"Watt" To Do...

"Watt" To Do When The Electricity is Restored!

In order to prevent a large, instantaneous load on your Cooperatives equipment when the power is restored, we recommend:

  • You turn off all large automatic equipment such as air conditioning, electric heat, electric dryers, etc., which were on when electric service was interrupted.
  • Turn off all electronic equipment, computers, VCR's, microwave ovens, etc.
  • Try to leave just one or two lights on, to indicate when power has been restored. Then turn on essential appliances and equipment one at a time. If you (and others) leave the large loads connected to the system, the demand for power when the lines are reconnected may cause another, longer outage.

"Watt" About Life Sustaining Medical Equipment?

Some of our members use essential, life-sustaining medical equipment prescribed by a physician. Since CBEC cannot guarantee uninterrupted service, it is the member's responsibility to secure a back-up power supply (batteries, generator, etc.) if the nature of the medical problem requires continuous operation of the equipment.

"Watt" Can I Do To Install a Generator?

If you install a stand-by generator, we recommend you contact an Oregon Licensed Electrician, for recommended, code wiring. There are wiring procedures, including the use of a "double throw switch", that will ensure electricity from your generator will NOT feed into the Cooperative's distribution system, causing hazardous, if not fatal, conditions for our personnel who are working to restore service.

"Watt" Can I Do To Change a Fuse?

  • First, disconnect lamps and appliances in use when the circuit went out. Also, turn wall switches off.
  • Make sure your hands are dry; if possible stand on a dry board or rubber pad; open the main switch or pull-out section of panel labeled "MAIN" in the service entrance to cut off current while working at a branch circuit box.
  • Identify the blown fuse. When a fuse blows, the transparent section becomes cloudy or blackened.
  • Replace the blown fuse with a new one of proper size. Socket fuses screw in and out just like a light bulb. Cartridge fuses, which are usually used in pullout section, can be removed by hand pressure.
  • Close the main switch, or replace pullout section, to restore service. Throw away the blown fuse.
  • Never put a penny behind a fuse. If you do, there is extreme danger that your house or building will burn down.

"Watt" if I Want to Learn How to Reset a Circuit Breaker? You came to the right place! Here we go:

  • Identify which breaker is no longer in the ON position.
  • Move the handle to OFF position.
  • Push handle past OFF position.
  • Return handle to ON position.

"Watt" if I Want to Build a New Building or Add on a Great New Addition?

When you plan an addition to a home or building, or are constructing an entirely new structure, scan the area overhead to see that there are no power lines that can create a safety hazard either during construction or when the building is completed. If you have questions about restrictions established by the National Electrical Safety Code, call our engineering department.

Remember that the existence of overhead electrical lines indicates that the Cooperative has a legal easement over the area beneath the lines and on either side which can limit the property owner's rights to build a structure near the lines.

"Watt" if I Want To Landscape With Trees Near the Power Line, "Watt" now?

Most homeowners select landscape trees according to personal preferences, color schemes, and what is on sale! However, planting a tree without considering its mature size can be a problem, especially if planted near a power line.

Trees near power lines are hazards. A tree which can come into contact with overhead lines can interrupt power, causing power outages. Children or pets that climb such a tree can be exposed to a power line and be shocked, burned, or even electrocuted! Also, dead wood on stressed, unpruned trees near overhead lines can be a potential fire hazard.

All high voltage distribution lines are constructed to meet or exceed the clearances required by the National Electrical Safety Code, thereby placing the line at approximately the height of a two-story building. Planting a tree that will be over 20 feet tall at maturity near a power line not only creates a potential hazard, it almost ensures that the tree will be disfigured because of severe pruning cuts necessitated by the Cooperative's need to trim trees to ensure reliable service to its members.

If you must plant near a power line, choose a small tree appropriate for the site which will not exceed a 20-foot maturity height or an ornamental tree, such as: dogwood, crabapple, redbud, etc.

Other landscaping problems are associated with underground power lines. Of course, shrubs and trees should not be planted within the right-of-way area of the underground line. If it is necessary to dig up and repair such a line, the plants will also be dug up. The easement of the Cooperative specifies that CBEC has the right of access to its lines at all times. 

Lastly, plantings are often used to camouflage transformer boxes. CBEC service personnel must be able to get to the boxes to make repairs and connections. The presence of shrubs next to transformers impedes proper air circulation and the transformers can become overheated, not to mention extends power outage time for our members.

"Watt" Do I Need to Know for Meter Access?

If an electrician, contractor, or other craftsman is working on your wiring, or installing special equipment, and finds it necessary to gain access to your meter installation, contact CBEC at once for instructions. No one is authorized to cut a meter seal or remove a meter except CBEC personnel. 

If you build an addition to your house or other building, do not enclose the outdoor meter base within the new structure. Electric meters must be accessible to Cooperative personnel at all times for the purposes of meter installation, reading, and maintenance, or for the removal of the Cooperative property.

"Watt" To Do If You Suspect Meter Tampering.

The stealing of electric energy or unauthorized use of power by tampering with an electric meter, or unlawfully reconnecting electric service which has been disconnected is most certainly, against the law. 

The person who has possession or control of the property is legally responsible for any acts of stealing electricity, although that person may have not performed the act. It is not necessary to be caught in the act of tampering with a meter to be liable for prosecution. CBEC employees are trained to detect signs of meter tampering or other unlawful use of electricity. When such a situation is found, Cooperative personnel secure the assistance, of the appropriate legal authorities, investigate, and can file criminal charges.

Members should recognize that when someone steals electricity from the Cooperative the rest of the members pay for that electricity in their bills. If you suspect someone of metering tampering or the stealing of electricity, please report it immediately to CBEC. This information will be kept confidential, and will, in the interim, save money for yourself and your Cooperative.