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Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

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Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by BrucieBonus on Aug 13, 2019 3:25 pm

Hi everyone
Wow, it's been some time since I was here.... it's all changed! I've not been doing a huge amount of electrical work of late, although now. have a conundrum which I can't seem find out the answer to.. so of course I though of you all. Fingers crossed.

I have a client who is VERY attached to an old light fitting. Its a fluorescent. Having replaced both tubes and starters, its still not working (there is power) so I'm thinking to change the ballast. However, all the replacements seem to be HF which don't require starters. Would it work with the starters? Or would I have to rewire the light to by pass them?

No lighting supplier has proved helpful in answering my query but hopefully someone here can help me out.
many thanks
BB


 

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by richard64 on Aug 13, 2019 3:37 pm

Yes it will work.
The light fitting  will need re-wiring internally though, bypassing the old switch starters.
Just follow the directions on the new HF ballast.
 

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by BrucieBonus on Aug 13, 2019 3:40 pm

Hi Richard
Thanks for that - so I'll need to take the starters out of the equation, which should be fairly straightforward to do
thanks again for a helpful and speedy reply!
BB

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by richard64 on Aug 13, 2019 3:43 pm

It's pretty straightforward.
It's been a while since I've done one, but the connections to the lamp holders are printed on the ballast.

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by mapj1 on Aug 13, 2019 3:52 pm

seconded on the straight forward - if you have the no and wattage of the original tubes to hand, it should be possible to find the wiring instructions and suggest a suitable the ballast now.
Assuming you do not need emergency light functionality, dimming, computer control,  or operation off DC supplies, it is simply a case of an  L and N go in, and wires to the tube caps come out, the only important part is to get the pairs of wires to the tube end caps for the heaters correct.
If you don't it tries to put the 150V or so for the tube (complete with brief starter twitches of over 1kV, so do not try to measure this with your best meter) across the heater, and about 6V that should have been for a heater across the length of the tube, and this sort of error is not good for the ballast or the tube.

The other problem is that the existing internal wiring will almost certainly not reach and if it does it will  not be the right diameter for the funny push fit terminals. Allow extra time for this.
regards Mike

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by BrucieBonus on Aug 13, 2019 4:08 pm

Hi Mike
Thanks for that. There are 2 x 15W T8 tubes, so I think this one should be OK
https://www.lampshoponline.com/control-gear/hf-ballasts-non-dimmable/tridonic-pc-t8-pro/tridonic-pc-2-18-t8-pro.html

I was assuming that I could just cut and join together the wires that go 'into' the starter sockets so bypassing them...and yes good idea to allow extra faffing around/swearing time when the cables are too short!

Cheers
BB

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by mapj1 on Aug 13, 2019 5:53 pm

I;d say that is as good a one to use as any , Tridonic are pretty reliable,  and indeed if you follow 'click here for wiring diagram ' link , it actually tells you what wiring you need to do, and it really is that simple.
We will ignore the fact that you are probably invalidating the warranty and CE marking of the original lamp....
regards Mike

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by Chris Pearson on Aug 13, 2019 6:56 pm

mapj1:
We will ignore the fact that you are probably invalidating the warranty and CE marking of the original lamp....

Methinks that Mike has his tongue firmly in his cheek. Don't forget that even the Europeans didn't have CE marking until 1985. 🙂

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by richard64 on Aug 13, 2019 7:00 pm

Chris Pearson:

mapj1:
We will ignore the fact that you are probably invalidating the warranty and CE marking of the original lamp....

Methinks that Mike has his tongue firmly in his cheek. Don't forget that even the Europeans didn't have CE marking until 1985. 🙂

 

Well, he is actually correct. But unless the light is being used for emergency lighting, I would say that it isn't too much of a problem.
 

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by mapj1 on Aug 13, 2019 11:58 pm

And I too agree it is a non-issue in a case like this. If you were buying in bulk old fittings, and refitting them and then selling them on, it may trouble the scorers, this won't.
regards Mike

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by Jaymack on Aug 14, 2019 4:30 am

BrucieBonus:
I have a client who is VERY attached to an old light fitting. Its a fluorescent. 

I don't see anyone being attached to an old fluorescent fitting, unless it's an excuse for not redecorating or it's misuse of superglue. An LED variety is much preferred for many reasons. 

Jaymack

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by mapj1 on Aug 14, 2019 7:17 am

Perhaps, but when I've done it, it is because of a desire to repair one unit, rather than to replace a great many or suffer from an line of matching units with an odd one out.
I have also done a similar thing where it was not a fitting as such but components built into a rather nice cupboard, with no desire to do damage to it.
regards Mike

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by GeorgeCooke on Aug 14, 2019 11:11 am

First things first. It is a waste of time and money to replace everything until it works.

Have you checked continuity of the old ballast with your multimeter? If that is OK have you used the correct starters? If it is two tubes in series you need series starters not standard ones.

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by Jaymack on Aug 15, 2019 7:47 am

BrucieBonus:
I was assuming that I could just cut and join together the wires that go 'into' the starter sockets so bypassing them...and yes good idea to allow extra faffing around/swearing time when the cables are too short!
Cheers
BB

It's very accommodating and aesthetic to retain the look, but what about dollars and sense? Who's paying and who can afford the time? .......... is the bottom line!.

Jaymack

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by GeorgeCooke on Aug 15, 2019 9:56 am

We don't use dollars in this country. Nor do we use cents, but hopefully we have sense.

The bottom line is the ballast is unlikely to be faulty. Most probably poor connections at the tube ends or wrong starters fitted as they have been changed.

10 minute job with a multimeter.

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by BrucieBonus on Aug 16, 2019 6:53 pm

Wow, I go away for 5 mins and there's a flurry (!) of responses.

The client wants to keep the light (its part of a bathroom cupboard) and who am I to say he can't and keep it out of landfill. He's paying after all.
I learnt my lesson long ago when I took down a hideous light fitting for a client and asked if I should put it out by the bins.... no she said, that's the one you're putting in the living room. Oops, that was me told and I now keep my opinions to myself

The tubes and starters were all correct, so I'm pretty sure it's the ballast... they are cheap,  so I reckon it's worth going with one just in case.

Thanks again for all your help - it's nice to pop my head back after all this time and find that people are as helpful as ever

have a fun weekend
BB
 

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by GeorgeCooke on Aug 16, 2019 8:37 pm

Yes, but you can at least check the ballast for continuity first. Takes less than 10 seconds.

Re: Replacing ballast in old light fitting - advice from those that know please sought!

Posted by AJJewsbury on Aug 17, 2019 12:46 pm

I was assuming that I could just cut and join together the wires that go 'into' the starter sockets so bypassing them

Just to be clear - in the old arrangement the starter is usually in series with the two tube end filaments - in the new one all four tube connections need to go back to the new HF  "ballast"(*) - so it's not just a case of shorting out the connections to the starters and replacing the old wound ballast with the new one. Chances are you'll need some extra wire.

(*) for a twin tube arrangement usually two tube ends share one circuit, so you have 6 wires back to the ballast rather than 8.

  - Andy.

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