Transformer Safety

Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro needs to be able to easily access ground-level transformers and below-ground transformers if there is an outage or emergency.

Although you may be tempted to plant vegetation or build structures around these transformers, you should understand safe clearance areas before you do.

Structures and tall plants around transformers create safety hazards and impact our ability to safely restore power if there is an outage or emergency.

Ground- Level Transformers

Ground-level transformers need proper air circulation to keep cool, so they do not overheat and fault. An overheated transformer could result in a power outage.

Do not build structures that fully enclose a ground-level transformer. Enclosures make it tough for our crews to access a ground-level transformer in the event of an outage or emergency. This could increase the time it takes to repair an outage in your neighborhood.

Shrubs can be planted at the sides and the rear of a ground-level transformer. Remember that crews will need at least 4 meters of clearance to access the front of the transformer.

If planting shrubs, consider the root system of the plants you choose to ensure that the roots do not interfere with the cables buried beneath the transformers.

Below-Ground Transformers

Below-ground transformers can be identified by the grating they are covered with.

Do not pour any chemical liquids, such as used motor oil, down the grates. Motor oil dissolves the insulation on our cables, which could lead to unwanted power outages.

Do not lay sod or pave over below-ground transformer grates. This limits our crews access to the transformer in the event of an emergency or an outage. This could increase the time it takes to repair an outage in your neighborhood.