How to Manage a Failing Oil-Filled Transformer

How to Manage a Failing Oil-Filled Transformer

When large equipment starts to fail, you’ll need to act quickly to repair or replace it to avoid serious problems. For example, if your transformer is failing, you don’t want to let it go until it actually fails. At that point, it might catch fire or even explode, which will create a dangerous situation for anyone nearby, not to mention the property damage it can do to your building.

If you have an oil-filled transformer that you believe might be failing, the following points make up your best course of action.

1. Replace Your Transformer If Possible

Replacement is the first and most important step to take when a transformer is failing. If you leave it alone, it will only get worse, and you can’t afford to risk having a transformer fire or explosion on your property. If you have the funds or can get them, don’t think twice about replacing your transformer immediately.

When you buy a new transformer, make sure to perform all required maintenance to keep it in good condition. Regular maintenance is the key to making transformers last many years, rather than having issues compound until the whole system fails. The maintenance involved can be time-consuming, but consider it part of your normal business expenses required for operation. Don’t skip this step because it’s the only way to prevent your new unit from experiencing the same fate as the one it replaced.

2. Assess The Potential Consequences of Failure

Transformers can be dangerous when they fail. Hopefully, if it’s oil-filled, your failing transformer is located outside so if it does fail, there will be less risk to individuals. If you have an oil-filled transformer located inside a building, the risk of injury in the case of a failure is a lot higher.

In either case, it’s best to replace your transformer, but at least if it’s outside you can keep people away from it until you’re able to replace it.

3. Consider Switching to a Dry-Type Transformer

Oil-filled transformers are generally more affordable than dry-types, and they are quite useful. In some cases, they are absolutely necessary due to voltage requirements. However, sometimes you have a choice between an oil-filled and dry-type, and it’s crucial to assess the pros and cons of each.

For example, if you don’t have really high voltage needs, a dry-type transformer might be perfect. Dry-types can be more convenient since they can be safely installed indoors when the right infrastructure is in place and certain standards are met.

Dry-type transformers can also last much longer than oil-filled units when they’ve been made with expertise. For example, hand-wound dry-types eliminate errors that can cause premature failure. They tend to cost more than oil-filled transformers, but they can last much longer, especially when made by a reputable leader in the industry.

4. Buy a New Transformer on Credit

If you don’t have the capital up front to buy a new transformer, consider getting one on credit. Since a failing transformer is a safety hazard, it’s not worth the risk to postpone replacement. Do whatever you have to do to get that new transformer. If you pride yourself on your business not being in debt, let go of the belief that debt is bad. It can serve you well, especially when it’s necessary to keep your building safe.

A Failing Transformer Needs Immediate Attention

No matter what, if you have an oil-filled transformer that is failing, you need to do something about it immediately. If you’re not sure about replacing it yet, have it checked out by a professional. Get a pro’s opinion on the situation and take their suggestions seriously. If they tell you it can be repaired, you may want to get a second opinion before committing to that repair, but it might be something that can be fixed. If not, and the technician tells you it needs to be replaced, don’t wait to get a new transformer.

The consequences of ignoring a failing oil-filled transformer are too great to ignore. If you notice anything wrong with your unit, like unusually loud noises and vibrations, humming that wasn’t happening before, or it’s getting too hot, have it checked and serviced by a professional. Most of all, replace it if it’s at or near the end of its life. Don’t wait for it to fail because it will cost you far more to fix the damage after a transformer failure.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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