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I have a 2000w, 240 -> 120v transformer. It's a Bronson++ AVT 2000, with a continuous max wattage of 1200w, meaning if running for over 30 minutes it should be under 1200. I ran a 1500w blender on it for roughly 5 minutes at a time which I was told has a soft start on it to avoid initial power surges so I figured it would be fine to use with.

Whatever the case, the transformer doesn't turn on anymore. It has a fuse, and I checked the fuse for continuity and it seems ok. It came with replacement fuses, I threw in one of those and still no go. The transformer worked fine the last time I used it and then the next time it just wouldn't turn on. I have reason to believe the connection I was using it on at the time may not have been grounded properly.

So what happened? I thought transformers were pretty simple things and if something were to blow it would be the fuse. How would you debug what created the problem, and is it possible to fix them as an amateur or is it not worth the risk?

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    How many foreign devices are you trying to support? It might make sense to just go local. (A blender is cheap, but I don't know what else you've got...) – Aloysius Defenestrate May 24 '16 at 13:29
  • At the moment, just 2. One at a time. Devices become about double the price when purchasing from EU. Importers here pay exorbitant shipping + 20% customs tax, which is basically legalised mafia. Then resellers here add their % on top. Adds up bigtime. For example, I imported myself a DWS780 and ended up paying $688USD. Shipping & customs included. The cheapest however I could find the DWS780 locally was €1020 ($1140USD). So I saved around $450. Enough for transformers. I've since found a great transformer supplier in Poland called Toroidy and swapped out the chinese crap. – Bob May 26 '16 at 4:27
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So what happened?

Well, the rule with all things electrical is, they work right up until they don't. With a small transformer like that, it is likely if it overloaded it could burn a wire in half thus failing open.

Apparently, you have a basic voltage tester so you can test for continuity (or resistance) on the primary side (240v) of the transformer, and test the secondary side (120v). It is possible some part of the external wiring has opened and could be repaired. If either the primary or secondary are open, internal to the transformer, then you could replace the transformer. If this is cost prohibitive then, unfortunately, you may have to buy a new one.

Good luck!

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Transformers are pretty rugged and it's unlikely it would have burned up without some kind of burning insulation smell. If it has gone, the unit is not worth repairing.

I would suspect the rocker switch has failed. There may also be an internal fuse of some kind. This thing looks like a Chinese-made device that may have dubious quality components. Even so, I doubt the transformer itself has failed.

Unplug all cords, pop the cover and have a look inside- there is no danger from electricity if it's not plugged in.

  • I thought as well they were pretty rugged and simple so I wasn't picky when purchasing. As soon as it failed I looked around and found a niche maker in Poland which treat it like an art. With this broken one, inside there are a lot of other components. I checked the rocker switch, and it's ok. Thanks for the advice – Bob May 24 '16 at 18:20

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