How Long Is Reasonable for a Repair from the Electric Company?

Updated on August 31, 2012
T.M. asks from Tampa, FL
11 answers

We got home last night and we had NO power. We reported it and ended up waiting until around 11 p.m. before it got temporarily fixed. Our night was horrible. I had to go get take out food because I could not cook. The kids could not take a bath and the house was at 90 degrees so they could not sleep. Needless to say, we were horribly uncomfortable. The power was out for at least 6 hours that we know of...likely out for a lot more time than that since the ice in the icemaker was already starting to melt when we got home. Consequently, I had to throw out most everything in our refrigerator this I am already irritated at the amount of money that this cost me.

The power company indicated that there was something bad in the line from the transformer to my house. Therefore, they have to dig up my yard to fix the line. In the meantime, they have a temporary overhead line running to the house through the trees. They tell me that it is safe. I expected them out today to do the repair, but they have not been here. How long is reasonable to wait for them to come back and do the repair correctly? At what point, do I call them and make a stink that they haven't done the repair? I am already feeling a bit unreasonable since their lack of a timely response caused me to lose a refrigerator full of food... I am trying to manage my expectations...

ETA: We are in Florida and the storm missed us, so they are NOT dealing with storm damages.

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answers from Jacksonville on

In all honesty, I wouldn't expect anyone until at LEAST Tuesday. It's a holiday weekend, and you are not totally without power. The above ground lines are not ideal, but they work and aren't a hazard really. Possibly longer than Tuesday, depending on how many of their crews have been sent elsewhere to assist with damage from Isaac.

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answers from San Antonio on

Wait, the power was out for 6 hours, and what was the max that it could have been out? As long as it wasn't more than 24 hours and you weren't constantly opening and closing the fridge, your food would have been fine. (Especially since you then had power around 11pm.)

I would give them through Tuesday. If you don't hear anything on Tuesday, then call Wednesday morning and give them a reminder. Either way, I wouldn't get too upset. As the other mothers said, count your blessings. It could have been a lot worse. (As in, the storm didn't turn and hit FL straight on, your house could be flooded, and you lost everything...but you didn't. You only lost power and decided to throw away food because you didn't know any better.)

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answers from Norfolk on

I think it might take awhile for your permanent fix to happen - perhaps a few weeks
1) it's not critical because they have a work around in place.
2) it was uncomfortable, but you were only out 6 hours - that's not a lot of time and your fridge food was fine - it's not enough time for it to get warm - you didn't have to throw anything out.
3) power companies loan out repair crews to emergency areas - so YOUR repair crew is busy piecing things together in Louisiana and everywhere else Isaac tore things up.
Those people will be out of power for weeks no matter how fast everyone works and puts in 20 hr days doing it.
Get a little perspective and calm down.
Buy a generator and prepare for when a hurricane comes through your area.

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answers from Biloxi on

Ah T., I have been without AC since Tuesday - through Hurricane Issac, so I feel your heat. Plus, here, it is still about 100% humidity. My entire house is damp. I expect to get a maintenance guy out here by Tuesday to check out the AC.

Your power company, depending on if they are dealing with Issac - or if they have sent repairmen to Louisiana and Mississippi to help out - may be short staffed and running circles. If they have done a temporary fix, and you have power, do not fret. But we are going into the weekend - so plan on Tuesday at the earliest.

I don't know about your insurance, but give them a call and see if you have coverage for the lost groceries.

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answers from Boston on

You are being totally unreasonable. That they did a temporary repair after hours is a freaking miracle. Be happy that you got that. Why don't you ask them when the permanent repair is schedule for? I could easily see that taking several weeks to get around to. They may need to pull permits, call dig safe, schedule equipment to do the digging etc.

Regarding the hurricane, electric companies usually send crews to travel to a catastrophic area to help with repairs. It may not have hit your town but that doesn't mean the company isn't affected. We've had crews come up here from the South and MidWest to do repairs after ice storms and crews go from here to tornado and hurricane areas all the time to help.

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answers from New York on

You have power right. When they get to yountheybget to you. With the hurricane, there are more pressing issues. No you did not get it but electric companies sent equipment from all over so I would guess your electric company is helping too. Be patient. Food in a frig should last longer than six hours as long as no one opens the frig. Not sure why you had to throw it out. Be thankful you are not in Louisiana. You would be without for quite a while. Remember it could always be worse. Sorry to sound harsh, just trying to put it in perspective.

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answers from Louisville on

I know it's inconvenient for you, but I used to work for an electrical contractor and know that our company sent folks out to other states to help with repairs - sending them for several weeks! They got sent to ice damage a lot - and wind damage from Ike (we have a lot of that locally).

Will ya do me a favor? Please don't fuss at the crews that come to fix the stuff as they might have to stay in your area and travel to fix other areas. I was so annoyed when the ice storm came thru here and other companies sent help and people were making/posting comments about these guys taking meal breaks! REALLY?? It was freaking COLD!! A hot meal helps!

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answers from Dallas on

Are you dealing with storm stuff, where you are? If so, I'd count yourself lucky, that you have any power. I'm amazed they'd get out so fast. It takes 24 hours for a fridge, if you don't open doors. I've packed food into ice chests plenty of times, during storms here. If the storm came to you, it seems those preparations would be normal. I've never been in a hurricane, so I'm not sure.

There are thousands without power, you have it. Feel blessed.

ETA: I know electric workers for my state headed to florida and Louisiana to help with the storms. People from your state probably did, too. They are probably severely short handed.

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answers from St. Louis on

It depends on who needs them most. Considering they may be dealing with storm damage I would say sometime next week maybe later.

Their lack of timely response did not cause you to lose a refrigerator full of food, your lack of knowledge did. 24 hours! Unopened a refrigerator full of food does not spoil for 24 hours. We get a lot of tornadoes and bad storms here so we kind of have the power out protocol down cold.

Okay after your ETA, should be Tuesday or Wednesday. Should being the operative word. An example would be I live two miles from the Mississippi river, they would have properly fixed it today, go two miles on the other side of the river and we are talking a month!

Oh, insurance will cover groceries but it subject to the deductible, another tid bit from tornado alley. :-/

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answers from Sacramento on

this is why we went and bought a small generator. it's a very secure feeling to know that we have back-up if the power goes. overhead lines are perfectly safe, unless they're down of course, that's what we have here in the sticks! i've had to throw out an entire freezer worth of meat before...that's when we went and bought the generator! I think you're lucky you got them to come out that same night and run you a line. I would call on tuesday and see where they are at repair wise, in the meantime, go see if someone is having a good sale on generators for the labor day weekend!

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answers from Houston on

Wow, tough crowd...
Anyway, a permanent fix could take a week or so.

1 mom found this helpful
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