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Old 07-08-2019, 02:06 AM
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Scott Novota Scott Novota is offline
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Check your connections inside the transformer

So this is going to sound really strange and trust me had it just not literally popped in front of me I would not believe it either.

I am just laying there in bed tonight and thought did I turn off that annealer down at the shop? I am sure I did but there I was looking at the ceiling knowing I needed to use it and could not remember no matter how hard I tried. Get up, get dress, go down to the shop that is a 10 minute ride.

Open up the door and walk in to see the furnace is at 1880f....ok not good.... door is good, switch is good, fuses are good....weird. It just will not get above 1880 just sitting the for 15 minutes....I start messing around with the controller all good......

Ramp the set point down to 1870 just see see what it does and POW!

Transformer chunks blue sparks. In the immortal words of police sargent in charge from Die Hard Dewane T. Robertson “shut down..shut it down now!”.

All power off and pull the cover off the transformer to find a nice fried burnt connector. New end, new lock nuts, new nut, clean off the bolt and cross my fingers..... all systems are go.... back up over 1900 and climbing.

The odds that it went down right when I could not sleep are just strange .....but seeing how things have been going as of late I am taking this karma as a sign things are getting back on track. All that hoodoovoodoo and what not I am still taking it.


Check those connections in the transformers boys/girls....I did not honestly know to do that....although It feels like I should have seeing how I check the element straps and what every month or so. Anyone have a supplier for the copper ends to these big cables, cables, etc.... I am just paranoid enough now to replace them All.

Hope she holds together she might not look like much but she has it where it counts.

Last edited by Scott Novota; 07-08-2019 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:28 AM
John Riepma John Riepma is online now
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As far as a supplier for the cables and terminals on the ends of them, I used a local welding supplier for both. They used a hydraulic machine to crimp the terminal ends on the cables and mine are still in good shape 18 years after I had them made up. In my opinion the crimped end are more secure and a better connection than what you can get with the set screw type lugs. You may have to search a bit for a welding supplier that has the hydraulic crimper capability.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:14 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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It's more like they need regular tightening. I have been telling people to check their transformer connections as long as I've been at it. You're fortunate. If the connector melts down and gets in the windings you will need a new transformer. I'm aware of more than one transformer fire but always with three phase systems which are invariably more troublesome.

I have some of the Burundy 600MCM clamp connectors here as well as straps and clamps. I just no longer want to handle elements and turned that over to Cheyenne. Early on, Steve used a 0000 Cable and I tend to think the stranded 300MCM is far better. John makes a good point about pressure connectors.

I do have a single phase transformer here that is a standard 25KVA 480V. If 240 is run into it, it makes two 120 V taps and a 60V tap. The 60 V tap could power five 9/18 312/500 elements in a single bank. I would sell it cheap but it has to be picked up.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:23 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Back when I was running electric I was getting copper lugs from grainger, consider a healthy dose of noalox too. That combo fixed the seemingly biweekly meltdown caused by the aluminium lugs.

And yes, I too have experienced the telepathic link to a failing furnace.
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