Common Causes of Transformer Failure

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Published under System Reliability

Transformers are expensive. We have new power transformers for sale, but it is a good idea to prevent transformer failure. You need to take care of your unit. After all, buying a transformer isn’t exactly something you want to do frequently. Here are some reasons transformers fail. This list does not encompass all possible causes of failure, but it covers the most prevalent ones.

Insulation Failures – In a recent study insulation failure was shown to be the leading cause of transformer failure. This does not include cases in which there is evidence of lightning of power surges. The four factors that are related to insulation failure are oxidation, acidity, moisture, and heat. The average age of transformers that had insulation failure is 18 years.
Manufacturing Errors – Sadly, this is the second most frequent cause of transformer failure. We are dedicated to make sure our transformers are not subject to manufacturing errors. Most manufacturing errors involve loose blocking, poor brazing, weak short circuit strength, and objects that are left in the tank and shouldn’t be.
Oil Contamination – Sludging and carbon tracking can shorten a transformers lifespan.
Overloading – Make sure you only use your transformer to the nameplate capacity. If you overload your transformer, you should know that you are shortening it’s life span and pulling money out of your pocket for saved “efficiency”.
Loose Connection – It is important that you use good repairmen and maintain your transformer with experts. Make sure that your maintenance workers know the proper torquing for the bolts.
Some other causes of transformer failure are fires and explosions, flooding, lightning, moisture, and line surges.

We think it is ironic that the leading two causes of failure can be prevented. Make sure you buy good transformers and maintain them well. Squeezing an extra year or two out of your transformer can save you money.

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