Asked by: Qingqing Badallo
sports sailing

How do I know if my fluorescent light has a ballast?

Last Updated: 27th February, 2020

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

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Likewise, people ask, how can you tell if a fluorescent light ballast is bad?

Depending on the ballast, you may have only red and blue wires. If the ballast is bad, the needle on the multimeter will not move. If the ballast is still good, the needle should sweep to the right across the face of the multimeter.

Beside above, what is inside a fluorescent light ballast? This lamp consists of a glass tube filled with an inert gas (usually argon) at low pressure. On each side of the tube you will find a tungsten electrode. The ballast regulates AC power to the electrodes. Older lamps used a starter to get the lamp going.

Correspondingly, where is the ballast on a fluorescent light?

Locate the wiring cover plate, usually in the center of the fixture. On either side of the cover, there will be tabs that catch in slots in the fixture. Squeeze the sides of the cover inward to slip the tabs out of the slots, and pull the cover down. This will expose the ballast and its wiring.

How much does a ballast cost?

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.

Related Question Answers

Saidou Giovanni

Professional

What causes a ballast to go bad?

Causes of Ballast Failure
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. Some people may suggest removing the parts of the ballast casing and cleaning the electrical board.

Maureen Prigoda

Professional

Can a ballast be repaired?

While simply swapping burned out bulbs in an existing ballast is deemed “ballast repair” by many – and can offer advantages in longevity and energy savings – sometimes this simple “fix” is not enough.

Gillen Continente

Explainer

Yon Wendzinsk

Explainer

Is an electrician required to change a ballast?

Yes. As a matter of fact, you do need a lock out tag out device in place for changing a ballast. 'An electrician is replacing the ballast on a fluorescent light.

Ganna Lindlau

Pundit

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.

Patrisia Ajinov

Pundit

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.

Mayoro Tuya

Pundit

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.

Porsche Haranbillaga

Pundit

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.

Yaromir Ongaro

Teacher

How does a ballast work?

Simply put, the ballast is the heart of a fluorescent light fixture sending energy (pumping blood) through the lamp. A ballast provides the correct amount of voltage to start the lamps and regulates the amount of current that flows to them once they're on.

Wenyan Yao

Teacher

What is the output voltage of a fluorescent ballast?

The label on the ballast shows two important labels. Fluorescent lamps use a ballast which transforms line voltage to a voltage to start up and operate the lamp(s). Newer fluorescent ballasts are usually rated for both 120 volts and 277 volts.

Marguerita Baamonde

Teacher

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.

Arelis Osenstetter

Teacher

How do I test a fluorescent light with a multimeter?

Set a multimeter to the ohm (Omega symbol) setting, then touch one tester probe to each of the pins at the end of the bulb. If the tester shows a reading between 0.5 and 1.2 ohms, the bulb has continuity. Repeat the test at the other end of the bulb.

Kai Izurieta

Reviewer

How do you test a fluorescent starter?

How to Test Fluorescent Starters
  1. Turn the power off.
  2. Starters correspond to the wattage of the fluorescent bulbs they run.
  3. Remove the old starter by pressing in and turning it counterclockwise.
  4. Replace the new starter in the socket by pressing inward and turning clockwise.

Melony Mulero

Reviewer

What are the yellow wires on a ballast?

you would normally have the yellow connected to one end of a bulb and the other end will be connected to either a blue or a red wire . it is basically one half of the source power circuit, yellow on one end, and either blue or red to the other end . The two wires provide the source power to light a bulb.

Crystal Guergen

Supporter

Why does my fluorescent light not work?

A dead fluorescent can be caused by lack of electrical power (tripped breaker or blown fuse), a dead or dying ballast, a dead starter or a dead bulb(s). defective starters, defective bulbs or a defective ballast. IMPORTANT: Flickering fluorescent tubes can cause the ballast to overheat and fail prematurely!

Tierra Tite

Supporter

How do you remove a ballast from a fluorescent light?

How do I replace the ballast in my fluorescent light?
  1. Turn off the electricity to the lights at the breaker box.
  2. Carefully position a step ladder under the fixture.
  3. Remove the light cover.
  4. Remove the fluorescent tube(s) and carefully set aside.
  5. Remove the metal cover in the middle of the fixture.
  6. Unwire the hot wire, then the ground wire.

Ilazki Lecoque

Supporter

Do all fluorescent lights have a ballast?

All fluorescent tubes need ballasts to operate, but not all LEDs do. Fluorescent lights require a high voltage burst to get started and then something to regulate the power that comes to the tube — the ballast takes care of all of this.

Edelweis Dunekacke

Beginner

How do I know if a ballast is bad?

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

Laurentiu Pleugner

Beginner

How can you tell the difference between magnetic and electronic ballast?

Just point your cell phone camera at the lamp, and take a picture. If the image displays dark bands or stripes, your fluorescent lamp is driven by a magnetic ballast. A modern, electronic ballast drives the lamp at a much higher frequency, and a picture of these lamps will be clearly different, without such bands.