Five Reasons for Transformer Failure? And how can you avoid them?

In the present economic situation, it is definite that prominent industries are suffering. Lockdowns have led to stagnancy/downfall in business operations and the financial health of corporate. One of the many suffering industries is the Power industry. As per surveys, India has witnessed a downfall in daily power demand by 25 to 28% since the lockdown began.

Another prominent reason leading to the stagnancy of routine operations is Transformer Failure. For power-driven industries and units, transformer breakdown is no less than a nightmare. As it instantly puts a halt on industrial and auxiliary operations. Therefore, ensuring zero transformer failures becomes one of the most important tasks of your facility supervisors.

And, before doing so your team must be aware of common reasons for failure.

With this blog, explore a few reasons for transformer failure and precautionary measures you can follow.

  1. Wrong transformer specifications. You need to ensure the design, material, and other specifications are up to the mark. Factors like insulation type, inappropriate capacity, failure to understand the location of installation (for dampness, hazardous gases, etc.) can lead to Overheating or winding faults.
  2. Facility imperfections. The factors like an improper installation at the facility, incorrect protection range of lightning rods and capacity, or incorrect switch and relay aspect for protection can lead to fatal accidents.
  3. Poor maintenance and improper transformer operations. Failure can be a result of loosening and heating of external components. Additional causes are insulating oil deterioration, overloading, wrong cable connections, abnormal voltage, poor accessory maintenance, and many more. These can cause faults like Over-fluxing, and external transformer faults.
  4. Poor cooling system. Inappropriate cooling systems and settings in the facility and transformer can lead to cooling system failure. Some reasons can be a leakage in oil/water pipes (due to corrosion, high humidity), faulty cooling fans, or faulty thermostats.
  5. Normal wear and tear and Natural Disasters. If not inspected at regular intervals, the equipment or its components can experience weathering. Due to regular use, the condition of components deteriorates like winding conditions, core damage due to unavoidable aspects like heating, etc. Plus, transformers located at a facility prone to experiencing natural disasters are at high risks of transformer damage and failure.

Measures for avoiding transformer failures are:

  1. Install resistance temperature indicator near windings. Use bridge circuits for when the bridge balance stays disturbed over the permissible duration.
  2. Use differential and overcurrent protection as protection for earthing faults.
  3. Provide volts/hertz relay to protect against the over-fluxing operation.
  4. Schedule regular visits of technicians to maintain upkeep of transformers.
  5. For avoiding external faults you can use an over-current relay with under-voltage blocking, zero sequence protection, and negative sequence protection.
  6. Study the facility attributes, design your attributes accordingly and prevent failure from locational factors like humidity.

Even with all precautions, transformer failures seem like an inevitable circumstance. But with routine inspections and hiring workers/staff well-trained to deal with such contingent situations, you can successfully avoid transformer failures.


Electro-Tech Transmission Pvt. Ltd was established in the year 2014 with simple beginnings, for not-so-simple power and transformer solutions.

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September 21st, 2021 08:45 am
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