On Friday, April 11, Salt Lake Community College’s South City Campus had a complete power outage lasting for approximately thirty seconds.
Radio Producer Jefferson Curtis was working on editing a news update when the power went out.
“I hope I didn’t lose everything on my drive,” says Curtis.
The outage was not an isolated incident.
“A ‘power bump’ occurred on the Rocky Mountain Power side of the feed,” notes Bob Askerlund, Vice President of Facilities Services. “Unfortunately it has happened before. The power feed on the Rocky Mountain Power side has some smaller commercial customers on our circuit and there are some issues with a consistent voltage being provided.”
The help desk for South City says that it usually happens once a month, and it generally happens when the weather starts to warm up.
“We’re noticing an increasing frequency of about 1-2 times per month,” says Askerlund.
The main breaker was apparently replaced and adjusted two years ago by a factory technician.
“We have been advised that we shouldn’t adjust it to where it is less sensitive, before it trips, or we risk damaging equipment on our side of the breaker. We are going to look at other options for this breaker or a replacement system that won’t be so sensitive. It will take some time to evaluate and determine a proper course of action,” say Askerlund.
SLCC will be hiring an electrical consultant to evaluate the present situation.