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Author Topic: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement  (Read 16039 times)

bkenobi

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2016, 10:20:56 AM »

I wish I had seen this last night.  I placed an order for 2 direct replacements since I didn't know what else to look at.  If I knew this one was available on ebay at a better price/unit shipped for one, I'd have gone that way.  As it is, it's probably more complicated to cancel so I'll just stay with what I've committed to.  It's good reference though!

For anyone looking, there's a bunch of those on ebay for ~$11 shipped in new condition.

bkenobi

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2016, 11:55:20 AM »

I got the new old stock ballasts the other day and installed one per the wiring diagram (same as the old one).  When I turned on the lights, I get nothing.  I pulled the first and hooked up the second and I still get nothing.  Is it possible that I both could have failed due to age?  I didn't see anything on the contact wires so I believe they are new and unused meaning I don't think someone would have damaged them and sold them.

I pulled the cover off a second working fixture and found a different ballast type, so I suspect when the previous owner had one fail, he simply replaced the whole fixture.  I could probably source that ballast and try to get a refund on these two.

Any thoughts?

Brian H

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2016, 12:43:33 PM »

Using a meter. Verify that the filament inside each end of the the tube are there and not open.
I believe the ballast uses the filament to disable the ballast if it is open. Like there is no tube in the socket.
Also I saw in the instructions. The fixture needs a ground. I believe that helps the tube to start.
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bkenobi

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2016, 01:22:01 PM »

The fixture is grounded but I don't see how the ballast is connected to that ground unless it can maintain ground through the painted housing surface somehow.  I pulled a working bulb from the second working fixture to test the non-working fixture so the bulb is known working (reinstalling in the working fixture results in light).

I assume a ballast is a ballast (at least assuming they are of the same type) so I assume testing one vs another should give exactly the same results when looking at voltages and whatnot.  With the new ballast installed I tested it against a working one.

Non-contact tester
1) Black (hot) wire: both are hot
2) White (neutral) wire: both are NOT hot
3) red wire (x2, ballast to one tube end): both hot, though good ballast beeps slower for some reason
4) blue/white (ballast to other tube end): good is NOT hot, new is hot

The concerning thing is that the white wire from the ballast that connects to one end of the tube is also connected to neutral at the tombstone.  Is that right to connect hot to neutral without a load?!

bkenobi

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2016, 01:30:45 PM »

Here's a couple pictures that I stole that will help.  The first is an untouched ballast in case someone has a suggestion.  The second is what I've found with my non-contact tester.

EDIT: updated second image for correctness and clarity.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 01:40:53 PM by bkenobi »
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Brian H

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2016, 04:11:07 PM »

The replacement has two Blue Wires.
What is its part number?
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Knightrider

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2016, 04:53:45 PM »

try this if you have two blue wires:

I am ASSUMING that its a single tube replacement ballast.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 04:56:51 PM by Knightrider »
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bkenobi

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2016, 08:22:16 PM »

One white one blue and the wiring diagram is the same as I posted on the label. The Philips ballast was word like you suggested with 2 yellow leads that went nowhere.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 09:34:16 PM by bkenobi »
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Brian H

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2016, 06:08:31 AM »

In the replacement diagram.
White Neutral is not hot as expected. The Blue and White from the ballast should not be hot.

With the White and Blue from the ballast showing Hot.
Check the connections in the tombstone. Both whites should be the same. If the physical connection in the tombstone is properly done.
I suspect a bad or missing connection between the White from the incoming power circuit, tombstone contacts and the White from the ballast.
The Blue from the ballast is probably hot due to the lack of Neutral from the missing White connections.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 07:39:18 AM by Brian H »
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bkenobi

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2016, 10:23:37 AM »

When I wired up the Philips ballast, it had a separate wire for neutral rather than sharing the tombstone.  I will check the continuity through the tombstone to verify, but that's how it worked before.  I suppose one possibility is that the connection in the tombstone itself failed rather than the old ballast.  I wonder if there's a way to test a ballast on the bench to verify it's working as expected.  My guess is that these are simple enough that the bench test would be a fixture which means I can test it just as easily installed.

Brian H

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2016, 10:46:35 AM »

I am now 100% confused.
Your earlier replacement diagram is not what the Phillips wanted and how you wired it?
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bkenobi

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2016, 10:53:53 AM »

Nope.  Philips has a different wiring diagram.  See attached.  They are designed for 2 bulbs but sent me a 1-bulb schematic.  Essentially they hook the 2 blue wires to one end, 2 red to the other, white to neutral, and black to hot.  The 2 yellow were taped off as they don't get used for 1-bulb operation.

The original (dead) ballast and the new replacements only have 1 blue wire and 1 white.  They indicate that I hook the red to one end and the blue and white to other.  The tombstone with the blue/white has a white for neutral (not used with the Philips ballast).

Brian H

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2016, 11:08:53 AM »

Thanks for the diagram.
There where so many different ones posted.

Ignore my trying moving the white as your latest diagram does not show it that way.

I would verify that the filaments in the tube ends are OK and making contact in the tombstones.

Some electronic ballasts also need to be grounded to the fixture and have the tube with in a distance of the fixture. I believe mine wanted the tube 1" or less from the metal

If you do get it working. See if it effects your X10 communications as it is an Electronic Ballast not the original Magnetic one you are replacing.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 12:36:51 PM by Brian H »
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bkenobi

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2016, 09:31:41 PM »

I pulled the fixture apart again and took a good look at all the connections. I checked continuity between everything that should be connected and compared to the second fixture. It looks like the issue may actually be with the neutral to white wire connection. The back of the tombstone is popped out and the neutral connector is not lined up properly. I think if I can find a way to force it back into place I can verify the fix and then source some replacements. If that's the case I guess I have 3 spare ballasts them!

bkenobi

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Re: Fluorescent tube ballast replacement
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2016, 10:45:40 AM »

Oh, and I just noticed this morning that the two tombstones are different.  It looks like at least one may have come from another source at some point.  I'm just going to replace them and hope for the best.
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