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Re: PCB Question

Original poster: "Jim Lux by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net>

make use of the fact that PCBs were used because they don't burn....  Try
to burn some. Transformer oil burns quite nicely.

The odor may be from all sorts of causes.. fungicide added to the liquid,
residue from the varnish or enamel on the wire or core, rosin dissolved off
of solder joints, etc.

And, of course, someone, in the past, may have actually mixed the two
insulating liquids... I don't think they are miscible though...

Tesla list wrote:
> Original poster: "by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>"
> Hi all,
> I have an old (circa 1945) x-ray transformer that I strongly
> suspect has PCBs for the dielectric fluid. I have ran across
> this same type of oily fluid before in another old transformer.
> It looks like oil, but has a different odor than plain transformer
> oil. However, the dictionary definition of PCB states that it is
> in the from of a "toxic, colorless, odorless, vicous liquid form-
> erly used as an insulator in electrical equipment" I was won-
> dering if it was usually mixed with petroleum in electrical euip-
> ment and thus the definite odor. And yes, I have gotten a little
> bit on myself before when I took them apart to facilitate an in-
> ternal repair :-(( Hopefully, my hair won't start falling out tomor-
> row.
> I've read that you can drop a drop of the fluid in question into
> some water and if it floats, then in isn't PCB, as PCBs have
> a higher specific gravity than water. However, I personally do
> NOT suscribe to this as a sure-fire way to detect the presence/
> absnece of PCBs as they may very well be mixed in with petro-
> leum oil, which of course has a lower specific gravity than water.
> Maybe some of the resident chemistry majors could comment
> on this?
> David Rieben