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Practical Tips For Installing A Low Voltage Transformer

by Arnoldo Lymburner (2018-11-14)

If you are going to be installing a low voltage transformer yourself, you may as well do a proper job of it in the first attempt. For this to happen, you might make use of a few pieces of advice which I have collected here for you. All in all, doing so should improve your chances of tolerable results of your efforts.

Your safety
The most important issue to handle, whenever mains voltage is in play - is safety. Did I just say main voltage? Yes, of course I did! They may call it a Low Voltage Cabling voltage transformer - but only because it converts mains voltage to a lower voltage. Even if what you have is a 12v transformer, you still need to feed it mains voltage to get anything useful out of it - at least if it is for domestic use.

So you have to be safe when handling the transformer - when it is hooked up to mains voltage - not before, of course. Though some people insist on making the mains connection to the transformer themselves, I always recommend that you hire an electrician to do that job. It won't take him long or cost you much - if you have done all the preparing work. If all he has to do, is put the mains cable in the correct terminals on the transformer, then you cannot get it any cheaper.

The other very important safety-issue, which is relevant whenever we are working with electrical installations, is that of fire-safety. Each year, there are many, many domestic fires which happen because of faulty electrical wiring. Most of the wiring built into a house is hidden in the walls, which gives a short-circuit plenty of time to melt the insulation of the cable and heat something up so much, it catches fire - before someone even notices the smell of something burning.

If you are going to be doing your own installations of electrical wiring, then you really should do it in front of your walls or ceilings, rather than behind them. This way, if something does start to burn, you will see it - or smell it almost immediately. Since you are not a trained electrician, there is probably a somewhat bigger risk that you make a mistake or two in the wiring, or fail to use the proper parts. Being an amateur at something is no shame - just don't assume your work is perfect. In fact, you should assume your wiring is NOT perfect, and will fail at some point. Only then have you taken sufficient precautions, to be honest.

Make it look good
Finally, try to make things look good! There is no point in doing a poor-looking job of something you will have to look at every day for years to come. Even if you do follow my advice of not concealing your wiring or transformers behind walls or ceilings, you can still make them look good, by using plastic cable trays. This gives everything that clean, professional look - without compromising your safety, or being hard to install. You can also try to buy a transformer with an enclosure in a different color than black. Many are available in white or other colors - or in appealing designs which will actually make you want to look at them!