It’s that time of year... Another Bad Transformer

in The Man Cave2 months ago

It first started off with the meter pole catching on fire. This service fed a pump for an apple orchard and in this heat they need the water to keep their apples from cooking on the tree, rather than your oven in a pie. This is just routine work for us Lineman. Like a slam dunk for Michael Jordan...


The summer months always stress the system a bit more. Being in a big farming community and 100F weather, these farmers need lots of water!! Thanks to the Columbia and Snake Rivers being close by :wink:wink IT was just an hour or so past lunch and I was just sent out to reconnect the new meter base, energize the transformers, verify voltage and rotation... Then I took a glance across the street where the transformers were and I saw something that made me question the integrity of one of the transformers on the pole...

152A17DF0CEC4570B77061F8532600AC.jpegThis photo was taken in the air but I could see it from across the street

I bet the guys were so focused on the fire at the meter base that they didn’t notice the burnt oil boiling out of the transformer... Can I call it a Can? That is what us Lineman call transformers... Cans. 15 KVA Can, 50 KVA Can....

So I closed in one fuse and then the second. Then the Can started growling a bit and POP there goes the fuse. It was more of a fizzling, crackling sound but either way the fuse blew. Bad Can!! Welp time to call in my boys to give me a hand changing these out. Of course I had to give them a bunch of crap about not noticing it and how his pump wasn’t running and it was burning the apples and how the farmer was going to go bankrupt and he would have to sell his first born in order to pay his mortgage and how our company was going to take the money out of their paychecks to help the farmer. But nevermind that!!! Let’s get theses swapped out.


Anytime we get a chance to upgrade something old we do. Like the old cutouts on this pole. Cutouts are what holds the fuse for the Can. It only takes a few minutes to get rid of the old ones and put some new ones in. Just like the transformers also. Instead of just having one new Can, we went ahead and changed all 3. Most likely if one fails the other aren’t too far behind. Granted it could be 1 year or more, but better safe than sorry. One by one we swapped out the transformers. Take an old one down, put a new on in its place.


I couldn’t come close to telling you how many transformers I have changed in my career. During a good lightning storm in Fresno, CA, our crew would change out 20 of them in a night... it wasn’t just a night. It was typically a nice 24-30 hour shift. Just long enough for the guys to start acti a little weird. Lol Changing transformers, replacing lightning arrestors, new cutouts, and tracking down all the damaged equipment.

Within a couple hours of me calling for reinforcements, this bank of transformers has be changed out and new cutouts have been installed. Now doesn’t that just look nice?


I am just glad it was only 95F instead of 105F like it was last week. Ya, you get a little hot and sweaty but it ain’t nothing we can’t deal with. Just keep some water with ya while you are in the air and it is all good.

Until Next Time...

Hive On
I Don’t really work
I just take pictures


Oh boy, another bad transformer. I just loved these type of posts thank you for sharing read it from end to end!

Just like a simple, “Thank you” from a customer after we have been working for 30+ hours straight with no sleep... This comment is more appreciated than you would think.

I tend to over think things and old post about the “Cool Stuff” and not so much the “everyday stuff”. This is a screen shot of a Snapchat I got from my my boy Nate. We had a truck back up and hit the guy wire that supports the tension of the overhead wires. Welp... he has a hefty bill coming his way. OUCH!!!

Those transformers are about 5 feet tall and 2 of them are on the ground... The boys worked all day repairing that one. I tried to get in on it but... I guess I am not cool enough. 😉😜

Hey, @jlsplatts.

Always enjoy these. You have a keen eye. Amazing what experience can see and do for you. I'd see that and wouldn't know anything was wrong. Who knew there was oil inside a transformer? :)

Another thing is there are no moving parts inside a transformer... it’s all induction.

Check this out...

Very interesting. Would have never guessed there was any kind of paper inside.