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# Correct procedure for de-magnetizing transformer cores

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## Correct procedure for de-magnetizing transformer cores

What's the cause of a "magnetized" transformer and what's the correct procedure for de-magnetizing? I've been told you should de-magnetize each phase after doing winding resistance but another tech told me you can get away with doing a de-mag on only one phase. Also, what would happen if a magnetized transformer was re-energized?

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The magnetization is the current that satisfies the excitation condition of the transformer when the voltage is applied to the primary winding of the transformer with the secondary winding unloaded. You can calculate this current from the fundamental transformer equation.

The easiest and most efficient way to demagnetize a transformer is by applying voltage in reverse polarity. You should demagnetize each phase.

In practice, most Winding resistance testsets perform the demagnetization process automatically. I do not suggest grounding the transformer right after a test (in case you do not have a way to demagnetize the transformer) because it might cause eddy current.

What you need to do is to reverse the polarity by reversing the test leads.

There is this popular bad practice of grounding the transformer after winding resistance is performed which is not good.

I suggest to google the terms "transformer fundamental equation", "demagnetization", "magnetic flux" or "magnetization" for a better understanding.

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Thanks, slts1991. Very informative post. Could you explain what would happen if you forget to demagnetize and then turn the transformer back on after testing?

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Still haven't been able to find an answer on this one after many months. Has anybody ever energized a transformer without first de-magnatizing? Could the transformer be damaged?

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Originally Posted by randywright
Still haven't been able to find an answer on this one after many months. Has anybody ever energized a transformer without first de-magnatizing? Could the transformer be damaged?
causes increased inrush currents (which can damage the unit if they exceed the fault current rating) that being said I have seen it done both ways many times without any noticeable ill effects. They do tend to be a touch louder upon re-energization however. This was in my earlier years, that being said we are currently practicing de-mag. on all units. I wouldn't advise energizing them without de-magnetizing first.

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Thank you for the info. Do you de-mag on each phase or can you do it once all testing is complete?

Originally Posted by lester mcmanaway
causes increased inrush currents (which can damage the unit if they exceed the fault current rating) that being said I have seen it done both ways many times without any noticeable ill effects. They do tend to be a touch louder upon re-energization however. This was in my earlier years, that being said we are currently practicing de-mag. on all units. I wouldn't advise energizing them without de-magnetizing first.

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Originally Posted by randywright
Thank you for the info. Do you de-mag on each phase or can you do it once all testing is complete?
We use a the tap box omicron makes. Hook up all 3 phases and run the demag when testing is complete

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i am only familiar with the megger single phase sets. some guys say you only have to do it on the last winding, other guys say you have to do it after each winding.

Originally Posted by lester mcmanaway
We use a the tap box omicron makes. Hook up all 3 phases and run the demag when testing is complete

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Originally Posted by randywright
i am only familiar with the megger single phase sets. some guys say you only have to do it on the last winding, other guys say you have to do it after each winding.
not sure why you would have to do it immediately after each test, I don't see how it would effect winding resistance on the remaining tests. we do it after all the tests are finished. you just want to do all your ac testing before the dc testing then demag.

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Originally Posted by randywright
Still haven't been able to find an answer on this one after many months. Has anybody ever energized a transformer without first de-magnatizing? Could the transformer be damaged?
I am sorry Randy but for some reason my email filters notifications from this website into the spam so I did not know if you replied or not. If you do not demag the transformer those eddy currents might still be present under energized conditions which eventually will damage winding's insulation.

I am not saying that if you do not demag a xfmr it will blow up in a couple of years, but it is best to do so especially that the climate conditions wary in some cases and with the help of the eddy's it might create failure in time.
If you energize the xfmr when you do not demag it will not create immediate noticeable damage.

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