Purpose Detection of deformation of devices in high voltage electricity transmission line systems is an important issue in terms of economy and reuse. This study is aimed to detect devices that are deformed or thought to have suffered due to environmental and electrical reasons. Design/methodology/approach In this experimental study, it was ensured that the sound and deformed insulators used in energy transmission lines were determined by the analysis of the sounds obtained by using the impact method. Equal intensity impact was applied to the isolator using the pendulum and the resulting sound noise signal analyses were made using power spectral density (PSD), magnitude scalogram (MS), multitape power spectrum density (MPSD) and continuous wavelet transform (CWT) methods in the study. In the analysis results, the isolators that are not visible to the eye and have certain damage were successfully separated from the intact insulators. Especially, MPSD and CWT analysis results are quite satisfactory. Findings Damage analysis of insulators used in electricity transmission lines has been made. A total of 40 insulators were examined in two categories in their group, both damaged and not damaged. Data collection system was established. The data obtained from the data collection system were analysed and compared using four analysis methods. PSD, MS, MPSD and CWT analyses were made in the study. All the analyses carried out generally contain features that distinguish damaged and undamaged insulators from each other, the most successful results are MS and CWT results. CWT results are very successful in terms of time and amplitude, and it has been proposed as a method that can be used to separate damaged and undamaged insulators. Originality/value It can be suggested as a result of experimental tests that the results of CWT analysis can be used in the pulse noise method in isolators to be tested for reuse in electrical power transmission lines.