Oil-filled transformers are a common type of transformer and like all transformers, after 7-15 years they will eventually be replaced. If you own an oil-filled transformer, there are a few key guidelines and checks that you can use to determine if it's time to start looking for a replacement. Some of these signs are: The brand is quite common, but you may or may not have noticed.
1. DGA Oil Tests- a sign indicate oil transformer damages
The Dissolved Gas Oil test, or DGA test, is a test that shows the gas dissolved in the transformer oil. The gas in the transformer can be the result of the breakdown of the transformer material. This can provide valuable insight into the condition of your transformer. Depending on which gases in your transformer are revealed to be high, it may be time to replace your transformer.
2. Infrared Scan
Just as an X-ray at a doctor's office can illustrate problems in your body, a scan of a transformer can provide similar information. An infrared scan of your transformer can allow you to notice any bushings or connections that may be hot. You can use this information to determine if the weak points in your transformer are repairable or it's time for replacement.
Leaks can often be fixed, but sometimes, an attack leak can be a sign of a larger problem at play. If you regularly spend money on repairing leaks in your transformer, it could be a sign that a bigger fault is coming. You can avoid major financial loss due to transformer failure by replacing it before it is too late.
4. Noise & Vibration
Transformers are similar to cars in that if they have broken audio it's a bet it's worth considering. Sounds like a better performance indicator for dry type transformers, however, if your oil-filled transformer is one of the loudest generators in your infrastructure, you should investigate its health and performance.
5. Old, Flaking Paint
Believe it or not, this simple aesthetic indicator can be a sign that your transformer is on its last leg. A transformer that is near failure and needs to be replaced will often run hot. One symptom of this is that it can warp the exterior paint or cause it to start peeling. Now, if you have a 25 year old transformer with some paint chips, don't worry too much, but if consistent paint damage is happening along with other warning signs, it could be time you should contact for replacement.
Look at the color of your transformer oil. If it is black or dark in color, it is a sign that it has been affected or spiked. If your transformer experiences this level of stress, then it's safe to bet that it's simply limping and that considering a replacement you'll probably avoid the problem altogether.
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