There are different types of sulfur compounds found in refined transformer oil, but not all are corrosive. However, the effect corrosive sulfur can have in a transformer can be significant. The corrosive sulfur compounds can react with copper and other metals. If left unchecked, corrosion damage caused by corrosive sulfur can become severe enough to the point of failure. In 2010, IEEE published a technical paper stating, “corrosive sulfur in transformer oil has been identified to cause sudden and unexpected failures of several transformers in recent years.” 1
Fortunately, SDMyers can test for corrosive sulfur. Andy Shkolnik explains the testing process in the video below.
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1 Corrosive Sulfur in Transformer Oil, IEEE, 2010, https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5616912 September 06, 2022