Have you ever wondered what those big green boxes are near your home or around the community? It’s probably a pad-mounted transformer and it’s part of the electrical infrastructure that powers your home. It takes high-voltage electricity and steps it down (aka reduces) the voltage to serve your home’s electrical appliances.
As these boxes protect your home from high voltage, they should never be taken for granted. Large quantities of electricity flow into them, and they should be treated with respect and caution.
LPEA crews also need safe access for repairs and maintenance. Barriers, such as landscaping and fencing, should be kept clear of electrical equipment. While it may be tempting to “camouflage” transformers with landscaping, please remember LPEA crews need at least 10 feet of clearance at the opening of a pad-mounted transformer and four feet on the rear and sides of the housing. The distance allows crews to safely use tools required for working with energized equipment. It also ensures they have the ability to move about safely should problems arise.
Pad-mounted transformers are more common in newer subdivisions and residential developments – and in many cases are located on members’ property. These transformers are connected to primary high voltage lines, and secondary lines can extend from the transformer in several directions underground. Remember this before planting shrubs or trees, setting fence posts, installing sprinkler systems, or digging anywhere near a transformer. You should always dial 811 before you dig to ensure lines are located so your project doesn’t disrupt utility service, cause serious injury, or worse.
Avoid the Big Green Box - Please stay away from pad-mounted transformers. While safe, they are not meant for touching, climbing, or playing.