What Could Cause A Transformer To Burn?

By on January 30, 2010



 smps transformer

Whether you are dealing with Linear or Switch Mode Power Transformer, I’m sure you have came across a burnt transformer  before. The question is, what could have cause the transformer to burn (shorted primary winding, bad smell from transformer internal parts, open primary or secondary winding and etc)? From my experience, below are some of the possible causes:

1) Lightning strike

2) Power Supply Design fault

3) Low quality of the transformer used

4) Shorted components in corresponding circuit (primary side)

5) Shorted components in the secondary side

6) Decayed glue used in surrounding circuit.

If you know of any other way that could cause a transformer to burn please share your comment -thanks!

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14 Comments

  1. Waleed

    January 31, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I have see this once and it took me a while to figure it out how it burnt. on of the wires soldered to the pin, was loose and it was hitting one of the wires next to it..every time I ture the tv on, I could smell something burning...and the picture on the screen it acting funny. after a long long search, I took it out and saw that loose wire..I replaced it and it worked like a charm.

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  2. admin

    January 31, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    HI Waleed,

    Thanks for sharing!

    Jestine

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  3. kazem

    February 3, 2010 at 7:07 am

    applying overvoltage can also transformer burn.

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  4. admin

    February 3, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    HI Kassim,

    Yes, the the voltage is too high the transformer will burn.

    Jestine

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  5. sherwin

    February 9, 2010 at 9:29 am

    all info is helpfull but chech this-->> a leaky diode in a power supply could be tricky, transfomer could burn out after a while,, the funny thing is that the power will work well after replacing a defective transfomer but it would,nt last to long

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  6. admin

    February 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    HI Sherwin,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Jestine

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  7. evans mensah

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 am

    what do you look for when a transformer is bunrt.?

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  8. admin

    July 20, 2010 at 8:16 am

    HI Evans,
    You could see that at the side of the transformer yellow tape will turn into darker colour and have one kind of smell.

    Jestine

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  9. Haris Eliades

    November 9, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Hello,

    i had a massage chair, bought it from US and used it in Europe.
    However it worked only for 3 seconds and then a "click" was heard.

    Would you think that this is a burn of the transformer? Unfortunately, we dont have anyone in my country to fix it, so any advice from you is our last resort! :)
    And thus if this is the case, i will try to find a similar one and replace it....
    Thanks.

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  10. admin

    November 10, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Hi Haris,

    I have not repair massage chair before but for any equipment, one has to check that the power supply is producing good and stable voltage. If the output is low or fluctuate then you may need to check on the power supply area. It can be dry joints, bad e-caps, leaky diodes or transistors and etc. It is not necessary the transformer problem.

    Jestine

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  11. Desmond

    October 12, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Do you have any idea that the door bell primary transformer input get burnt even though at stanby mode?
    Do winding cycles, cooper size, poor cooper quality, insulation, or particles could cause the transformer burnt? 

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    • Jestine Yong

      October 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Desmond,

      I'm not sure about the door bell transformer but when a transformer burnt there could be few reasons like design problem , the quality of the transformer or even related components shorted causing it to burn.

      Jestine

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  12. ΝΙΚΟΣ

    January 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    ΚΑΕΙ Ο ΜΕΤΑΣΧΗΜΑΤΙΣΤΗΣ???ΚΑΙ ΑΝ ΕΝΑ ΠΟΛΥΜΠΡΙΖΟ ΑΣΦΑΛΕΙΑΣ ΜΠΟΡΕΙ ΝΑ ΠΡΟΣΤΑΤΕΥΣΗ ΤΩΝ ΜΕΤΑΣΧΗΜΑΤΙΣΤΗ

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    • Jestine Yong

      January 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      HI Nikoe,

      Do you mean by adding a thermister or even a high wattage low ohm resistor?

      Jestine

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