Expert Electrical

What to Do When a Transformer Blows

May 9, 2019 | Electrical Safety, Licensed Electrician Tips, Residential Electricity

Transformers are important components to modern urban and suburban electrical setups, and they can be found in just about every North American neighbourhood. When they fail, it can result in a large explosion that has a potentially dangerous aftermath if handled improperly, which is why it is important to know what to do when a transformer blows. The residential electricians at Expert Electric know the best ways to stay safe when a transformer fails. Make sure that you follow these safety precautions if a transformer blows near you.

What Does a Transformer Do?

The electricity supplied by electrical lines from a city’s power grid to neighbourhoods is extremely powerful, making it unfit to transmit directly into homes and businesses. Transformers are responsible for stepping down the voltage so that it is suitable for use.

Why Do Transformers Fail?

An electrical transformer can blow for a variety of reasons and can cause an explosion or fire. Causes of transformer explosions could include:

  • Lightning strikes
  • Overheating
  • Wear and corrosion
  • Damage to the electrical system anywhere along the line
  • Failed safety devices and power surges
  • Foreign objects or animals getting into the transformer
  • Moisture

When a transformer fails, it will usually result in a loud boom, a power outage, and a fireball that creates a large plume of smoke.

What to Do When an Electrical Transformer Fails

The most important thing to remember when a transformer blows is to not approach it. Failed transformers can create a variety of other hazards and anyone who is not a certified and experienced service person should keep their distance. It is likely that the electrical provider already knows about the transformer failure and electrical outage, but it is always useful to provide any additional information to them.

After the outage has been reported, it is important to stay safe until the power for your home or business comes back on. Make sure that flashlights and candles are always handy and always know the best way to exit your building in the dark.

Depending on the extent of the damage from the electrical transformer outage, workers can take anywhere between a few hours to a few days to fix the problem and replace the transformer.

To find out more information about what to do when a transformer blows, or to discuss any of our residential or commercial services, contact Expert Electric at 604-681-8338. We offer a variety of services all over BC.