Power Outages

Franklin PUD has line crews on call around the clock, 24/7, ready to restore power as quickly as possible. If you experience a power outage, please report it immediately. If you spot a downed line, assume all wires and power lines are live and never touch one. Keep everyone out of the area and immediately call 911. We take great pride in providing our customers with safe, reliable electric service. Still, outages sometimes happen. Weather, equipment failure, accidents, birds, and animals are the major causes of power outages.

Report an Outage

(509) 542-5300
(800) 638-7701 (Toll-Free)

Essential Supplies:

  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Glow-in-the-dark sticks
  • Lantern
  • Portable radio and batteries
  • Windup clock
  • Matches
  • Mylar blanket
  • Can opener

Tips for Power Outages:

  • Check to see if your circuit breakers are tripped. If so, attempt to reset your breakers. 
  • Check to see if your neighbor has power. 
  • Keep flashlights ready and in an easy place to find (not at the bottom of a dark closet).
  • To assure phone service, have one phone that doesn’t need power or uses batteries.
  • Avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer. The contents should be good for at least 24 hours if the door is kept closed.
  • If you use a portable generator, it must be connected through an approved transfer switch that is isolated from Franklin PUD's system.
  • Turn off appliances. It's especially important to turn off anything that has a heating element, such as the electric range/oven, irons, toaster oven, or heated hair tools. They could cause a fire when the power is restored if they remain on and you forget to turn them off.
  • Unplug any sensitive electronic equipment such as televisions, computers, and stereos that may be damaged by voltage fluctuations.
  • Leave one light on so you'll know when power comes back on.
  • Dress warmly if the outage occurs during cold weather. Be very careful with portable heaters, make sure you have proper ventilation.
  • Have a backup plan if you rely on life-sustaining equipment. Be prepared to go someplace that has power or to the hospital.
  • If you see a power line on the ground, stay away and call 911.

Safety guidelines for generator use

By following the guidelines and the instructions provided by the manufacturer, you will be better prepared to use your generator safely. By operating your generator properly, you also protect the safety of others, including Franklin PUD employees who work on power lines. Your safety during a power outage – and at all times – is important to us. Generators can pose a risk if not used properly.

To avoid electrical hazards:

  • Keep the generator dry.
  • Operate on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Dry your hands before touching the generator.
  • Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord.
  • Make sure entire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin.
  • NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as “backfeeding”, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer.

Operation Guidelines and Safety Information

Portable (temporary) generators can help save food in your refrigerator or freezer, keep lights on for safety and security, or provide electricity for other essential equipment during a power outage. These generators are intended only for short-term use and must not be connected directly to a home's electrical system.

Portable Generator Operation Guidelines

Before starting a generator, carefully read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. 

  • Place the generator outside so deadly exhaust fumes vent away from family members and pets.
  • The total electric load on your generator must not exceed the manufacturer's rating.
  • Prioritize your needs. Use the lowest wattage light bulbs that provide a safe level of light, reserving power for additional lighting or a small appliance. The greater the load on a generator, the more fuel it uses. 
  • Extension cords must be properly sized to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords may cause damage to equipment or present a fire hazard. 
  • Make sure to place cords out of the way so they don’t present a tripping hazard in a dimly lit area. Never run cords under rugs or carpet. 

Permanently Installed Generators

Permanently installed generators are designed to switch on when the power goes out and may be necessary if you rely on life support or critical care equipment. When a generator is permanently connected to your electric system, carefully follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Permanent Generator Installation Guidelines

  • A qualified professional, such as a licensed electrical contractor, must install the generator.
  • An electrical permit through the State Department of Labor and Industries is required. 
  • Installation of a transfer switch, which meets national electrical code, is required. A licensed electrician must install the transfer switch and connect it to the generator. 
  • Contact Franklin PUD to disconnect your electric service while the transfer switch is installed. 
  • The appropriate electrical inspector must approve the installation of the transfer switch. 
  • Upon approval, the inspector will notify the PUD and your power will be reconnected. 

The Important Role of a Transfer Switch

A generator connected to a building's electric system energizes the building's wiring when that generator is turned on. Since the building is already connected to utility power lines, the generator also has the capability to energize the PUD system as well. That creates a dangerous hazard for PUD line crews working on power lines during an outage—power lines they assume are dead.

A double-pole, double-throw transfer switch is the recommended device to keep a permanent generator from feeding into the PUD system. The transfer switch also keeps PUD power from re-energizing your house wiring while your generator is running. This protects the generator, wiring, and appliances from being damaged when power is restored.

Please know that our line crews will work to restore your power as safely and quickly as possible.