Electrical Wiring in the Home/Tranformer


QUESTION: Will, I have light fixtures getting no power. My electrician came and said I need to replace transformers in the house. I've never heard of 'house transformers'; I thought transformers were boxes on top of utility poles outside transforming 7000v to 220v for household use. What do they do in a house and where might they be located?


Tend to agree with YOU<    GLAD YOU ASKED    so others might read this,  not saying it is a scam,    but it sure sounds like it,  

Transformers are as you described,  at least that is one kind,    a step down power transformer,  you can have step up   say  200 volts to 1000 volts, or control transformers that take line voltage and lower it so the controls where people are turning knobs is lower,    lots of transformers,  but no one uses the term  replace all the transformers in the house,     it sounds like a con,  but why was he there   ???   That might answer it,    

Now there could be a transformer for your door bell,   the most common,   now days most are wireless and don't need one,  but that is what you think of as a transformer for a house,   now all appliances and furnaces have them   and many lights have ballasts/transformers,     or a UPS is a type of a transformer it is an isolation transformer,

But even then you just don't go around changing transformers,  they dont wear out per se, the insulation might degrade over time,    but they don't just wear out,     maybe the voltage from the utility is too high and he is talking about the transformer outside but normally they have taps  so they can adjust the voltage,   or if you added a new panel  maybe you need more kva  and a new pole transformer is needed,  but  no     

I am with you  whatever this is      is either a huge misunderstanding or a con,  but let me know so anyone who reads this knows,       will you?    Why was he there and what kind of money was he talking if he said?

Don't do anything until we talk more,          

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks, Will. Two of four kitchen light fixtures in a circuit lost power, plus a closet light fixture on another floor. That's all. Been working for years; then quit. Electrician said they were selected by the whole house power system to be shut down because the system couldn't run everything. (?) It's a normal house using normal power. He said the job would require would require two transformers at $180 apiece, and those would probably have to be replaced soon too. (?) Sounds awfully fishy. I'm going to get a 2d opinion and I'll let you know.

Good plan  it could be what they said,    say it was those particular ballasts he is calling transformers   

pretty much the same thing,       think that is the confusion    get a second opinion,  but I bet he is talking about the inrush for the whole house and the ballasts or transformers  where deemed to much load,   and the most unneeded load,          the transformers are probably older and inefficient        might look at led lights versus fl         

but do get a second look and let me know,  
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Will Babbitt


Electrical issues of all types, wiring, control, appliances, components, specialty in Electric MOTOR or APPARATUS trouble shooting, electric motors, electrical problems, single phase, three phase, DC, capacitors, elevator MG-Sets, modifications, reverse engineering, VFD Drives, single to three phase convertors. Repair of most any electrical/mechanical/electronic apparatus, OEM, AC, DC, Industrial Applications, Three phase, single phase failure mode, determining the root cause of the equipment failure BEFORE failure repeats, Antique appliances, electric motors, fans, ceiling fans, base mount fans, poor equipment performance, Modifications, habitual failures, vibration, redesign, obsolete issues, collectible items restored, rewinding. Owner of EMR Repair Inc www.emrrepair.com More information on electric motors, under Engineering/Motors Ask about any electrical or mechanical problems in the home, office, or even at your work. B2B or business to business CONSULTING I can do but it would be a much more complex issue, that would require a significant amount of time. repair@mearservice.com from there we can discuss and begin work on about anything. Industrial electric motors, controls, troubleshooting, vibration, alignment, any type of industrial or commercial electric/electrcical equipment For the home owner, renter, apartment if you have odd things going on, describe to me, photos are normally very helpful, appliances, heating and air conditioning issues, light switches, installation, DIY PROJECTS FOR THOSE NOT EDUCATED IN ELECTRICAL, we can do some things, but for safety and sanity reasons, I may refer you to a local electrician, and help you find one, help you with pricing and even speak directly with anyone you hire if you have issues,


Over thirty years with a major repair and sales company, VP of Operations, and former owner of my own specialty repair shops, MEAR Services local to Kansas City Missouri EMR Repair Inc., located in Kansas City Missouri, 2014 sold both businesses to JCI Industries, Lee's Summit Missouri wbabbitt@jciind.com Evaluation and repair of electrical/mechanical apparatus. Electrical and mechanical repairs, trouble shooting including, vibration and balance issues. About.com provides this service, and the huge costs to provide help on about any subject. They provide the servers, the people to vet the experts, costs that would be the same as operating a good sized business, They should be appreciated for what they do, the huge costs and the great help they provide for free, Electric motor questions, can be answered here but there is a dedicated category that has other experts to help and add to a solution. Other common questions, are noises in the walls, breakers tripping, devices not starting or shutting down for no apparent reason, smoke alarms buzzing, thermostat change outs, or sizing wire or needing information for a new project, but anything can be resolved, anything, with enough effort and patience, DIY, with electrical is possible, but in most cases the use of a simple ohm meter or volt meter is needed, they can be purchased at any hardware store for a few bucks. If you have smoke, or smell smoke, don't be writing me, call 911 the Fire Department has no problem looking for smoke smells, better then spraying water on a blazing fire. DO NOT GET CAUGHT INVESTIGATING AND TRAPPED IN A BASEMENT LOOKING FOR A BLOWER FAILING< As to the tip jar, it is up to you, it is appreciated, every expert spends out of pocket that I know, we spend on IP time, computer wear, printing documents, books, and of course our time, but if we prevent a $400 service call, we did well,

Former IBEW, EASA, IEEE, UL, ..............


10 plus years, various Technical Schools, followed by Industrial College Credit and non Credit Courses, electronics courses, experience in most any electrical apparatus, electric motors and generators, AC OR DC, fractional to above 5000HP, other electrical apparatus, slip rings, sleeve [plain] bearings, lubrication, identification-no data plate, control components, service and sales. I have continued night schools for decades, the list is extensive. I have been in the business of repairing most anything with wires or mechanical parts for decades, I have some helpful hints and directions you won't have to dig up. Or hopefully not have to pay a huge service call invoice to find.

Awards and Honors

Past/Present Clients
Federal Government, National Weather Service, NOAA, Commercial Power Plants, Major Vehicle Manufacturers, Printers, Other industrial and Commercial Businesses

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.