Electric System Operations and Maintenance
To ensure the delivery of safe, reliable electricity to the meters of our homes, businesses, and industries, JEA service crews perform regular maintenance tasks on our equipment, which include the following:
- IR Inspection – JEA uses an infrared detection camera to survey our system for areas that may become future trouble spots. The camera detects the temperature of equipment to determine if connections might be loose, equipment overloaded or other reason that an excessive temperature rise may be occurring.
- Patrolling – Overhead wires can be impacted by trees and other objects that could make contact with the wires. JEA crews routinely inspect the power line routes to insure they are free of danger, hazards, trees, and other objects. This inspection can be done via a vehicle from the ground in most cases and from a drone in hard-to-access areas. A trained eye from a lineman can spot potential trouble spots that would not be evident to the general public.
- Pole Inspections – Wood and steel poles are exposed to a harsh environment. The soil and the sun can deteriorate poles that are needed to support electrical wires overhead. To determine when poles need to be replaced, crews inspect poles from the ground, from a bucket truck or even by digging at the base of the poles to determine any hidden damage beneath the surface.
- Substation Maintenance – Substations allow JEA to receive high voltage from TVA and reduce that voltage safely so that it can be used by customers. JEA owns many substations throughout our system and routine maintenance is required to ensure safe delivery of electricity. Crews will perform oil sampling, battery testing, relay testing, breaker testing, transformer testing and other general inspections for proper function.
- Right-of Way Clearing – Trees and vegetation are one of the most common causes for power outages that occur. Keeping the power line routes free of trees and vegetation is very important to providing reliable and safe power. Tree trimming is done every year to keep the power lines from being impacted by the vegetation growth that occurs.
- Routine Switching – The electric network is made up of multiple lines that can feed power from multiple directions. This flexibility is designed into the system to provide reliability to our customers. Crews will operate overhead switches to allow power flow to change directions so that routine maintenance can be performed on sections of power line.
- Safety Reviews and Inspections – You may see JEA crews gathered around a truck or a power line route. This gathering is more than a casual conversation. Safety is critical and each person must be informed and understand the task to be accomplished in order to do the job safely. A tailgate meeting with specific safety questions is a requirement for each electrical job that is performed.
Although regular routine maintenance and inspection of power lines is performed, there is the potential for downed power lines or equipment. It is important to remember that hanging or downed lines could be one of many utilities and could be dangerous. Always stay away from hanging or downed lines and equipment and contact JEA to report.