Your Town's Utility Transformers: What to Know

At the top of the different utility poles in your town, you are likely to see transformers quietly doing the work of lowering the voltage of electricity being sent from utility companies so that it can be better used in the area's homes. If the transformers in your town fail, that could disrupt utility service to a number of residents. Not only that, but if the transformers are not properly maintained, risk of fire increases. This is particularly so if your town's transformers are oil filled. If you're a town employee, here is some information that you need to know to ensure the transformers work without a problem.

1. The Oil Needs to Be Tested

If you do have oil-filled transformers, that's because oil works to protect the various electric components inside the equipment. It also cools down the entire system, and that can be a real problem if you live in a hot area. Over time, however, that oil will need to be tested. That's because just as with your car or other vehicle, contaminants and other substances can make the oil thick and sludgy, and that makes it less effective. That could lead to overheating and other issues. To test the oil inside the transformer, you'll need to collect a sample and have it sent to a local laboratory that can tell you about the quality of the oil and whether it should be replaced.

Another thing that can be discovered during an oil test is whether there is air sitting inside the oil tank. This might not seem like a big deal, but you have to be aware that air contains oxygen, which is a combustible gas. If the amount of combustible gases rises too high, that could cause an explosion. Air gaps will generally need to be filled with nitrogen.

2. Clear the Space Around Transformers

On a regular basis, you must pay attention to nearby tree branches and other debris that can build up over time and threaten your transformers. It is vital that transformers have proper ventilation. Enlist the help of cherry pickers and other lift trucks to cut down tree limbs if necessary.

With these tips, you should be able to keep your town's transformers in good shape. Consult local field-dressing equipment services such as Solomon Corporation to have your transformers assessed regularly so that possible problems can be found quickly. Such companies can remove, repair, and reattach transformers in a way that will ensure that they are safe and functional. If a transformer needs to be replaced, the company can dispose of the old transformer in a safe manner or have it recycled.

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