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MED tests for substation issues

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MASSENA - Massena Electric Department officials are optimistic that some abnormal oil readings at their East Hatfield substation are not a cause for concern.

The utility group recently had testing done on one of the substation’s two transformers and are awaiting results this weekend.

“(In) the beginning of May, we had some unacceptable oil readings with high acetylene. We did a re-test to confirm the reading and then we did doble testing,” MED Superintendent Andrew J. McMahon said. “As a result, during the doble testing - the electrical testing that was going on - we seem to have uncovered where the hot spot had come from. It was a hot spot that led to the bad oil readings. We think we found where that is.”

Mr. McMahon said that based on consultations that MED has had with the Cicero-based engineering group HMT the consensus was to re-energize the transformer.

“We’ve done that. We’re going to take oil samples. We took one yesterday, and we should have results (soon.) We’re going to keep an eye on it for a couple of weeks,” he said. “As (MED Deputy Superintendent Dale Raymo) told you before, HMT is due up here in mid-July. When they come back, we’re going to take doble tests and we’re doing oil tests at least once a week and we’ll see where that is and get a gauge on how comfortable we feel.”

The superintendent added that a worst case scenario would be replacing the transformer, which would take about four months to arrive and cost between $160,000 and $170,000.

“Based on our usage in the past few years within the village, as long as we place an order by August or maybe September, we should have enough time to get it turned around,” Mr. McMahon said. “So it’s a situation we’re monitoring and hopefully it’s a non-issue.”

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