Pad-Mounted Transformers

Ever felt tempted to touch, climb, or jump on one of these big green boxes in your neighborhood? Or maybe you just think it's an eyesore and want to "hide" it with landscaping. PLEASE DON'T.

These are pad-mounted transformers, which house vital, high-voltage electrical equipment and can be extremely dangerous. They can be found near schools, homes, and businesses and ARE NOT meant for touching, climbing, or playing (despite their size, shape, and location). We know they are not the most aesthetically pleasing either, but please do not try to hide them with bushes, fences, or flower beds. Even small additions around pad-mounted transformers can create hazards for yourself or Franklin PUD workers, so keep the areas around them clear. Landscaping and other obstructions (like fences) around electrical equipment interfere with our ability to continue to deliver reliable power and can cause delays if there is an outage or issue.

Occasionally, we have to repair, upgrade, or replace transformers, which requires our line trucks to drive into the right-of-way and lift the transformer out. We don't want to damage your landscaping, as we know it represents your hard earned money and time, so help us minimize that impact and keep transformers clear. If you notice an issue with a pad-mounted transformer (like missing panels or visible damage), please call our Operations Center immediately at (509) 546-5975 or email us at

Transformers supply electrical energy to your home or business. Their function is to change high-voltage electricity to the lower voltage needed for the lights and appliances you use. In the past, transformers were mounted exclusively on power poles, well out of reach. Now power circuits are frequently placed underground, with transformers at ground level.

Sketch of work area with measurements to show safe zoneWhen there is a power outage or emergency, or maintenance is required, power line technicians need to be able to gain access to the transformer quickly and easily. In order to work safely, power line technicians need a minimum of 10 feet clearance in front of the transformer doors and 2 feet on sides and back. That is why it is important that you don't put up a fence, wall, structure, or plantings that will restrict safe access to the unit.