Equipment Malfunction Cuts Power to Thousands in San Diego County

March 22, 2019

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

Three separate power outages left thousands of customers in San Diego County, California without electricity yesterday morning.  The first hit around 6:00am followed by the second around 7:15am, and the third around 9:00am.  While the majority of the more than 7,000 affected customers had power restored 10:30, but more than 600 were still waiting late into the afternoon. 

For businesses, any outage presents a challenge, as their operational capability depends on electricity.  Even early morning outages impact businesses that may be unable to start their daily routines, and even restoration estimates are often best guess efforts.

San Diego Gas & Electric indicated the outages were all caused by equipment malfunctions, though the specific causes are still being investigated.

Power outages due to faulty utility company equipment have become an all too common situation, and while utilities say they are doing their best to maintain and repair aging infrastructure, that doesn’t help solve the problem of business disruption.

Businesses, however, face additional issues when it comes to the impact of power outages.  Namely, surges that often happen when power goes out or is restored can be disastrous because of their potential for damaging sensitive circuitry inside servers, switches, security appliances, and other technology.  In fact, surges aren’t limited to outages, making protecting systems a business imperative.

Power protection systems that regulate power to eliminate fluctuations before they reach equipment are specifically designed to ensure technology is not damaged.  In addition, additional runtime provided by UPS systems allows IT teams to manually shut down equipment to ensure data integrity that can be compromised when systems lose power.  Of course, longer runtime systems can keep critical infrastructure running for longer periods and keep businesses operational through at least shorter outages, and backup generators can provide longer term power for extended outages.

The bottom line is that businesses rely on electricity, and while power outages create temporary (and hopefully short-lived) interruptions, damaged equipment can be costly and time-consuming to replace and can take entire businesses, or parts of them, offline for days, weeks, or even longer.

Edited by Maurice Nagle