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Old 12-15-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


In my (fairly) new shop, I hung many 2-tube florescent tubes up on the rafters. After awhile, a couple of them started flickering and hard starting on ONE of the tubes. Swapping tubes did not change the flickering position and, eventually, the tube just stopped lighting. At first, it was just one unit but, a little later, another started doing the same thing; flickering and hard starting, then no start at all. In both cases, the second tube still starts promptly and does not flicker or fail.
These are new units from HD and I wouldn't think they are old enough to fail. I don't know enough about the internal ballasts but there is one ballast inside with wires coming out for both tubes. There are no little starter plug-ins like those in the old style units, just wires coming out.
Is the only solution replacing the ballasts inside? What could be wrong with these ballasts that one tube would fail and not the other?
Thanks

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Old 12-15-2011, 01:02 PM   #2
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


Classic symptom of a bad ballast.

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Old 12-15-2011, 01:22 PM   #3
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


If these are the gray "all-weather" T8 48" lights...

I just put these in my garage, but prior to hanging them I replaced the ballasts.
The "electronic" ballasts they come with are junk, and consume as much power to
light 2 bulbs as a quality ballast would use to light 4 of the same bulbs.

Find some new ballasts online, or think about returning them.
I checked several options at the big box stores - I didn't find that any of them had quality ballasts, IMO.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:49 PM   #4
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


Too late to return them.
Where (online) can I find 'quality' ballasts and how do I determine 'quality'?
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:19 PM   #5
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


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Too late to return them.
Where (online) can I find 'quality' ballasts and how do I determine 'quality'?
You may be surprised to find out that a quality ballast can often cost as much or more then the whole fixture.

But, since I know you have an HD close, they appear to have these options:
...and Yes, I'd say that GE makes quality ballasts.

2-lamp T8 ballast
$15 http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
GE warranty's this for 5 years too

4 lamp T8 ballast(You can still use this if they don't carry the 2-lamp variety. Simply cap off the unused leads)
$20 http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

4 lamp T8 ballast
$30 http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

As far as I can tell, the difference between your $20 and $30 ballast is one will accept 100v-240v... The other is classified as a 120v only


Note:
I have the $30 one installed in mine, I actually overdrive my bulbs(Google this if your curious) - I don't mind replacing them more often as cheap as the bulbs are. I also tested them and found that it's only over driving by approx 50% (Power pulled by ballast)
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


I would also just check the sockets to make sure they aren't damaged.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:29 PM   #7
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


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I would also just check the sockets to make sure they aren't damaged.
Never a bad idea!

Also, a few others to look for that have a great reputation:
Fullham Workhorse ballasts, Sylvania mid or high end ballasts, and most if not all of GE's
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


First thing I checked.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:24 PM   #9
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


Junk ballast. Happens all the time with el-cheep-o fixtures from those home-horror stores.

I pay about $17 for a 4-tube T8 ballast, BTW.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:28 PM   #10
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


From where?
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:32 PM   #11
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


When choosing bulbs, be sure to read the label on the ballast first, and choose the wattage that is specific to the tube size, T8 or T12, temperature range, and quantity of bulbs that you are using.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:42 AM   #12
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


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Originally Posted by DexterII View Post
When choosing bulbs, be sure to read the label on the ballast first, and choose the wattage that is specific to the tube size, T8 or T12, temperature range, and quantity of bulbs that you are using.

Kinda correct however., the T-8 with electronic ballast they can fire up and run in much colder than conventental T-12 40 watter magantic ballast but one thing for sure do not use the reduced wattage bulbs in either verison they will not lit up in super cool everoment.

If you still insteding of useing the T-12 there is a High output verison but SVP { please } get electronic ballast verison it is much quieter and they can really fire up in super cold weather without effort.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:58 AM   #13
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Florescent Tube Ballasts


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky
I pay about $17 for a 4-tube T8 ballast, BTW.
Quote:
Originally Posted by silvercbx View Post
From where?
My local electrical wholesale supply house.

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