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Did anything change with Transformers/Smart Batteries in QOL MK3?

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So I've been running bases on a setup I learned here in a guide about transformer mechanics (though for the life of me I can on longer find this guide, if anyone has it off hand would love to read it again and know if info is all relevant.)

Set up is: Generators ==> heavy watt ===> Smart Batteries ==> Power transformer (small) ===> Regular wire ===> Power shutoff ==> Power transformer (small) ===> smart battery ===> consumers < 1kw. Obviously the last 4 are my small circuits and there are however many as needed. smart battery connects to the power shutoff. Clearly I would eventually upgrade everything to large transformers and conductive wire but I usually don't get that far before I restart due to some other complaint.

For the longest time I could successfully do this and never experience overload on the regular wire, allowing me to completely avoid unsightly utility tunnels of heaviwatt and use less materials. Heavy watt would only get used if I'm trying to power something big. 

Now after QOL MK3 I do occasionally experience overload and cannot for the life of me find a mistake in the grid. It gets more frequent the more small circuits I add. Have these mechanics been changed so that the transformer counts as a consumer? 

One more question while I'm here among experts: Can duplicants see wires/pipes through ladders? 

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