How to Report an Outage
Reporting an outage
During business hours, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., call us at 218-732-3377 or toll free at 888-713-3377. Your call will be answered by our office staff and you will be transferred to the automated outage system.
If line crews are dispatched for an outage and find that the outage is on the consumer side of the meter, the member will be billed for the cost of time and material. For reported outages outside of normal business hours, the minimum charge is $400.
When outages occur and the dispatcher is unable to answer your call, you will be connected to our interactive voice response phone system. Using this system can speed up the reporting and restoration of power outages. Since this system uses your phone number to look up your member information and location, it is critical that we have your current phone number in our system. If you are calling from a number that we do not have on file, the dispatch system may not be able to find your location based on phone number. If this happens, you will be prompted to enter in a number for the outage location and leave a detailed message about your outage.
We can store up to three numbers in our system, if you have a seasonal number or cell phone, please let us know. The current number we have on file is located on your monthly billing statement; please verify that that number is correct. If it is not, please call the Itasca-Mantrap office at 218-732-3377 or toll free at 888-713-3377 and we will update that information for you.
Itasca-Mantrap crews work hard to restore outages as quickly and safely as possible. We appreciate your cooperation and patience during these times.
Is it an outage?
You are at home going about your normal routine, and suddenly, your power goes off. Now what? Here are some tips on what to check before you call us, to be sure you have an outage and the problem isn’t on your side of the meter.
- Check your breakers or fuses
- Check with your neighbors to see if they are also out of power
- Check your meter. If you look through the glass at the bottom of your meter, you should be able to see a small, illuminated red light. If this light is on, the outage is on your side of the meter, and you may need to contact your electrical contractor.
Any other information may help us locate the cause of the outage, such as a downed tree, lighting strike, branch across a wire, etc.
Blinking lights can be a result of momentary outages that occur when some type of disturbance exists on the line. They most often occur when tree limbs or animals come in contact with electric lines, or when lightning strikes.
When lights blink, it can be an indication that the cooperative’s equipment is operating properly. If a fault or short circuit occurs on a power line, a device called an oil circuit recloser (OCR) opens to stop it, then quickly closes. Although the process is quick – and usually temporary – it may cause your lights to blink, making it necessary to reset digital clocks and appliances with digital displays.
The OCR is essentially a breaker, functioning much like a breaker in the electrical panel in your home. It permits power to continue flowing through the line with only a brief interruption of service, rather than causing an extended power outage.
If the short circuit continues, the OCR will operate or trip three times before eventually stopping the flow of electricity and causing a power outage. This process prevents serious and costly damage to our equipment and lengthy outages for our members, cutting off power to a section of the line and isolating the problem until it can be repaired and service restored.
Although the weather and nature’s creatures are beyond our control, Itasca-Mantrap takes all possible measures to prevent these occurrences and minimizes the effects to our members. Members can lessen the effects and inconvenience of “blinks” when they occur by purchasing small appliances and digital clocks with battery backup. Other ways include installing meter-base surge protection for the major appliances in your home and surge protection with built-in uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for your computer or other electronic devices whose memory would be lost with a power interruption.