We restore power in the following order:
Network substations, gate stations and main feeder lines/pipelines - these form the backbone of our network and must be repaired before power can be restored further down the line
Critical infrastructure - hospitals, water and sewage plants, airports
Major locations - buildings in the CBD, high rise buildings, commercial centres and industrial plants
Domestic properties - urban and rural
Streetlights and hot water pilot lines
Restoring high voltage faults first
Vector owns substations (A), power poles and lines (B and C) on the electricity network that carries the electricity between the National Grid and your home. The property owner owns and is responsible for the service line between our power pole and their property.
When there is an event such as a storm that results in widespread power outages, our crews works to repair the high voltage (HV) network first. This is because on average, around 700 customers are affected by a fault on the high voltage network whereas about 60 customers are affected by a fault on the low voltage (LV) network.
Once crews have repaired the high voltage network, they then focus repair works on the low voltage network on a suburb by suburb basis. Unfortunately, if a customer still has no power due to damage on their service line, this can only be confirmed once both high voltage and low voltage faults are resolved.
Have a look at these two videos for a behind the scenes look at work to restore power during a storm.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU DON’T HAVE HOT WATER
During a major outage, priority will be given to restoring the main power before hot water.
It can take up to 6 hours for a hot water cylinder to reheat once power has been restored after an outage. If you have no hot water:
Check that your hot water cylinder is on
If your hot water cylinder is heated by gas then contact a registered plumber
If your hot water cylinder is heated by electricity then please call us 0508 VECTOR (0508 832 867)
Depending on the extent of the damage caused by a storm or major outage, some customers on the North Shore, Waitakere and Rodney may be without hot water until we’ve restored power to all customers. Once this is done, then our crews will start working on restoring hot water.
HOT WATER RESTORATION AFTER A STORM
There are two types of hot water networks in Auckland - the ripple relay and the pilot wire network. The ripple relay network is remotely controlled via the low voltage (LV) electricity network whereas pilot relays are controlled via a separate pilot wire on the electricity network.
Auckland’s northern network (North Shore, Waitakere and Rodney) has a mix of both pilot wire and ripple relay for hot water, whereas the rest of Auckland only has the ripple relay system.
The diagrams below explain the difference between the two hot water systems in more detail.
RIPPLE NETWORK FOR HOT WATER
As the ripple signal for hot water is sent down the same line as electricity, hot water won’t be available during a power outage. However, once power is restored, hot water should be available after 6 hours (the amount of time needed for a hot water tank to heat up). If power has been restored and hot water is not available after 6 hours, then there is a fault with either the ripple relay at the meter box or with the hot water tank. If this is the case, please call your power company as they own the meter box.
PILOT NETWORK FOR HOT WATER
The hot water pilot wire is a different wire from the electricity power line as shown above.
After an outage, even when power has been restored, hot water will still not be available if there is damage to either: (a) the pilot wire (b) the service pilot wire or (c) the pilot wire relay inside the meter box.
Alternatively, there may be a fault with the hot water tank inside the house or a wiring fault – this can only be fixed by an electrician.
The examples below show how faults on different parts of the network can affect different properties:
- If a fault occurs at X1 on the power line, then all homes will have no power or hot water.
- If a fault occurs at X2 on the pilot wire, then all homes will have power but homes 3 and 4 won’t have hot water.
- If a fault occurs at X3 on the service pilot wire, all homes will have power but home 4 won’t have hot water.
If power has been restored and the pilot wire has been repaired and you are still without hot water, then you need to let us know by calling 0508 VECTOR (0508 832 867).