1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

June 13, 2008

:165 PCB’s in Transformers

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:165 EcoTip: Many, but not all PCB containing power transformers have been phased out. Some public utilities are placing “No PCB” labels on their transformers once they have been certified as being PCB free. If you have a power pole transformer near your property, you may be able to see the label with a pair of binoculars. If not you may want to call the public utility and ask about their PCB transformer policy. If you give them the location of the transformer, or the number stenciled on the equipment, they should be able to tell you if it contains PCBs. If it does, ask them about their plans for getting it switched out. These transformers were all manufactured prior to 1980, so they are about at the end of their useful service life and need to be changed before they begin leaking. If a transformer is already leaking PCBs then the site is a potential hazardous materials situation.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :163. :164

You can find out how your zip code area rates for PCB releases by going to the EPA PCB scorecard site 

Once there you can enter the type of release and your zip-code to see how your area ranks.

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June 12, 2008

:164 PCB’s in Ballasts

Filed under: :164 PCB's in Ballasts — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:04 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:164 EcoTip: On the topic of PCB’s Fluorescent light fixture ballasts manufactured in 1979 and before may contain PCB’s. If you have older fixtures they should be checked and any PCB containing ballasts replaced. The old ballast should be disposed as a hazardous waste as discussed in :086.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :086

Replacing PCB containing ballasted fluorescent fixtures now can help avoid a toxic release should the ballast begin leaking the oil and will end up saving you money in the long run since the newer fixtures are more energy efficient.

New ballasts will have the words “No PCBs” on the label. If it is an older ballast and it is not marked – it is probably simplest to dispose of it by assuming it is hazardous household waste and using the service your county is required to provide.

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June 11, 2008

:163 PCB’s in Wells

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:163 EcoTip: Prior to 1973 many water wells with submersible pumps had PCBs in the lubrication fluid. A leaking pump will contaminate an entire water supply. If you have a pre-1980 submersible pump – it is now getting really old and is more likely to fail and leak oil into the water. PCB containing submersible pumps must be disposed as hazardous waste.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

If you have a well with a pre 1980 submersible pump the EPA provides information at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/publications/monitoring/tsca/manuals/pcbinspect/pcbinspectapph.pdf

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