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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 19th Apr 2024, 6:35 pm   #1
trh01uk
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Default Transformer leaking oil - fix it or bin it?

Folks,

I have a rather nice HT/LT transformer which has started to weep oil from around a terminal.

Anyone tried fixing this problem? If so, did you succeed, and how did you do it?

Is the oil dangerous by the way? It was made by Willesden Transformer Co Ltd if that's relevant.


Richard
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 7:07 pm   #2
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Transformer leaking oil - fix it or bin it?

Could be mineral oil, in which case no problem. Or it could be PCB (poly chlorinated biphenyls) which is real nasty.

You have no way of knowing.

I had a transformer do that in a Racal SSB adaptor. Where it has pooled in the bottom of the chassis, it had gone to tarry goo, suggesting it was mineral oil oxidising in the air.

But you have no way of knowing what your TX is leaking, Richard. Safer to dispose of alas.

Craig
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 7:30 pm   #3
Cruisin Marine
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Default Re: Transformer leaking oil - fix it or bin it?

I have successfully used Araldite in the past, but make sure you avoid contact with the oil, in case it is the dreaded PCB.
Make sure the tfmr is not getting hot before any serious work. A shorted turn can cause this.
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 8:23 pm   #4
kalee20
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Default Re: Transformer leaking oil - fix it or bin it?

There are tests for PCB's, basically using metallic sodium with a suitable catalyst to rip off the chlorine atoms, and then doing a simple test for chlorides. An internet search may find a lab that'll do it, but it may cost...

If you suspect it contains PCB's you're stuffed either way - you can't dispose of in normal waste or WEEE - it's hazardous waste.

I actually think it's more likely not to be PCB and just be refined mineral oil. But there's still a significant chance that it could be - they were the wonder chemicals of the time and ticked a lot of boxes
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 8:56 pm   #5
trh01uk
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Default Re: Transformer leaking oil - fix it or bin it?

Thanks everyone for that guidance. I rather feared we might be talking about PCBs here. I would rather not take the risk. I will try and dispose of it safely.


Richard
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