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Stop the Shocks – Insulating Transformers and Power Lines

Insulate Your Transformer and Power Lines

Take the initiative, be proactive and help us keep our wildlife safe by insulating your transformers and power lines.Remember, there is no company or government agency that monitors power lines and transformers or provides the equipment to ensure wildlife safety. It’s up to us to make our wildlife safe!

Email info@refugeforwildlife.org if you’d like to insulate your transformer. Our Stop the Shocks team will help you inspect the location, prepare a quote, provide payment details, order/receive the products and liaise with ICE for installation.

How Can You Tell if Your Power Lines are Safe?

Insulated cables will be thick and covered in a black or grey coating. If the cable is uninsulated, it will be thinner and grey (see above image).

As a general rule, the higher voltage power lines have the larger/taller the “insulators” attaching them to the pole. You can see how dangerous the cables are by looking at the insulators. A clear indication that there’s an extreme amount of power surging through the cable is a great, big insulator protecting the pole from the cable.

The highest cable(s) on the pole (usually attached to the top) have the most voltage as it is the primary distribution line. These cables can be 2,400 volts up to 34,400 volts.

The cables that sit just underneath the transformer barrel are lower voltage and still deadly if the monkey touches more than one or touches the cable anything that can ground it (tree, pole, transformer).

If there is one cable below the barrel, it is a single-phase system and this cable DOES NOT need to be insulated. Wildlife have to touch at least two uninsulated electrical cables to become electrocuted.

If there are three cables below the barrel, it is a 3-phase system. You can easily identify which three they are because they are often connected with a bar that keeps them separated. Of the three cables, at least two need to be insulated (the neutral does not need to be covered).

The wires lowest on the pole and closest to the ground are telephone wires, internet and fibre optic cables. These are safe for wildlife to travel on. You can tell these apart from the electrical cables because they are almost always black.

What Does an Uninsulated Transformer Look Like?

An uninsulated power transformer

Uninsulated power transformers have many dangerous components and if any one of these areas are touched by wildlife they will be badly electrocuted. The voltage is high towards the top of the pole and gradually lowers towards the bottom, but all areas can be fatal. This is an example of only one style of transformer – there are many different styles of transformers with different components, but all with have at least two of these six main components.

  • Stirrup and Hot Clamp
  • Fuse Cutout Switch
  • Primary Bushing Inputs
  • Lightning Arrestor
  • Secondary Outputs
  • Cables from Hot Clamp to Fuse Cutout/Bushing

How Can You Tell if Your Transformer is Safe?

A transformer insulated with wildlife protection equipment

Insulated transformers have grey silicone rubber wildlife protection equipment installed (see attached images). In Nosara, we have several different styles of transformers, some requiring more protection equipment than others. We also have several transformers that are only partially insulated which makes it more difficult to tell if a transformer is safe or not. Especially since the protection covers are the same grey color as the rest of the transformer, it can sometimes be difficult to tell. If you are unsure, email Refuge for Wildlife at info@refugeforwildlife.org.

Below you will find images of the main covers we use to protect our wildlife from electrocutions. With a quick look, you will be able to instantly see if a transformer has been insulated by looking for these key wildlife protection equipment components. If you are unsure, please take a photograph of your transformer and send it to us via email – we will be happy to confirm the safety of your transformer for you! Email info@refugeforwildlife.org

Stirrup Hot Clamp Cover
Fuse Cutout Cover
Primary Input Bushing Cover