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FAQ

What do I do when the power or water goes out?

When the power goes out, follow these easy steps:

For 24-hour emergency service, call (360) 877-5249 or 1-800-544-4223.

  • Report your name and address. Describe any problems or sounds you may have heard.
  • Be sure to leave a phone number where you can be reached after power has been restored.
  1. Check your breakers or fuses. Is your whole house out of power? Are your neighbors out of power?
  2. Look outside for signs of damage to lines or power poles. In case of a water outage, do you see any signs of standing water?
  3. Call the PUD. Don’t assume someone else has called. You may be the only one with a problem.
  4. Trip the breakers to space and water heaters to avoid damaging the equipment and overloading the system when the power is restored.
  5. Turn on one inside light switch so that you’ll know when power has been restored and one outside light switch so our crew can see that power is restored.
  6. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Generally, the contents should be good for 24 hours if the door is kept closed. After that use dry ice for continued protection of your food.
  7. Unplug all electric equipment, such as TV’s, microwave ovens, computers, stereos, or anything else you feel necessary to protect. Try to remember what was on when the power went off, such as an iron, electric range, washer/dryer and turn them off.
  8. Stay warm. Choose a small room with few windows as your emergency living quarters.
  9. Keep the windows, drapes, and doors closed. Also, dress warmly. Wear several layers of clothes and don’t forget a warm hat and gloves helps keep you warm if it gets too cold.
  10. Listen to a portable radio for outage report updates during extreme outages. KMAS (1030 AM) works with the PUD to report outage updates during major storms.

Outage preparation - your outage kit

Please remember that outages are unpleasant and can occur anytime of the year, for any number of reasons. But if you plan ahead and always keep emergency items on hand it is much easier to endure. Your outage kit should include:

  • Clean drinking water
  • Canned/packed food
  • Blankets
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Portable Radio
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Candles and matches (never leave unattended)
  • Oil lamps and oil (never leave unattended)
  • Barbeque for outside cooking (never leave unattended and never use to heat the inside of your house, as it causes the house to fill up with carbon monoxide).

When will my power or water be restored?

Our crew is immediately called to work for any outage. It is our job to restore service to as many people as quickly as possible. In a severe situation, it may take several hours to restore your service. Please be patient.

We must find the main source of the outage and work from there. That means we deal with the biggest problems first and work our way to the smaller problems. In an electrical outage our first order of business is to repair the high-voltage lines, so electricity can get to the substations. Once the substations have power, we then repair the primary distribution lines. We then concentrate on restoring service to customers on life support or other emergency necessities, and then to those in the more desolate areas.

Unfortunately, this means customers living in wooded areas at the end of long driveways or dead end roads might have longer outages than some other customers. If your neighbor’s power comes on before your power, then you are probably on a different electric line that hasn’t been repaired yet. Please call our office to let us know that you are still without power since there could be another problem with the line to your home or business.

Our crews work around the clock until all service is restored.

If I am on electrically operated life support equipment, what do I do when the power goes out?

If you or someone in your home is on life support, please make sure the PUD has your phone number and the type of life support you require. We will attempt notify you when we are having a planned outage, so you can make arrangements. In the event the power goes out due to a storm or other unknown problem, we will attempt to do our best to get your power back on as quickly as possible.

When we have an outage, our staff notifies the crew that we have a life support situation. We will try to contact you with as much information as we have available to keep you informed of the possible time involved to repair the problem.

You should have some sort of emergency back-up system if the power does go out. If you do not have enough back up to keep your equipment running, please call 911 before the situation becomes too serious.

Do I have to allow the PUD access to the meters and other equipment on my property?

Yes.

Please remember that the meter readers and servicemen need access to the equipment, either to take a reading, repair, upgrade, remove, or replace defective equipment. If you have a locked gate to your property, we will work with you to get a lock that will allow us access.

Please keep the area around our equipment clean and cleared of brush or other obstructive material. You can’t receive an accurate bill, if your meter can’t be read. Please be considerate and provide a safe, unobstructed access to the meter. If you have a locked gate or a dog that may pose a threat to a meter reader, please contact us at 360-877-5249 or

1-800-544-4223 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

PUD employees and identification

If a person comes to your door claiming to be a PUD employee, don’t let him or her inside without first asking for identification. Our employees carry ID cards with their picture on it and will gladly show it to you. All of our vehicles are marked with the PUD logo. If you are not sure of the person at your door, please call our office and we will verify that the person is our employee.

How do I apply for a job with Mason County PUD#1?

Mason County PUD #1 is an equal opportunity employer. We only accept applications for open, posted positions. When a job opening is available, we will advertise in the local newspaper and on this website in the “Employment”section.

Safety tips for electricity

  • Always be aware of overhead power lines.
  • Stay away from any downed power lines. Call the PUD immediately. Do not touch or try to move the fallen lines.
  • Never fly kites near power lines. Use wood, paper or plastic on your kite – do not use metal. Wet string attracts lightning – only fly your kite on sunny days. Call the PUD for help if your kite gets stuck or snags on a power line.
  • Do not climb trees near power lines.
  • Keep irrigation pipes, ladders, antennas and equipment clear of power lines.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, stay in your vehicle unless a fire hazard is present.
  • Do not use frayed electrical cords.
  • If you have young children, keep unused electrical outlets covered.
  • Electricity is a major cause of building fires. Make sure your electrical circuits are not overloaded.
  • If trenching or excavating, be sure to have underground locates done before you start.

Standby Generator Use

A generator is useful in the event of a prolonged power outage, although improper use presents a deadly safety hazard. Portable generators are intended to serve as a power source for just a few lights or appliances during an extended outage.

A generator plugged into your electric system without professional installation can back feed electricity into the PUD’s system and energize dead lines with high voltage. This could result in serious injury or death for electrical line workers who think the lines are dead.

Plug appliances directly into the generator. Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet or electrical circuit. The total electric load on your generator must not exceed the manufacturer’s rating. Please be cautious and follow the manufactures suggestions when using a generator.

If you have purchased a portable generator for the storm season, please follow these important safety rules.

  • Before installing your new generator be sure to read all the instructions and safety material from the manufacturer.
  • Make sure the generator is installed properly. Improper installation or operation can cause severe injury or result in death.
  • If you connect appliances to your portable generator, use an appropriately sized extension cord in good condition. If an extension cord is the wrong size or in poor condition, it could become a fire hazard.
  • If you want your generator connected to your home electrical system, call a professional. Proper disconnect switches must be installed and you must use them to isolate your home from our power grid. If switches are not connected properly, a back
  • feed of electricity can occur to our distribution lines and possibly injure or result in death of a line worker.
  • Keep the portable generator outside or in a well ventilated garage. Store fuels safely and keep them away from children. Improper ventilation and storage of your generator or fuel could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • To have a safe storm season, follow these simple rules if you have a portable generator.

Measuring Water

We measure water in cubic feet because it is the standard measurement in our industry. If you want to figure out your water use in gallons, it is easy. One cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons, so just take the number of cubic feet listed on your bill and multiply it by 7.48 to get your use in gallons.

Finding a Leak

We will repair any leaks in the portion of the water system we own, which in most cases ends at your side of the water meter that connects your home to our main water line. The service line to your home, as well as the plumbing in your home, is your responsibility. We will certainly help you diagnose a mysterious leak in your system and answer any questions you might have about how to get it fixed.