A sudden power outage can slow down your momentum and throw your day off track.
Did you know that apartment renters are far less likely to lose power during an outage?
One of the biggest perks of being a renter is that you don’t have to worry about fixing things in your apartment or spending hours on the phone with the power company trying to get some answers.
You pay your landlord for that.
So, when it comes to rolling power outages, why is it that apartments don’t lose power the same way that homes do?
Table of Contents
1. Electric Wires Are Buried Under Units
When talking about apartment complexes, you should know that most cables are buried beneath the property, which gives them much more protection than you would see in a house with power cables running along the outside.
Along with power cables, most apartment complexes also run other cables and wires like internet cables and broadcast cables buried under the complex.
One of the most common reasons for a power outage is the weather. Whether it is storm winds or a sudden ice storm, the weight and stress put on the power cables can cause them to become damaged or even disconnect from the primary city power source.
You will most notably see this type of weather damage on power lines running from house to house and not so much with larger apartment complexes.
Since the power cables are buried deep beneath the surface, strong winds and heavy snow will have little to no effect on them.
This means that if you live in an apartment unit, the chances of you completely losing power are fairly low.
2. Larger Complexes Are More Stucturaly Sound
Large buildings and skyscrapers are made to bend with the wind. This allows them to stay solid and sound despite high winds and severe storms.
Along with the ability to sway, buildings also feature more structural details to give buildings more strength.
Even though apartment complexes are not always as high as skyscrapers, they are still designed and built with the same type of strength.
Unlike traditional homes, apartment complexes have more beams and low-bearing walls to separate different apartments and units.
This design makes each apartment feel like the renter’s personal space, making apartment complexes much more structurally sound.
So, when there are high winds and severe, severe weather storms, apartment complexes can handle the stress of the weather without worrying about the wind knocking out the power.
This is most evident in places with common severe weather patterns like hurricanes.
Houses and other small homes seem to blow away with the wind while apartment complexes and larger buildings still stand strong.
3. It’s All About the Location
Since larger apartment buildings are located in cities, the risk of losing power is much lower.
This is because power substations are often located in the heart of a city because that’s where the most power is needed.
So, when the power goes out in a larger city, plenty of backup generators are in use, so you might not even notice that the power station is currently having an issue.
Along with being located close enough to substations, emergency power crews are much more readily available in heavily populated areas.
If your power goes out, it will likely be resolved fairly quickly. In smaller towns, they sometimes have to wait days for an emergency crew to arrive.
Another thing to note about the location is that since substations are located close to these apartment complexes, there is less space between the apartment’s power meter and the power station.
It is less likely that damage will happen to the power cables, resulting in a complete outage.
4. Emergency Crews Prioritize The Center of the City
One important thing to note about how the power company responds to an outage is that they will start doing repairs closest to the substation and then work their way outwards.
The city creates “zones” to work on to be able to restore power to the most important areas first. The closer you are to the substation, the more your apartment will be prioritized.
This includes not only repairing damaged power cables but also the removal of any fallen trees or branches that may have been the cause of any outages.
Since larger apartment complexes are often located close to a substation, those complexes are within the first circle of areas that an emergency crew will work on.
It should also be mentioned that a power outage does not mean that everyone within the city will be without power.
Buildings close to the prioritized clean-up zone often won’t even lose power. This includes apartment complexes.
5. The City Prioritizes Multi-Family Homes
When living in an apartment complex, you are in complete control over when you use your power, and it even may surprise you to know that each unit in your building will have its own main power source.
For example, suppose an apartment building features 15 units.
In that case, 15 separate power meters will provide power to that specific unit and track and measure the amount of power being used.
One thing about power outages is that they are not always weather related. Sometimes the city must comply with resetting the power or rollover power to calibrate the power being used.
This means that random homes and neighborhoods across the city will be experiencing power outages. But the location isn’t as random as you think.
Power companies and utility workers prefer to roll out mandatory power outages on homes with only one family. This is because dealing with the blowback from one family is easier than resolving a power issue with 15 different units.
To fix a transformer, the power company has to turn off at least one main power source.
So, when you think about it, it makes sense that they would prefer to turn off a single-unit home to avoid inconveniencing a whole apartment building.
6. Most Larger Complexes Feature Backup Generators
Many landlords and building managers have enough smarts to install backup generators in their larger apartment complexes.
In comparison, this is mainly done so that they don’t have to deal with many angry tenants.
These generators are designed to kick on when the main power source is down. This allows all units in the building to still have power, even if it is slightly more limited than what they are used to.
However, even though there is a backup power generator, the power outage will not go unnoticed.
Once the main power is out, it takes a few moments for the generator to kick on to start powering an entire apartment complex.
Along with this generator, landlords must also ensure that there is plenty of gasoline to make the generator work properly.
So, even though the power will still temporarily turn off in apartment complexes with a backup generator, it won’t be too long before you enjoy your electric life again.