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Classification of service-aged insulating oil

7.1 General

This subject is treated in greater detail in IEEE Std 637. It is not practical to indicate the value of
specific tests and recommended test limits for all possible existing applications of insulating oil in
service. It should be recognized that, with the current state of knowledge, no single test can be used
as the sole criterion to estimate the condition of service-aged oil. It is, possible, however, to
summarize the value and importance of the current tests and to suggest methods of treatment for
the oil being examined. Oils in service may be placed in the classifications described in 7.2.1
through 7.2.3, based on the composite evaluation of significant characteristics.

7.2 Classification

7.2.1 Class I
This group contains oils that are in satisfactory condition for continued use.

Suggested test limits by voltage class for Class I oils in electrical equipment to remain in continued
service are given in Table 5. It is not intended that an oil be removed from service when a single
property limit is exceeded or that the oil be left in service until all property values are outside the
stated limits. It is difficult to quantify the risk of failure while in service with particular test values.
The limits from Table 5 are intended to provide reference points for continued evaluation and
testing. Each case should be examined individually, and the advice of the manufacturer may be

7.2.2 Class II

This group contains oils that do not meet the dielectric strength and/or water content requirements
of Table 5 and should be reconditioned by filter pressing or vacuum dehydration (see 4.5).

7.2.3 Class III

This group contains oils in poor condition that should be reclaimed using Fullers earth or an
equivalent method.

Oils that do not meet the interfacial tension (IFT), dissipation factor, and neutralization number
limits pro-vided in Table 5 should be reclaimed. Oils should not be allowed to deteriorate such that
the IFT is below

18, or to a point where oxidation inhibitor content is depleted. Under such conditions, considerably
greater effort (i.e., more passes of treatment) is required.

For information and advice concerning the different techniques of reconditioning and reclaiming
service-aged mineral insulating oils, refer to IEEE Std 637. Reconditioning or reclamation of
mineral oils con-taining PCBs can be a violation of environmental regulations.