Planting Near Transformers

Pad-mounted transformers are part of the underground electrical system. They are placed on easements or right-of-ways in yards and serve the same purpose as transformers on utility poles. Because transformers may serve several homes, underground lines may go out from them in many directions.

Guidelines to remember when planting near transformers:

  1. Maintain a 4-foot clearance to the sides and back of the transformer. Equipment inside the box generates heat and needs air circulation to keep cool and run efficiently. Overheating could case an outage.

  2. Maintain a 10-foot clearance in front of the transformer. Equipment inside is energized at high voltage. Line crews work on “energized” transformers to avoid interrupting your service. The linemen use long insulating sticks and need the clear space to work safely.
  3. Use gravel, wood chips, grass, or low ground cover around the transformer. Flowers are okay but may get trampled if we have to work on it.
  4. Never dig beside a transformer or install fences or storage buildings near them. Crews need clear access 24 hours a day to safely perform the necessary maintenance or restore power.
  5. Under Minnesota law, you must call Gopher State One Call at 811 before you dig anywhere in your yard. They locate and mark underground utility services for you. Call them 48 hours before digging.
Planting near transformers

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