Teaching My Employees Better Safety Skills

Recognizing Electric Transformers In Your Neighborhood And Knowing When They Need Repair

Electricity is so common now that people take it for granted. In fact, you probably walk down the street not even paying attention to the poles, cables, and electrical equipment attached to the tops of these poles. It is just there. If someone asked you if you knew what an electrical transformer was, would you know? Would you be able to tell if something did not seem right with a pole, a transformer or line? Here is how to recognize the transformers in your neighborhood and recognize when these electrical appliances need repair.

The Transformers on the Poles

Transformers can be any size at all. From a square millimeter to those that weigh several tons, these appliances are responsible for generating energy and transferring it to the electrical wires or cables attached to them. In your neighborhood, the transformers you are most likely to see are the cylindrical canister ones on top of the poles. Cables run to the top and sides of these transformers. The transformers supply power to many of the nearby houses.

Recognizing When These Appliances Need Repair

There are actually several ways you can identify a broken transformer in need of repair. For one, excessive sparking off the  top or sides of the transformer indicate that something is not fully connected. This is especially dangerous for anyone walking by or underneath this transformer. The electrical sparks can fall and burn, or worse. 

Other signs that a transformer needs repairs include:

  • Dangling wires or cables
  • A transformer that is off the pole and swinging in the breeze
  • A dented transformer on the ground, either still attached to its pole or off the pole
  • A transformer that is making really loud buzzing/humming sounds continuously 
  • Strange electrostatic occurrences near the transformer's pole (e.g., your hair stands straight up as you pass by, you can easily shock a friend by touching him/her, etc.)

If you see, hear, or experience any of the above, you should call the power company right away. They will need to know that something is wrong with their transformer. Give as much information as you can, with the exact street location. That way the electric company can send a transformer repair service crew out to that exact spot. In the meantime, steer as far away from that spot as you can. You do not want to put yourself in danger of electrical shock or other injuries.