Signs of Transformer Issues: When to Seek Repairs or Replacement

Signs of Transformer Issues: When to Seek Repairs or Replacement

transformer repairs

The United States currently suffers from an electrical transformer shortage. The deficiency is so bad, that reports say many electrical and construction projects have delays of up to a year.

It’s reasonable that you’d want to ensure you seek transformer repairs as soon as possible. You can’t afford to wait until a broken transformer gets worse and needs replacing.

That said, it’s also important to know when you can’t fix a transformer and to order a new one. Below are a few signs of a broken transformer and some advice on when to repair or replace your unit.

Signs of a Broken Transformer

A transformer in serious enough need of repair or rebuilding will display such symptoms. These signs are fairly obvious but not good for the unit – it may indicate neglected maintenance.

Here are a few transformer issues to watch out for:

  • Exterior bulging on the transformer
  • Insulation color change
  • Vibration changes
    • If the unit begins to shake more than usual
  • Incorrect or lack of voltage
  • Burn marks on or near the unit
  • Irregular operation temperature
  • Automatic protection devices activate when transformer first energizes
  • Low insulation resistance
  • Blown high voltage fuses when operating
  • Strange or high amounts of noise coming from the unit
  • Smoke
  • False triggering during operation
  • Non-symmetrical voltages on the secondary side

When to Get Your Transformer Repaired or Rebuilt

You should inspect your transformers yearly, at minimum. Something else to note – you can perform visual and auditory checks, but it’s best to have a transformer professional test your unit for damages.

Once inspected, you’ll know if it’s worth fixing the transformer. A general rule of thumb is if it’s cheaper to rebuild or repair the unit than to replace it, then it’s okay to proceed with rehabilitation.

Something else to consider is delivery lead time. Remember, there is a severe transformer shortage in the country. It often takes less time to fix a transformer than it does to get a new one.

Repair Vs. Rebuild: What’s the Difference?

You may notice we use the words “repair” and “rebuild” regarding fixing transformers. Although it may not seem like it, there is a distinction. Repairing a transformer only focuses on one issue or part.

When you rebuild a transformer, you replace various pieces within the unit. Rebuilding something often requires larger-scale deconstruction of the item being fixed.

Transformer Repairs Vs. Replacements: When to Get a New Unit

Well-maintained transformers can provide decades of power. However, the older your transformer is, the less reliably it can deliver energy to your business.

You may need to order a transformer replacement for an older unit because they’re not as efficient as newer models. Eventually, you’ll see diminishing returns on electrical energy.

In Need of Reliable Transformer Repairs?

Your transformer is integral to your commercial property’s success. So, if you’re suffering electrical issues, consider Bates Electric for your transformer repairs.

We’ve got over 35 years of experience diagnosing, fixing, and upgrading electrical systems. Contact us to fix your transformer or for any other electrical needs whenever necessary. We offer our services 24/7.


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