What Is Transformer Oil?

Article Details
  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Machine learning can identify a person's risk of psychosis with 93% accuracy by analyzing language use variations.  more...

December 12 ,  1901 :  The first transatlantic radio signal was sent and received.  more...

Devices used to alter electric flow are known as transformers, and they may be used for a number of operations. These units need to be cooled and insulated, so transformer oil may be added in order to do so. This product consists of a mineral oil which has been very refined in order to remove impurities. It is normally sold in very large containers and added by a person with industrial maintenance experience.

Transformer oil consists of mineral oil, which means it is originally derived from petroleum. After being mined, this oil is refined to produce a clear, colorless liquid, and the finished product is normally odorless as well. Although it might resemble mineral oil used for household applications, this product is actually much purer and contains few if any impurities. This means regular mineral oil should not be substituted for this type of lubricant.

There are many other uses for transformer oil, including lamp ballasts, capacitators, circuit breakers, and high-powered switches. These devices may be placed inside or out, so this insulating oil may be rated for either indoor or outdoor use. It is important not to use indoor oil in outdoor products or outdoor oil in those placed inside because each unit may have different cooling and lubricating needs.


A fire-retardant chemical may be added to transformer oil, especially when the product is being used indoors. This can help keep the insulating oil from catching on fire should the transformer overheat. Some type of silicone may be added to indoor oil, and this tends to keep the fire-retardant chemical stable.

Transformer oil normally comes in large containers that range from two to five-gallon (7.57 to 18.93 l) buckets. One of these containers is ideal for businesses that need to maintain only a few transformers or circuit breakers. Large industrial complexes may need to add this insulating oil to several hundred transformers or high voltage capacitors, in which case it might be best to purchase this product in 55-gallon (208.2 l) drums.

It is recommended that this mineral oil be added by a professional who has been trained how to do so properly. This is because adding transformer oil in the wrong spot or in excessive amounts could cause high voltage capacitors or circuit breakers to malfunction. As a result, many industries hire mechanics that specialize in working on transformers and other electrical equipment in order to protect these very expensive assets.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?