What is Salt Contamination?

In Newfoundland and Labrador, salty sea water is all around us. Sometimes, under the right conditions, all that salt can cause problems for electricity equipment.

Salt contamination is a phenomenon seen in coastal areas, when very high winds whip off the ocean carrying salty spray inland. The salt can then accumulate in a thin layer on other surfaces like cars, homes, and even power lines. Salt contamination can affect equipment like electrical wires and insulators by disrupting the way electricity is conducted, which can result in flickering lights. It can sometimes lead to short circuiting, causing brief outages (a few seconds or minutes) for homes and businesses in the area, or longer outages in some cases.

Thankfully, the salt will eventually wear or wash off, and power interruptions are typically short-lived. But, adding moisture to the salty mix can make the problem worse. Drizzle or snow, for example, on top of salt-coated equipment can cause electricity arcing, which can result in power outages and even pole fires.

To report a power outage any time, call us at 1-888-737-1296.