JCL Journal

Reconditioned Transformers

When it comes to purchasing electrical transformers, there may be surprising benefits for your business by choosing to purchase a reconditioned transformer unit rather than buying new.

Since the design of the first commercial transformer by William Stanley in1886, electrical transformers have been an increasingly key element to industry worldwide. Transformers are devices designed to transfer electric energy from one alternating-current circuit to one or more other circuits while increasing or decreasing the voltage. We use them in wide span of industries, from the “traditional” manufacturing of steel and paper, to hospitals and urban development. They are also key in new and innovative industries like electric vehicles and cryptocurrency. In today’s world of manufacturing and commerce, it is a safe bet that there is an new or reconditioned electrical transformer involved somewhere in the supporting infrastructure.

Making the Best Choice

Unfortunately, transformers sometimes come with a hefty price tag, depending on the type of transformer needed to get the job done. And these costs are just the beginning of budgetary considerations. As we all know, we live in a world of uncertainties where malfunctions and outside factors can bring production to a halt when your transformers fail. Our need for reliable and safe power isn’t going anywhere, so the question remains: is there a better alternative? 

In many cases, the answer is YES! Reconditioned transformers are a more cost-effective and sustainable option to buying new transformers. Reconditioned transformers are units that have already been in operation that are inspected, repaired, or even rebuilt to meet industry standards as a “like-new unit”. Unfortunately, our society has a tendency to make the word “reconditioned” out to mean “second-hand, lesser-quality, used goods”. The reality is, however, that reconditioned transformers have many benefits when compared to new transformers. Let’s explore a few of the major positives of purchasing reconditioned over new:


One of the most obvious benefits of purchasing a reconditioned transformer rather than a new unit is the difference in cost. While estimates between providers may vary, purchasing reconditioned can save as much as 30% of the cost of a new unit of the same type. For budgetary considerations alone, reconditioned transformer units make a lot of fiscal sense. Of course, you get what you pay for, so the decreased cost will cost you a small increase in your time. Meaning, of course, that you should absolutely spend enough time to research and find a reputable seller/distributor that doesn’t cut corners to cut costs. Which brings us to our next benefit, the safety of reconditioned transformers.

Safety and Reliability

When you consider the fact that reconditioned units from a reputable source are put through a wide range of safety tests and thoroughly inspected for replacements and repairs, you can rest easy knowing that these units are reliable and safe. For any transformer, the highest risk of hazards and failures happen at the beginning and end of the transformer’s life, particularly upon energization. This means that reconditioned transformers have the benefit of being “proven in the field,” so to speak. Reconditioned transformers undergo an extensive amount of testing and repair. At JCL Energy (a quality provider of reconditioned transformers) the thorough process for reconditioning includes:

  • TTR Testing
  • Megger Testing
  • HV and LV Winding Resistance Testing
  • Phase Polarity Testing
  • Impedance Testing
  • No Load and Load Loss Testing
  • Oil Dielectric Sampling
  • Pressure Testing
  • DOBLE Testing (upon request)

We also perform gasket inspection and replacement, inspect all bushings, gauges, hand/manholes and radiators, reseal the pipe fittings, inspect, test, and replace all components, transformer fluids, and finish it off with a new coat of industrial quality paint. Finally, our Quality Control Department performs a final testing before they deploy the unit into the field.

With all these layers of inspections and safety tests in place, reconditioned transformers are not only cost effective but also reliable and safe so you can focus on other aspects of your business or industry needs.

Speed of Availability

If the benefits of lowered cost and proven reliability weren’t enough, yet another benefit of reconditioned transformers is the speed of availability. Our world moves faster every day, and our power needs are keeping pace. Depending on the availability of materials and market conditions, lead times on manufacturing can take months for a brand new transformer. This can mean loss of productivity and income, especially in situations where your current transformer infrastructure has failed. When you purchase an already-build unit it can quite literally save the day, cutting your wait times substantially and keeping downtime to a minimum. 


All these benefits are great in the here-and-now, but reconditioned transformers also provide a major benefit long-term: they are a far more sustainable option to building new transformers. While there are new options for more “green” transformers, the fact remains that reconditioning current transformers produces far less emissions than the production of new transformer units. The EPA states that 5% of total US greenhouse gas emissions comes from manufacturing operations. Reconditioning transformers, however, produces little to no greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, reconditioned transformers are more sustainable long-term. Additionally, it also requires far less material than producing the new components to build new units.

Is reconditioned the best option for you?

At the end of the day, you have to make the best choice for your business and your bottom line. Doing more research into the best options for reconditioned transformers available in your area is a great way to help make that decision. With over 120 combined years of experience in the industry, JCL Energy is here for you to help you make the best decision for your needs. Next time you are buying your transformer; keep an open mind to reconditioned units. Call or email us today to learn more about our fast and reliable service for reconditioned transformers.


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