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Is it ok for a 220v transformer immersed in water

  1. Jan 16, 2008 #1
    I accidentally left a 220v transformer outside the house and somehow it flooded outside and left the transformer underwater, Would this thing still work if I let it under the sun for maybe 2-3 days and power it up again? any suggestions?

    the transformer I had is like this
    http://www.torontosurplus.com/par/DATA4719.JPG
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2008 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Should be ok, the wire is coated so shouldn't have rusted.
    If it wasn't clean rainwater you might want to rinse out any sediment/dirt etc with fresh water and of course leave it to dry before using it.
     
  4. Jan 16, 2008 #3

    NoTime

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    You would want to do a leakage test on this.
    1) To make sure it is dry.
    2) If sediment/dirt was involved that there are no conductive paths to the frame from residue that you might have missed cleaning up..
     
  5. Jan 16, 2008 #4

    rbj

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    it's not totally relavent (your transformer wasn't designed to be underwater, so you do need to dry it out very well, and be very careful when you first energize it after drying) but i have a sump pump in my home in Vermont with 120 volts going into the pump motor which is often completely submerged. it gives me the willies to see this big-ass power cord going into this hole full of water, but that's the way it was meant to work.
     
  6. Jan 16, 2008 #5

    chroot

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    You can always speed up the drying process by placing it in a warm oven (150F) for a few hours.

    - Warren
     
  7. Jan 16, 2008 #6
    yes but I remembered an experiment when I was in highschool we placed electrical probes on this glass of water with & without salt and the salt solution conducted current. maybe if its plain water with no salt its ok to power it?
     
  8. Jan 16, 2008 #7

    rbj

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    no. even distilled water conducts enough that i wouldn't want to put one 220 volt wire in a bucket with distilled water and my foot while i'm holding the other wire.

    it worked because the sump pump and the electrical cable between the plug and pump were very well, hermetically sealed. even submerged in water, the electrical components that needed to be dry were dry.
     
  9. Jan 17, 2008 #8
    I was a little confused in my thermodynamics class when the professor was running current through a heating copper coil that was submerged in a beaker of water to boil it.
     
  10. Jan 17, 2008 #9

    mgb_phys

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    The copper is a very good conductor so the electricity is more likely to flow through the copper than take a short-circuit through the water.

    The voltage of the water would be raised to that of the copper, but as he was probably running the copper coil from a low voltage dc supply that isn't a problem.
    If you put a 120/240V AC powered coil in the water it would work but you could get a shock from the water - that's why kettle elements are inside grounded steel pipes.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2008 #10
    hmm, powering up a 220v transformer underwater? wont that trip the circuit breakers? have you done that sort of experiment before?
     
  12. Jan 18, 2008 #11

    NoTime

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    If the water is very pure (mOhms per cm) and you don't introduce contaminants with the transformer, you could do it.
     
  13. Jan 20, 2008 #12
    You don't really need to dry it off. I operate transformers of the higher voltage variety under water intermittently for cooling. It won't harm the transformer because, as someone previously mentioned, the transformer is of lower resistance than the water, so. unless you do something like short the transformer secondary or attach a very heavy load, the electricity will flow through the transformer rather than the water. Additionally, ever part of a transformer, except to input/output connectors is insulated. So just dry off the lugs and power up. The transformer will be fine.

    -Clive Hansen
     
  14. Jan 24, 2008 #13
    just powered it up and it worked same as if it were dry. tnks all.
     
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