Noisy Transformer Buzzing


Old 02-20-06, 05:01 PM
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Noisy Transformer Buzzing

A power supply transformer in our telephone room is buzzing loudly. I think we will go ahead and replace it because it's getting old. I'm posting this question because I would like to know what the buzzing sound means to someone who familiar with electrical components. There are no moving parts in a transformer, except for the electricity that flows through it. How can a device like this make a buzzing sound at all? Why would a transformer go from a hum to a buzz as it gets old?
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Old 02-20-06, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
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Transformers are magnetic devices, and as such develop internal forces. Since you are driving a transformer with Alternating Current, that force is not steady, but is sinusoidal. Loose laminations are responsible for the noise, as they bang into each other. Age can deteriorate the varnish that is used to hold the laminations together. Not likely to be hazardous, but can be disturbing!
Old 02-20-06, 07:37 PM
itsunclebill's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Denver, CO area
Posts: 221
If your transformer is old emough to have a metal housing, or is mounted with metal hardware it may be possible to get rid of the noise by tightening a mounting clamp or screw. While the varnish can break down the noise is often just something that came loose and can be retightened.

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