They’re big. They’re often green. They generally sit on concrete, often within housing developments.

Some folks don’t like these electrical boxes—a common nickname for pad- mount transformers—and try to hide them with bushes, fences or flowers. But stay clear. Even small additions around pad-mount transformers create hazards.

We realize landscaping represents an investment of time and money. We respect the effort and care our members invest to make their properties attractive. However, landscaping and obstructions around electrical equipment interfere with our ability to deliver reliable power. For residential single-phase, leave at least 15 feet of clear space in the front, and at least 5 feet on both sides and in the back.

Obstructions include fences, shrubs, trees, plants and anything else that can cause the following problems:

  • Safety risks to personnel trying to access the transformer.
  • Overheated transformer equipment when air circulation is compromised.
  • Operation interference from plant roots.
  • Delayed service restoration during power outages.

Planting along rights-of-way—strips of land owned by a member on which the co-op places poles, wires and other equipment, such as pad-mount transformers—could be damaged by co-op vehicles.

Occasionally, transformers must be repaired, upgraded or replaced. To perform this work, line trucks are driven into the right-of-way, and the transformer is lifted out. Although we try to minimize the impact, plants will be damaged if they are in the way.

Your transformer was leveled by our crew or contractor when installed. Settling may cause it to tilt and possibly put stress on incoming and outgoing conductors. If your transformer is not level, please call our operations staff. We will restore it to a level condition.

Transformers may sometimes become hidden by deep snow or in plowed-up snowbanks. On occasion, transformers have been hit and damaged by snow- removal equipment. Small marker poles that attach to transformers are available. Please call to request installation of a marker pole if your transformer is in a location subject to deep snow or at risk of being struck by a snowplow.

Stay Safe Around Transformers

For your protection, avoid making con- tact with a pad-mounted transformer. Never allow children to play on or near them. Report unlocked or damaged pad-mount transformers to Hood River Electric Cooperative at (541) 354-1233.