Who should I call?
In case of a power outage or electrical emergency, you may call us at 886-5090 for 24-hour coverage. During emergencies please be patient because all lines may be busy. For other inquiries, please call the billing and service number at 885-6840.
We'll be able to assist you faster if you can provide us with:
Sometimes power goes out for just a second or two. Why?
Usually an Auto-reclosure (A/R) event causes this kind of outage. An A/R is a safety protection feature built in to protect equipment and even people. When a fault current is sensed, the station breaker will open (power goes off) for a split second to clear the fault. The station breaker automatically tries to close back in (power goes on) and if the fault has cleared, power will stay on. Lightning or tree contacts on a windy day can cause fault currents. Sadly most often, animal contacts such as squirrels or racoons cause A/Rs. A safe and reliable electricity supply is always our priority. Even a split second outage is frustrating. We are sorry for the hassle.
What causes a power outage?
Power outages are usually weather-related. Major storms can disrupt service if lightning strikes electrical equipment or a tree limb falls on electric wires. The 1998 ice storm in eastern Ontario and Quebec was a powerful reminder of how vulnerable we are to the weather.
Accidents can also cause outages. If a car knocks out a single power source for example, we can be left without power for hours. Outages happen for many reasons and can last for any length of time. For that reason, Waterloo North Hydro cannot guarantee a continuous supply of power.
How quickly does Waterloo North Hydro respond?
We treat every outage as an emergency and provide 24-hour service to restore electricity as quickly as possible. So no matter what the extent of the damage, emergency crews start working right away to restore power.
How to prepare for an outage
Set aside a special place for emergency supplies. It should be easily accessible in the dark, and every member of the family should know about it. Here's a list of emergency supplies to keep handy:
Some other necessities
Consider special needs of family members
Is there a baby, child, grandparent or pet in your household? Take into account their needs and health issues and make a specific plan to help them should an outage occur. Will you need to find special medication or a way to warm a baby bottle?
If it's in your home:
If the power is out in your neighbourhood:
When things are up and running again
Once the refrigerator and freezer are running, carefully check the food. (Helpful hint: if you plan to be away from home and want to make sure an unexpected power outage hasn't spoiled the food in your freezer, place a bag of ice cubes inside before you go away. If you see that the ice cubes have melted and refrozen, the same thing will have happened to your food. Don't take any chances - empty your freezer immediately.)
If the outage was less than four hours, give your electrical system a chance to stabilize. Turn on only the most essential appliances and wait 10 - 15 minutes before reconnecting others.
Remember to reset all your clocks, automatic timers and alarms.
If you use alternative heating or cooking devices, camping equipment or a standby generator for electricity, make sure you do it safely. Check to see if it has been approved for use indoors by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
Alternative heating or cooking devices
NEVER use barbeques, portable generators, propane or kerosene heaters indoors. They are for outdoor use only.
Portable stoves, lamps and other camping equipment can be useful. However, these items use liquid fuels, which give off combustible vapors. In order to avoid any risk to your health, make sure that equipment and fuels are stored in a garage or shed that is separate from the house.
Portable and standby generators
Electricity is available at the flick of a switch to power the conveniences we depend on at home and at work but when there’s no electricity due to severe weather conditions or other circumstances, there is an alternative – portable or standby generators.
When used properly, generators are a handy alternative energy source that can be used until conventional power is restored. If you’re thinking about buying a generator, it’s important to do a bit of homework up front – and stay safe.
Here’s some important advice from the Electrical Safety Authority, which regulates the safe use of electrical equipment in Ontario:
Stay away from fallen wires
Ice storms, high winds or fallen tree limbs can bring down power lines. Even if a fallen wire seems dead, it can be dangerous. Please call us with the location of the fallen wires or report them to the local police as soon as possible.
If a power line falls across your vehicle, stay inside until an emergency crew removes the line. Stepping out of your vehicle onto the ground could be fatal if the fallen power line is live.
If you must get out because of fire, jump clear without touching the car and the ground at the same time. After jumping, move away without your feet leaving the ground. Keep your feet together and shuffle at least 10m away from the wire.
For added protection, use surge protectors
Surge protectors downgrade internal surges before they reach your sensitive electronic equipment. They are available in a variety of models and you can choose from units that accommodate a few plugs to units installed at the electrical panel to protect the entire house. They're intended to protect all kinds of sensitive electronic equipment from office machines to entertainment systems.
Never use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Unplug equipment if possible, and use baking soda or a chemical fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
If someone inside a building receives a shock from a faulty appliance and is still in contact with it, don’t touch the appliance or the person before pulling the plug from the wall socket. If a person or vehicle touches an outdoor wire, don’t touch either the person or the vehicle. Call 911 for help.
All victims of an electrical shock must have a medical examination to confirm that cardiac and pulmonary functions are normal and stable.
Electrical fires - have a plan
Waterloo North Hydro Inc.
526 Country Squire Road
PO Box 640
Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 4A3