PG&E scheduling outages for equipment update

New equipment designed to fix trouble circuit that’s causing 16-hour outages
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Pacific Gas and Electric crews are moving forward with plans to update a troublesome circuit which left hundreds of Rocklin residents in the dark. Some outages lasted up to 16 hours earlier this month. The plan will call for scheduled outages to update equipment. “We had sustained outages in quick succession over the last five weeks,” PG&E’s Brian Jensen told Rocklin City Council Tuesday night. Jensen said the Del Mar Circuit, which services the neighborhoods from Park Drive and Pebble Creek to Midas and Argonaut avenues, hasn’t had any issues in three years until May 31 when a series of mysterious outages popped up. The utility company formed a task force and put up nearly $300,000 to identify and fix the problem. “We want to have increased reliability moving forward,“ Jensen said. Dave Black, PG&E Electrical Distribution Engineer Supervisor told council all of the outages were identified as underground equipment failures. “We had two underground ‘elbows’ which connect to cables, those elbows failed. Moisture was the cause,” Black said. “We also had a switch that failed.” According to PG&E, switches are supposed to reroute power from damaged lines. That may be one reason as much as 1,600 customers were out at one time a few weeks ago. Crews plan to add more switches to the circuit to avoid widespread outages in the future. Black said four switches and two circuit breakers are scheduled to be installed in the fall. At that time the power could be turned off to the affected neighborhood but PG& E officials said they would notify affected customers. “We’re doing a lot but it needs to be done so we’re moving forward,” Black said. Customers who experienced problems with appliances damaged when surges in the line occurred during the outage are encouraged to contact the utility and file a claim. Call PG&E Customer Service at (800) 743-5000. Electrical Surge Damage? Appliances damaged during an outage can be reimbursed File a claim Call PG&E: (800) 743-5000