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Re: [TCML] transformer oil source or substitute?

J. Aaron Holmes wrote:
--- On Thu, 8/27/09, jimlux <jimlux@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

transformer oil IS mineral oil, but mineral oil that has been kept
dry and clean and is of the proper viscosity.

...and often has other chemicals in it to prevent oxidation and
whatnot, or so says the Diala AX documentation I'm read.  Might be
all marketing propaganda, though. :-)  Transformer oil is also
generally yellow/orange, which might matter to somebody if they were
building a clear tank with aesthetics in mind.

yes, the "X" means it has oxidation inhibitors (a good thing), typically tocopherol (vitamin E), BHA, or BHT.

the color is usually described as "light straw"...

The stuff has gone up in price recently.. used to be $4-5/gallon,
but someone mentioned recently they paid almost $50 for a 5 gallon

Yep.  I've typically paid $10/gal for it at a couple of local oil
places in the Seattle, WA area (e.g., Ballard Oil).  That seems to be
about the going price right now, unless you're really buying in
volume.  Also, the manufacturers only usually sell the stuff in
50-gal drums, so any place selling in 5-gal pails has obviously been
handling the stuff,

Not necessarily. Shell, at least, ships the stuff in sealed 5 gallon pails.

and you should make sure they're doing so in a
way that maintains its purity and low moisture content.

They should be, if they are a reputable distributor, because what they sell you has to meet the mfr specs, which include a contamination and water content spec. Not to say that there aren't shlock operators out there ("Hey Benny, siphon out a few gallons into this bucket from that open drum in the corner")

forgetting my examples, but transformer oil does have some other
industrial uses, and some smaller oil shops keep the stuff for this
reason and not with electrical insulation/cooling in mind.

Insulating HV gear in general. It's used in RF dummy loads, too.

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