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Old 06-06-2009, 10:07 PM
 
2 posts, read 23,268 times
Reputation: 12

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Hi all,
I'm looking for a house in Pearland. There is a green transformer in the backyard of the house that I'm really interested in. It's about the size of an ottoman.

Note that it's not a junction box, electric box, or cable box. I'm concerned about it, but my realtor said this is something common; almost half of the households have it.

Does anyone here have a transformer right in the backyard? Is it true that half of the houses have that?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:45 PM
 
4,359 posts, read 7,249,566 times
Reputation: 3741
Default Not true.

Not half the houses have them, maybe every four since most are designed to feed four homes. These exist in newer construction, many older homes obtain it from aerial transformers. But then again, I have not been shopping for new homes, maybe they only feed two homes these days.

I used to live in a house that had one in the backyard, aside from the humming noise, it did not bother much. Although my wife got all worked up because ABC News ran a story about how EMFs cause cancer and she was worried that we were exposed to them.

Also, I do recall being awoken one night to a big explosion, and I happened to catch the end of the light. The transformer on the cul de sac next to ours blew up! It sure the heck woke everyone up.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:35 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,700 posts, read 11,395,317 times
Reputation: 1890
They can go boom as stated above or leak coolant, but this is very rare. The bigger problem with buried power lines is dealing with landscaping. As with all else though, there are ways around that.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:13 AM
 
Location: south by midwest
11,412 posts, read 17,652,349 times
Reputation: 5364
I used to play with Transformers all the time in my backyard...

But yeah, when you don't have lines on poles, these boxes at ground level is what you have. And yeah, they can blow.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Houston (Memorial) and Western NC
8,979 posts, read 15,648,545 times
Reputation: 4120
I've seen them on the ground in the new areas. I prefer them up on the poles. The power company can really do some damage to mature landscaping when they go messing with those things. That alone would keep me from buy a yard with "buried" power lines....that and they are harder to repair. Sometimes pretty isn't practical.

I have one up on a pole in my yard. Great fun watching the squirrels get frittered!
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:59 AM
 
Location: California
9,791 posts, read 24,396,696 times
Reputation: 21516
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfre81 View Post
I used to play with Transformers all the time in my backyard...

But yeah, when you don't have lines on poles, these boxes at ground level is what you have. And yeah, they can blow.
LOL...Currently trying to Transform "Sideways" to "sports car" mode! Where's a good 5 yr old when you need one!!!??
There are loads of those boxes in our fairly new subdivision...we are lucky enough not to have one...some are even in the front yards. A few well placed plants/palms covers them.
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:40 PM
 
2 posts, read 23,268 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for all the replies. They help a lot.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:30 PM
 
2 posts, read 18,776 times
Reputation: 12
The pad mounted residential transformer for the underground electric utilities in my back yard was replaced after 33 years. I was told the original was made by General Electric (GE) in 1976. The replacement transformer was made by Howard Industries in Laurel, MS. The new Howard unit is noisy and emits a constant and permeating low hum. The original GE transformer was quiet beyond 5 feet and emitted NO low hum. There were no problems or complaints about the GE transformer in 33 years while the new Howard box is intolerable. How might I obtain an explanation of the fundamental change in transformer design by Howard that generated a low hum and discover if a quiet transformer were available to my local utility, Southern California Edison (SCE)? Please provide basic information regarding the generation and emission of decibels, high buzzing and low humming, the specifications, appropriate siting proximate to structures within 13 feet and the prices and values of the old and new GE pad mounted residential underground utility transformers that may have led to SCE's purchase of the inferior, noisy and low-hum emitting Howard Industries equipment. My PGE transformer, pad mounted, residential transfomer DOES NOT make a low freq HUM, only a higher buzz noise that is NOT audible beyond 5 or 10 feet. What type of lawyer handles adverse utility cases?
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,308 posts, read 2,181,624 times
Reputation: 1134
It sounds like there's more than meets the eye with this transformer.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Katy, TX
1,286 posts, read 3,368,635 times
Reputation: 611
Default Good one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasTheKid View Post
It sounds like there's more than meets the eye with this transformer.
I tried to rec it but I must've rec'd you some other time in the not to distant past.
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