Residential | FPL | Frequently Asked Questions
 

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my power goes out?
What is a breaker?

What should I do if my power is flickering or fluctuating?

What is a flicker and why do they occur?

What is a voltage fluctuation?

What is the difference between flickering lights and fluctuating lights?

Why is my power out while my neighbor has power?

Why do I only have electricity in one part of my house?

Can I pay an electrician to change my FPL service wires or cables?

Why would FPL crews pass my house without repairing anything?

How does FPL provide for people with special medical problems, such as those on life-sustaining medical equipment?

How can I protect my electronic equipment from being damaged?

If my UPS (battery back-up) beeps, does that mean that I have a power problem?

What is a power quality disturbance?
Why is power quality important?

Shouldn't I expect FPL to provide me with interruption-proof power?

What should I do if my power goes out?

Find out if your neighbors are affected.

If your neighbors are also without power, contact FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) or www.FPL.com/outage.
If your neighbors are not without power, visit our Breakers and Fuses page for instructions on how to check your fuse or breaker box and reset your main breaker.

What is a breaker?

A breaker is a protective switch located on an electrical circuit that can interrupt the flow of abnormally large currents. A circuit breaker is the most common means of providing overload and fault protection for customers and utilities.

What should I do if my power is flickering or fluctuating?

If you live in...

Then...

Single family home

Contact FPL at

Apartment/multi-unit dwelling

1. Verify if your neighbors are affected.
2. If neighbors are affected, contact FPL at

 

3. If neighbors are not affected, visit Breakers and Fuses for instructions on how to check your fuse or breaker box and reset your main line breaker.

4. If the flicker/fluctuating still continues, you may need to contact a licensed electrician.

What is a flicker and why do they occur?

Flickers are power interruptions that last less than one minute and act like a circuit breaker in your home. Although an inconvenience, they allow the electric system to continue to operate safely and prevent you from experiencing longer outages. Flickers commonly occur when lightning, tree branches, palm fronds or other debris come in contact with our power lines. When that happens, FPL’s system automatically shuts off electricity to isolate the problem area. When the line is cleared, the system resets and electric service is quickly restored. They are also referred to as momentary power interruptions.

Flickers can be caused by:

  • Lightning strikes
  • Tree branches making contact with power lines
  • Vehicle accidents involving power lines
  • Salt spray affecting FPL equipment
  • Damage to underground electrical equipment

What is a voltage fluctuation?

A voltage fluctuation is a dip or spike in the flow of electricity to your home. The state of Florida requires that utilities normally operate within a range of plus- or minus eight volts (112 - 128) from standard voltage (120), but FPL prefers to keep this range within six volts (114 - 126). Fluctuations of more than six volts may cause your lights to dim or brighten.

What is the difference between flickering lights and fluctuating lights?

Lights flicker when the power in your home abruptly turns off but comes back on within seconds. Fluctuations cause your lights to dim or get brighter than usual.

Why is my power out while my neighbor has power?

In many instances, a single street is served by two different main power lines and even different substations. Your neighbor’s home may be served by a power line or substation that has not been affected while the power line or substation serving your home is damaged.

Additional reasons your power can be out while other houses on your street have power include:

  • Fuses or circuit breakers in your home may be tripped
  • Tree limbs may have fallen on the line serving your home
  • Fuses on the transformer that serves your home may have blown or become damaged
  • The primary line feeding the transformer serving your home may be damaged.

Why do I only have electricity in one part of my house?

Causes of a partial power outage include:

  • A tripped circuit breaker
  • A blown fuse
  • A broken connector or wire at one of the service leads to your house

Sometimes damaged service leads leave only 120-volt outlets working. In this case, larger appliances that require 240-volt service—such as water heaters, air conditioning and ovens—may be inoperable until repairs are made. It is safe to use the outlets you have available while you check with an electrician or await restoration by FPL. If the problem involves a service lead to your home, FPL crews will repair them when they arrive.

If my power is restored, can I expect it to stay on?

Once service is restored, we make every effort to keep it on. However, as we repair other parts of our system, additional interruptions can occur. If a power outage occurs, contact FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) or report it online.

Can I pay an electrician to change my FPL service wires or cables?

No. Electricians are not allowed to work on FPL lines from the pole or transformer to your house.

Why would FPL crews pass my house without repairing anything?

If you see an FPL crew passing but not stopping, it may be because work must be performed at a nearby location before electric service can be restored to your home.

How does FPL provide for people with special medical problems, such as those on life-sustaining medical equipment?

Any customer who has continuously operating, electric-powered medical equipment necessary to sustain life or prevent serious medical complications may participate in FPL's Medical Essential Service Program (MESP). Please know that the program does not guarantee uninterrupted service, and it does not exempt customers from payment of their electric bills. MESP customers are responsible for having backup power supply and a plan in the event of power outages.

How can I protect my electronic equipment from being damaged?

Read our guide to understanding power outages, troubleshooting issues, protecting your appliances and more.

If my UPS (battery backup) beeps, does that mean that I have a power problem?

Not necessarily. The voltage that flows through electrical lines fluctuates slightly on a normal basis.
Some UPS products have a fluctuation threshold of five volts, meaning that the UPS will go into battery mode in response to a minor voltage fluctuation of six volts.

If your UPS activates unnecessarily, try these steps:

  • Reference your UPS owner's manual or contact the manufacturer about how to change the threshold to eight volts.
  • Check the battery for expiration. UPS batteries have an average lifespan of two years.

If your UPS beeps and you’re experiencing dimming or brightening of lights, please call FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) or report the problem online at www.FPL.com/outage.

What is a power quality disturbance?

A power quality disturbance is any change in the electricity reaching your home that interferes with normal operation of electrical equipment. Unprotected computers and other sensitive electronic equipment are susceptible to damage from power quality disturbances.

Shouldn't I expect FPL to provide me with interruption-proof power?

FPL understands that any power disturbance is an inconvenience. That’s why we continually invest in strengthening our infrastructure, use smart technology to prevent outages, and proactively clear vegetation from power lines. Despite our best efforts, no utility can ever be completely interruption-proof. Many forces can cause an outage, a flicker or changes in voltage. If you experience an outage or recurring power problems, call FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) or report it online at www.FPL.com/outage.