The power went out in my block just now, so I got in my car and drove around and found a utility truck next to a pole that is at the junction between the block circuit and an adjoining circuit (which was on). At that area are two large buildings which used to be industrial buildings fed by three phase power, but the buildings were recently converted to be residential. The pole looked fine. It had some stuff running down the side of it.

The guy was in his cherry picker basket, but only about 10 feet up the pole, well below the wires. He was messing with something for a minute or two, then he made a motion with his hand and there was a blue flash and the whole neighborhood came back on, street lights, houses, everything.

I think he must have caused the outage because I got there in my car in only 2 or 3 minutes after the lights went out, so either it was the fastest power company response time in history, or he deliberately cut off the whole neighborhood for some reason.

What could he have been doing?

  • $\begingroup$ Circuit breaker? $\endgroup$
    – Mowzer
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 6:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ ...or they were doing things that weren't intended to disrupt the power, but made a mistake, broke it and then fixed it fast. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


We can only speculate (so this question may get closed), but maybe something accidentally happened while work was going on, and this caused a fuse to blow. The arc you saw was power being switched back on after a new fuse was installed.

Another less likely possibility is that they had to make some changes to the connection and shut off a switch temporarily. They probably knew it would only take a few minutes and just did it instead of going thru the time consuming process of letting everyone know.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.