outage reporting line. When you dial 1-877-777-9111, your call is routed through a computer. You will be asked to enter your account number, meter number or the phone number associated with your account. Also, there is an option to speak your address if the numbers do not work. The system generates a notice to our 24-hour Control Center personnel and a crew is dispatched to restore power. Our automated line allows us to process more calls and get electricity back on more promptly for all members.

Does MTEMC know when I've lost power?

Right after a storm, MTEMC can pinpoint transmission lines, substations and major distribution circuits that have been damaged. However, if your outage is an isolated situation report it right away by calling 1-877-777-9111.

If my power goes out, what should I check?

Check your circuit breakers or fuses to see if it's an isolated problem. Next, examine your meter. If the meter box or any wires look damaged, call a certified electrician. They may need to make repairs before MTEMC can reconnect power. If you don't find any problems, call our outage reporting line at 1-877-777-9111 and enter your account number, meter number or telephone number associated to your electric account.

How long does food last after the power goes out?

According to the USDA, a fully-stocked freezer will stay cold for two days. A half-full freezer will keep items frozen one day. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold four hours after power is lost. Be sure to check the temperature inside your fridge once electricity is restored to determine if the food is safe to eat. The refrigerator should be at or below 40 degrees with the freezer at or below zero degrees.

Who do I call if electrical wires have been pulled away from my house?

MTEMC is responsible for delivering power to your home's connection point. You are responsible for repairs from the meter into your home, including wires located in a mast riser. If service has been pulled away from your house, a qualified electrician must make the repairs before power can be turned back on. In certain cases, an inspection by your local codes authority may be necessary.

Do elected officials, employees or other important individuals get special attention?

No.

Is power automatically shut off during a tornado or other major storm?

No. MTEMC will not turn off power unless instructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and, in some cases, emergency management authorities. In the interest of safety, we will not attempt to restore service until conditions improve.

What if I have special medical needs?

If you, or a family member, rely on an electrical life-sustaining medical device in your home, call our Contact Center agents at 1-877-777-9020 Monday through Friday 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. to make sure we are aware. In some cases, severe weather can damage the electrical system to where it takes days to fix. If your life depends on electricity, it's vitally important to have an emergency back-up plan in place.

How can I tell if a downed power line is still carrying electricity?

Any line lying on the ground should be considered live, so never go near downed power lines. Please call our Contact Center at 1-877-777-9020, Monday through Friday 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. to report a downed power line, or call 911 at other times.

Are there safety concerns in using a portable generator?

Yes. You should never operate a generator inside your home. Keep it outside for proper ventilation. Only a qualified, licensed electrician should attempt to hook up a generator to the main electric panel of your home or business. If it's connected improperly power can "back-feed" onto utility lines. For safety concerns, please notify us at 1-877-777-9020, Monday through Friday 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. if you have a generator connected to your electric entrance.

Who do I call if a tree falls near a power line?

If a tree or limb falls and results in an outage, leave the work to us. If the line is sparking, please report the emergency by calling 911.

How do I report a street light problem?

Call our toll-free outage reporting line at 1-877-777-9111, and press 9 to report a street light or security light outage, or you may click here.