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Old 02-20-2011, 01:41 PM   #1
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


I have a 2-tube ballast (F32T8) but I only want to run 1 bulb off of it. I hooked just one bulb to the ballast, but it doesn't work unless I connect 2 tubes. Is there a way to run only 1 tube? A way to trick the ballast into thinking there's 2 tubes? A way to run both ballast circuits into the same tube?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 02-20-2011, 03:24 PM   #2
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


in short No. you may be able to get a ballast that is designed for one lamp

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Old 02-20-2011, 03:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I am sorry to hear, though since I have 24 of these ballasts just waiting to be used. Is there anything I can do other than replace the ballast?
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:27 PM   #4
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


How many and what color are the wires coming out of that ballast?

Sources tell me that most electronic ballasts designed for 2 bulbs will also work fine using only one bulb.

What does the wiring diagram show on the ballast?
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


All the T8 ballasts we use are electronic and have no problem running a single tube. The only time I have seen it not work is if someone wired it wrong.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:29 PM   #6
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


Yes you can. Unless it is a cheap OEM from across the ocean, it will run 1 OR 2 bulbs.

You should have a white and black wire (your line in)

you should also have 2 blues and 2 reds.

Just use one red on one side and one blue on one side. It SHOULD work, but some manufacturers are different. The T8 wiring theory is the same. when it comes to electronic ballasts they are alot more versatile, compatible and easier to use.

And ALWAYS cap off your unused leads; dont cut them.....

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Last edited by LyonsElecSupply; 02-20-2011 at 09:30 PM. Reason: One more thing!
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:42 AM   #7
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


As long Lyon mention that is instat start ballast set up { aka parallel connections } it easy to do it as long it mention on the ballast label however with Rapid start the answer is no majorty of the time it is not festable due the series connection on the bulb side.


So the quick answer is look at the ballast number and see the word instat start or rapid start that will really affect the way you use the ballast for delamp { take one lamp off }

Merci.
Marc
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
How many and what color are the wires coming out of that ballast?

Sources tell me that most electronic ballasts designed for 2 bulbs will also work fine using only one bulb.

What does the wiring diagram show on the ballast?
I have 8 wires -- 1 black/1 white (line in), 2 yellow (common), 2 red, and 2 blue.

I tried using both blues on one side (yellows on the other), and both reds on one side (yellows on the other), but neither worked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyonsElecSupply View Post
Yes you can. Unless it is a cheap OEM from across the ocean, it will run 1 OR 2 bulbs.

You should have a white and black wire (your line in)

you should also have 2 blues and 2 reds.

Just use one red on one side and one blue on one side. It SHOULD work, but some manufacturers are different. The T8 wiring theory is the same. when it comes to electronic ballasts they are alot more versatile, compatible and easier to use.

And ALWAYS cap off your unused leads; dont cut them.....

Thanks for this image Unfortunately, yes, these are "cheap OEM from across the ocean". I suspected maybe a series connection like you showed here (one blue, one red), but I didn't want to explode anything without asking first.

Thanks again for this diagram! Keep your fingers crossed that it works?

How about overdriving the bulb? Put both blues and reds on one end (blue/red blue/red) and yellows on the other end?

What about a different way of series? Instead of just one blue one red and capping the others, connect a blue to a red, then the other blue and red to the bulb?

TUBE <-- blue ..... red <---> blue ..... red --> TUBE

??
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:22 AM   #9
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


You can not guess where the wires go. You need the drawing for the ballast. Based on the wires you have it sounds like you have a four lamp ballast not a two lamp ballast or you have a T12 ballast and not a T8.

Is there a label on the ballast? Everyone I have seen has the wiring drawing on it.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


Quote:
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You can not guess where the wires go. You need the drawing for the ballast. Based on the wires you have it sounds like you have a four lamp ballast not a two lamp ballast or you have a T12 ballast and not a T8.

Is there a label on the ballast? Everyone I have seen has the wiring drawing on it.
I am not guessing where the wires go. I can wire this ballast up to 2 lamps and run them just fine. It's trying to do it with 1 lamp only that it's not working.

The ballast is a 2-tube, rapid start, electronic ballast for T8 bulbs.

Yes there is a label on the ballast that shows wiring for 2-lamp applications. It has no diagram nor any mention confirming or denying the capability to drive only a single tube. This is why I am here asking those that are smarter than me.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:46 AM   #11
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


Some cheaper ballasts ("rapid start") may not be compatible for single tube use.

Care to tell us the manufacturer and cat # of your unit?
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:14 PM   #12
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


If you can't get it to work you could run two single lamp fixtures off one ballast. Best if they are right in line with one another with no space. then just use a chase nipple to connect. You could also connect them with Greenfield but that would probably be not worth it with the labor involved.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:37 PM   #13
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Fluorescent Ballast Tricks?


Well your ballast has 6 wire for the tubes. Every electronic ballast I have seen only runs one wire to each end of the tube. That leaves two extra wires, which is why I believe you have a 4 lamp ballast or a T12 ballast. The ballasts that run two wires to each end are T12 tubes which must be run in pairs. Can you post the info off the ballast.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Some cheaper ballasts ("rapid start") may not be compatible for single tube use.

Care to tell us the manufacturer and cat # of your unit?
They are Sasi brand (I think) I will post the info from the ballast when I get home tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zircon View Post
If you can't get it to work you could run two single lamp fixtures off one ballast. Best if they are right in line with one another with no space. then just use a chase nipple to connect. You could also connect them with Greenfield but that would probably be not worth it with the labor involved.
Thanks I think I'd rather spend the money on a proper ballast than run 1 ballast to 2 fixtures.

Quote:
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Well your ballast has 6 wire for the tubes. Every electronic ballast I have seen only runs one wire to each end of the tube. That leaves two extra wires, which is why I believe you have a 4 lamp ballast or a T12 ballast. The ballasts that run two wires to each end are T12 tubes which must be run in pairs. Can you post the info off the ballast.
This IS a T8 ballast not a T12. The ballasts you're referring to (with only 1 wire for each end of the tube) is an instant start ballast whereas mine are rapid start.

Last edited by K|O|G|I; 02-21-2011 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:24 PM   #15
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