Causes of Ballast Failure
Premature ballast failure is often caused by the surrounding environment. When it's too hot or too cold, the ballast can burn or fail to start your lamps at all. Heat combined with prolonged condensation inside an electronic ballast can cause corrosion.


How do you bypass a ballast? Cut the socket lead wires. The socket lead wires (most likely red and blue-colored wires) are located on the other side of the ballast and connect to wires going out of the ballast to the sockets (which should be non-shunted sockets for T8 LEDs). These output wires provide the power to the lamps.

what are the signs of a bad ballast?

If your fluorescent lighting is displaying any of the signs below, it could be a symptom of a bad ballast:
  • Flickering.
  • Buzzing.
  • Delayed start.
  • Low output.
  • Inconsistent lighting levels.
  • Switch to an electronic ballast, keep lamp.
  • Switch to an electronic ballast, switch to a T8 fluorescent.

Can a bad ballast cause a breaker to trip? It's possible that the ballast has gone bad!! If the primary winding in the ballast goes bad they almost always trip the breaker, unless there is a fuse installed just ahead of the ballast. After checking all of the wiring, as you have been directed to do, the last chip is a bad ballast.

is a bad ballast dangerous?

As with any electrical situation where overheating is possible, a bad ballast can pose a fire danger. Most bad ballasts simply burn themselves out, but it's still good to recognize the odor and find the problem. Overheated ballasts that release PCBs also may pose health risks because PCBs are possible carcinogens.

Do I need to remove the ballast to use an LED bulb? LED technology does not require a ballast to regulate the amount of energy flowing to the lights. Additionally, removing the ballast will reduce energy usage and result in even great cost-savings as ballasts continue to draw more power than necessary.

how long does a ballast last?

about 20 years

How do I know if my ballast is t8 or t12? This will reveal a lot about your current fluorescent tube and usually indicate if the bulb is T8 or T12. If no markings are available, the size in diameter of the tube is the easiest way to determine the type you have installed. T8 tubes are 1-inch in diameter and T12 tubes are 1 1/2 -inch.

How much is it to replace a ballast?

A replacement ballast costs about $10-25 depending on capacity and brand. The bite is that an electrician trip charge (which includes 30 or 60 minutes work) is going to be $75-150 probably - for about 5 minutes work on each light fixture.

How does a ballast work? In a fluorescent lighting system, the ballast regulates the current to the lamps and provides sufficient voltage to start the lamps. Without a ballast to limit its current, a fluorescent lamp connected directly to a high voltage power source would rapidly and uncontrollably increase its current draw.

How do I wire a 2 way ballast?

How to Replace 2 Lamp Series Ballast with Parallel Connect each of the individual blue wires from the parallel ballast to each pair of the lampholder individual wires (red and blue). Connect the common red wire from the parallel ballast to the yellow pair of lampholder common wires.

Can you change a ballast with the power on?

Although changing a ballast is safer with the power off, sometimes it is impractical, such as in a crowded store or office space, and you must replace the ballast without cutting the power. This can be done safely with some preparation and the right tools. Fluorescent bulbs need ballasts to regulate the power.

How do you know if a fluorescent ballast is bad?

When you hear a buzzing sound coming from your fixture or the bulbs flicker or do not come on, check the ballast to see if it needs to be replaced. Turn off the fluorescent fixture's circuit breaker inside the breaker panel. Remove the lens cover from the fixture.

Can a bad ballast burn out bulbs?

Every ballast has an ambient operating temperature range and UL location rating. When it's too hot or too cold, the ballast can burn or fail to start your lamps at all. Heat combined with prolonged condensation inside an electronic ballast can cause corrosion and ballast failure.

Why does a ballast fail?

A ballast, like any electrical device, generates heat. To ensure maximum ballast life, it is imperative that operating temperatures be kept as low as possible. Burned-out or failing lamps, or high temperatures in or around the fixture, can cause the ballast to overheat, resulting in premature failure.

How many types of ballasts are there?

And there are two types of ballasts in each family: magnetic and electronic. Magnetic ballasts are the older ballast technology. For the fluorescent family, both T12 linear fluorescents and two-pin CFLs use magnetic ballasts.