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  • Ballast Question

    I have installed new ballasts and new bulbs in a fluorescent light,however the lights only flicker and will not come on completely. There is no starter on this fixture. Any Help?

  • #2
    Re: Ballast Question

    Are the bulbs properly installed, I know I have missed clipping the bulb into holders on some fixtures, especially on 48" bulbs.

    Some times I have found at time reversing the bulb helps,

    and I have a few fixtures that seem to be picky on the bulbs they will work with.
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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    • #3
      Re: Ballast Question

      Check that the fixture case is well grounded. That can make a big difference. In damp areas moisture can cause trouble.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ballast Question

        I've checked over and the only thing I'm not sure of is the power coming into the light. There is one red and one white, I hooked them to red and white on the ballast, is that correct?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ballast Question

          That may be your problem. Look at both ends. One end will have either 2 or 3 wires. On the other normally there are 4 or more. If it's just 2, there will be a black and white wire. You connect power to them and white is neutral. If there are 3 wires, normally it goes like this. White = neutral, Black = 120 Volts hot, Red or orange = 277 Volts (industrial power) hot. If you have the three wires and connected 120 Volts up as 277, that would cause the output to run way to low and thus starting failure. Do you have a brand and part number of the Ballast in question? If yes, I may be able to look up the wiring and post something that should help with this.
          Last edited by Woussko; 03-03-2007, 03:30 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ballast Question

            usually the power wires are black for hot and white for neutral. each manufacture may be some different, and you need to follow the diagram on the ballast or the directions, a lot depends on number of tubes and types of units.

            but as an example,
            http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/flamp.htm#wd4
            more possibilities and examples,
            http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/flamp.htm
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ballast Question

              Also make sure the ballasts are the right type for the particular bulbs.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ballast Question

                This is a common problem. Most new ballasts require what they call RAPID START BULBS. You can put as many regular bulbs in there until the cows come home and they WON'T start if they are not RAPID start bulbs. I'll bet that is your problem.. Go to an electrical supply store and as for the size bulb you want and be sure to ask for RAPID START bulbs. Uusally the bulb number says RS at the end of the bulb model if it is rapid start. Try this and I bet it will work. This is assuming all else is right. Uusally if you have the ballast wrong you won't even get a flicker, so I think this is all you will need to do. Let us know how you make out. Lou

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ballast Question

                  I have a similar problem: I have two 4-ft florescent lights (kitchen and pantry), and they normally work fine. But sometimes they will not start, and if one won't start, neither one will start. That made me think it might be a electric supply issue, but I also wondered if there was something I could do to make them start better. The starters are in the bulbs now, as I understand(?), so maybe using better bulbs would help? Or I wondered if the ballast has anything to do with starting the lights? So I looked in this forum, and lo and behold, the most recent topic is florescent lights that won't start!

                  After reading electricLou's comment about rapid starting bulbs, I checked my ballasts and sure 'nuf, they're expecting rapid starting bulbs. And sure 'nuf again, the bulbs I was using were not RS. So I bought four new RS bulbs. Now both of the lights take longer to start than with the standard bulbs, and they both hum more than before.

                  Only time will tell if the RS bulbs fixed the intermittent start problem.

                  - djb
                  sigpic

                  A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

                  Restore the Republic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ballast Question

                    Something else to check is if the ballast is made for the newer energy saver tubes or not. Example: F40CW/SS(super saver or WM (Watt miser) are not the same as the older F40CW tubes. Check the label on the ballast and be sure everything is matched. Older ballasts require NON energy saving tubes. You can normally find them, but not at places like HD or Lowes.

                    For everyone with a problem ballast, please post the brand a model/catalog number. I'll try to look them up and post the correct tubes needed for them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ballast Question

                      Woussko -

                      I got info off the ballasts, which includes the type of bulbs to use. I never paid attention to bulb type before because I never knew replacing a florescent bulb was such a complicated task, that bulbs had to match the ballast. Guess I'm not alone, because the guy at the hardware store got a glazed look in his eyes when I asked him about rapid start florescent bulbs... They had several brands and makes (low power, hi output, etc.) of bulbs, but only one bulb in the whole selection was labeled "Rapid Start." I noticed the old standard bulbs were 40W, the new RS bulbs are 34W. And I think it's strange that the new "rapid start" bulbs take longer to start than the old bulbs...

                      Ballast #1: Regen Lighting Corp; CAT # ES101-?-R? (label ripped); Rapid Start Ballast; For two F40T12 RS Lamps

                      Ballast #2: VistaLite Energy Saver, Rangaire & Co.; CAT # SS-240-120-CP; For 2 F40T12 or F40 (460 MA) Energy Saver, Rapid Start Lamps

                      Old bulbs: Sylvania F40/CWX; E5S4; For use in any fixture (printed on the bulb! )

                      New bulbs: GE Ecolux; F34CW-RS-WM-ECO

                      Both fixtures have labels that say to ground the ballast, but the way the ballast is connected to the fixture is not conducive to a good ground, it's not a good connection to the fixture. The fixtures are grounded, connected to the common supply ground.

                      - djb
                      sigpic

                      A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

                      Restore the Republic.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ballast Question

                        djb

                        The old F40/CWX should work in both cases pretty well, but if they have been in use some time or if they are just old from being around, it would be wise to replace them. The newer tubes are only for use with the newer energy saving ballasts. You might try this if you can and see how it works. Connect a wire to a known good electrical ground and also over to the ballast on the fixture that gives the most trouble. Then see how it starts up cold. Is the problem mostly when cold? Some of the newer energy saving tubes are hard to start up below about 60F.

                        Being both of your ballasts are 460ma rated, I would try tubes on the order of Sylvania F40/D41 without the SS suffix or General Electric F40SP41/ECO

                        More than likely you'll need to go to an electrical supply house rather than a home center for them. This is not to say other tubes won't work, but these should match up well for your needs. Both give a nice clean bright cool white light of better quality than the older F40CW did. Good luck and please let us know more.

                        Do your best to ground the ballasts. You may have to scrape or sand some paint off near the mounting screws. Be sure the screws (or nuts) are tight but not forced. In cold areas like a basement or garage, sometimes you need to use a special low temp ballast and tubes.
                        Last edited by Woussko; 03-08-2007, 08:18 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ballast Question

                          Your right,Often times youwill get a gazed look from a Home Depot guy or a hardware supply store guy when you ask for a rapid start bulb. The moral of the story here is when you replace a ballast, the tubes (bulbs) used must match the ballast so that you have no problems. Be sure to check to see what the ballst calls for and use the bulb suggested. Also, it is true that the bulbs are hard to start below 60 degrees F, which is really not aht cold, but they will flicker or roll until the temp goes up. If it;s real cold it may not start at all. Again, there are special fixturses, ballasts, bulbs for cold locations. When having trouble with any electrical porjects, try an electrical supply house over a giant dept. store. And for heaven sakes if you really don't know what you are doing, call a pro for safety sake. Be safe! Lou

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