Staying Safe Around Construction Equipment

Dealing With Repair Or Replacement Of Large Electrical Transformers That Have Failed

When an industrial transformer on a utility pole has failed, the electric company goes out and removes it and replaces it with a new unit. It is not easy but can be handled with a small crew and a couple of trucks. But what if the transformers at an electrical substation fail or a large transformer at an industrial facility needs to be replaced? These situations require a specialized crew and some very specific knowledge to deal with.

Preparing The Unit For Transport

When a large transformer fails, the unit needs to be repaired; this is not something that can be done on site, and the unit is too big to just pick up and ship to the manufacturer. In most cases, the transformer needs to be shipped to the factory to be rebuilt, repaired, or replaced. The transformer needs to be disconnected from the electrical source and then disassembled or field undressed, as it is called in the industry. 

Typically, this means taking the transformer apart, so it is in more manageable pieces, removing cooling radiators, draining the oil from the unit, and loading it onto a truck that is large enough to handle the load. This process needs to be completed by a qualified crew so that there is no further damage done to the transformer along the way.

Transportation Of The transformer

In most cases, the transformer is too heavy to put on a regular truck to be shipped. The truck needs to be able to pull the weight, and the trailer has to be able to carry it. These are special trailers and most of the time require special permits to move these oversized transformers from one place to another. The driver must be certified to haul these loads as well because in some areas they are considered oversized and hazardous material at the same time.

Replacing The Transformer

Once the transformer has undergone the repair process, it will be shipped back to the site so that it can be reinstalled and readied for use. Just like the removal process, a specialized crew will come out and field dress the transformers that it can be put into service. The crew has to have the knowledge to do this right, or the transformer can be damaged when it is reenergized. Lifting the transformer into position requires equipment large enough to move the unit from the truck to the position where it will sit, then replacing all the components that were removed can be done. 

The transformer will then be filled with fresh cooling oil. When everything is in place, it can be reconnected to the power grid and energized. It is critical that nothing is missed so hiring a contractor that knows how to complete this process properly is critical. Take your time to find the right crew to do the work so no one is hurt and the entire job goes smooth.