Transformers have become crucial parts of most modern electrical circuits. They’re responsible for regulating the flow of alternating voltages in electric power environments. They transmit, distribute and utilize the electrical energy of any type of power current.
At times, it is necessary to test the current state of a transformer to make sure everything’s working okay. If the current attached to a transformer is starting to fail, there’s probably some issues with the device that need to be solved.
Since these are responsible for regulating the exchange between different power levels, not fixing a transformer could result in severe damage to devices connected to the electrical system.
If you want to avoid any inconveniences, we’ll be guiding your through the basic steps you need to follow to test a transformer. They’re not too difficult, but you need to be careful and follow our instructions closely.
Testing A Transformer
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Transformers could be having issues in any part of their circuits. This means that, to perform a thorough test on the device, we’ll need to examine each connection and cable to evaluate their standing individually.
As a small side note, when we refer to ‘taps’, we’re talking about the connection points on each part of the transformer.
Do not try any part of this process if you’re not comfortable and knowledgeable in working with electricity. You could be putting your well-being at risk.
Determine the brand and model of the transformer you’re about to test. Be sure you know how the wiring works and where everything is. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the transformer before you begin the testing process to make sure you’re able to follow our instructions.
Keep in mind that some things might not be located exactly where we describe them, as transformers have different designs.
Inspect any voltage issues on the upper taps of the transformer. Make sure the taps located at the top of the transformer are working as intended and transmitting power. If there is power but something still looks wrong, make sure to thoroughly check every connection at the top of the device.
Some issues might be caused by cables that aren’t properly attached, which cuts the electrical circuit and renders the device unusable. If there’s anything not well connected, take the necessary measures to properly attach them once again.
If the issue was caused by loose cables, keep monitoring the device after you fix it to make sure the cables stay in place during the next few days.
If the top of the transformer isn’t having issues, turn off the power to the insulated chamber and open the transformer control box
Examine every cable inside the control box and make sure none of them are being interrupted by external influences. The exposed wires should not be in contact with anything. If you see something there, it’s probably interfering with the electricity flow on the device and you’ll need to carefully remove it without causing further damage to the circuit.
Once you’re done checking this, turn the power on once again. Move on to the next step.
For this step, you’ll need to get a multimeter to test the power. Grab it, look for the transformer itself and ready any necessary equipment you need to check the transformer for electrical currents
If you like to wear protective equipment (which we thoroughly recommend), put it on now. You’ll be working closely with the transformer’s circuits. Use non-conductor gloves and other electricity-safe equipment before taking any further measures.
Ideally, you would want to be working with a digital multimeter. This allows better measurements and more flexibility when checking the current. Set it at 600 volts and check the voltage on the transformer’s upper taps
If your readings don’t exceed 240-245 volts and they don’t go lower than 200, everything should be fine (performance-wise) on the transformers taps.
Check the transformer’s wirings with your multimeter. Set it at the lowest voltage it can read and examine the three wires located on top of the device
You should be able to detect some level of voltage running through these wires. If you don’t, the whole transformer isn’t receiving electricity and it might need to be replaced entirely. The wires could be having issues, but when this happens in all three of them, the most likely explanation is that the transformer isn’t working anymore.
Don’t stop measuring there. Evaluate the voltage throughout the entire length of the wires until you find a spot with voltage.
Keep moving your multimeter through the wires until you find an electrical current. Once you reach that spot, you should be able to determine what’s depriving current from the transformer. There might be something causing interference in the wires running up through the transformer.
Determine what’s the issue and fix it. If you’ve followed all the steps we’ve told you here, you should have a clear idea of what’s happening to your transformer and hence now you should know what to do. If the issue can be fixed, get to work on it.
Don’t replace your transformer in a rush! Sometimes there are external factors interfering with the circuits and the fix is easier than you might think. Just be sure you know what you’re doing and work on it as carefully as you can.
If the transformer isn’t receiving power but the wires have voltage, the issue might not be the transformer itself but rather the transformer’s board. In this case, all you need to do is either fix the board or replace it and the power should be restored instantly.
Testing a transformer will help you determine what exactly is going on with the circuits in your device. You’ll need to perform a check to see if the circuits connected to the transformers are having issues or simply not receiving any power at all.
We also recommend performing routine checks on transformers to make sure they’re working well and they’re not at risk of suffering performance drops. If you have any doubts about transformers or any part of the process, make sure to share them in the comment section below!