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What Are Transformer Ratings?

There are many factors that determine the lifespan of a transformer and its ability to efficiently deliver electricity to its customers. The quality of the product, as well as the standard of care given to the transformer, will both affect whether a transformer will produce expected results or if it will have to be replaced earlier than expected, leading to increased costs to the customer. Proper maintenance, compliance with transformer ratings, and protection from outside elements, including from squirrel and rodent damage, are all important parts of ensuring you get the maximum lifespan out of a transformer.

transformer delivering electricity

How are transformers rated?

Transformers are rated based on the maximum electrical output and voltage they are designed to deliver. Ratings are measured in kVA or kilo-volt-amperes. The maximum voltage output and maximum deliverable current are used to determine the transformer rating. A trained electrician and energy company will determine what level of rating is needed for the electrical load that will need to be supported.

Transformer ratings should never be exceeded

Transformers are only designed to withstand their designated rating. Exceeding the rating will cause the transformer to saturate or reach 100% load and stop functioning. A saturated transformer is dangerous because it could cause the transformer to explode, leading to property damage or personal injury.

If the transformer does not explode, exceeding the transformer rating consistently can significantly reduce the life of the transformer. While most transformers last approximately 30 years, this time frame will be diminished drastically with improper usage.

What happens when squirrels and other rodents find your transformer?

Believe it or not, squirrels are a common culprit of local power outages. The warm heat emitted from the transformers and the close proximity to trees makes power transformers a go-to destination for squirrels and other critters. But unprotected transformers and squirrels don't mix. When a squirrel meets a transformer, the surge of electricity zaps (likely killing) the rodent and can cause a surge of power in houses connected to the transformer. If the squirrel winds up in and meddles with the transformer, residents could be left without power until the animal is removed.

Critter Guard systems are designed to keep squirrels and other critters out of your transformer by blocking animal access from electric lines and utility poles, extending the life of the transformer and the squirrel. The systems are effective and easy to install. Contact us for more information and find out which product is right for you.

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