On-load tap changers (OLTC) are some of the main transformer elements that make voltage adjustment in a power network possible. Their failures often cause shutdowns of distribution transformers. The paper presents research work aimed at the assessment of the technical condition of OLTCs by the acoustic emission method (EA). This method makes the OLTC diagnosis possible without the need of disconnecting the transformer from the system. The measurements were taken in laboratory conditions. The influence on the operation non-concurrence of the power tap changer contacts on the AE registered signals has been investigated. The signals registered were subjected to analyses in the time and time-frequency domains. The result analysis in the time domain was carried out using the Hilbert transform and calculating characteristic times for the particular runs. A short-time Fourier transform was used for the assessment of results in the time-frequency domain.