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Old 07-20-2008, 10:42 AM   #1
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How do I replace a ballast?


I know it's not too complicated or at least that is what I have heard but can someone give me the steps so I don't have to call my electrician?

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Old 07-20-2008, 12:35 PM   #2
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How do I replace a ballast?


Turn off power at the breaker panel for the circuit, then take down the fixture if you are able to do so. The Ballast should be held in place by a screw, which you undo, then take it with you to the local Hardware store, or Ace Hardware. Just make sure that it is the same type, and watts for the new one, that is replacing the old.

As for the re-hooking up the wires, pretty simple, just match the colors, and use wire nuts to secure (the orange ones for #16 & #18).

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Old 07-20-2008, 12:44 PM   #3
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How do I replace a ballast?


Replacing a ballast in a standard residential fixture (4' , 8' or round)is no problem at all for a handy person comfortable with tools. Before examining you must be SURE all power is dead- by test meter or some other definite means. You will need to get a replacement ballast with the same ratings as the one being replaced. You might want to take the old one with you as a guide when purchasing. A ballast handling 2 bulbs usually has 2 power (line) wires black & white, and a few pair of wires (frequently 2 blue, 2 red) coming out of the ballasts.

This examplle is for an 8' twin tube fixture. Most new ballasts have the wiring scheme on the cover of the ballast but here is a standard format:
black + white connect to incoming black and white wires from your power cable-

red wire(s) connect to the socket fittings one end of the tubes, the other blue wire(s) connect to the other end of those tubes. Most of the time you can easily replace the wires by cutting near the "bad" ballast and using wirenuts (the orange ones are usually sized nicely) then replace the wires one for one with the new ballast. Just be sure to tuck the wire back into the case when replacing the fixture cover.

The only choices you might be able to make is in some type of ballasts you can buy either the magnetic ballast (older, cheaper but can be noisy) or the electronic variety. I had considered replacing a ballast on a fixure in my unfinished basement (8', twin tubes) until I priced the electronic ballast- I was able to buy a complete fixture (with electronic ballast) cheaper than the ballast alone!
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:36 AM   #4
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How do I replace a ballast?


Then when you need to replace the electronic ballast , it still would be less expensive to buy a new fixture.
I bought 2 - 96' fixtures the other day. I did not know they had electronic ballast's in them. Tiny little suckers they were. I paid $32 for the fixtures. The replacement ballast's are $38.
Does anyone know if these electronic ballast's last longer? Changing a ballast is much easier than changing out the whole fixture. I have 7 - 8' fixtures in my basement.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:20 PM   #5
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How do I replace a ballast?


Don't know if they last longer just yet although it appears as the light is brighter (no flicker noticed) and the lack of hum is great. I would much rather replace the fixtures (new, clean, brite white!) than have to rewire when it costs more money and effort to do so!!
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:31 PM   #6
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How do I replace a ballast?


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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
Does anyone know if these electronic ballast's last longer? Changing a ballast is much easier than changing out the whole fixture. I have 7 - 8' fixtures in my basement.
No. I think the general consensus is that they are more vulnerable to surges and spikes. IME, they last a much shorter time than the old ones.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:36 PM   #7
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How do I replace a ballast?


if you are asking about a 2x4 recessed lay in troffer or a surface mounted
wrap arround ,,, most all have a ballast cover running down th middle.
Remove lamps close to this cover... pinch from the top to remove from tabs.. Power is off right?
disconnect black & white at wire nuts (hot & nutrual in)
now cut yellow & red wires that run to lamp holders... keep track of your cuts... screw or nut hods ballast in place... remove and replace with your new ballast. //// wire nut yellow & red back the way they came out..
wire nut black & white... turn power onto test connections... if good... stuff wires....replace ballast cover...

shop hard for repacement ballast they should be in $18 range tops

if you have a 4 lamp fixture... be sure to follow the wires back to see which ballast is bad.

electronic ballast = more lumens per watt.. very penny counts...
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:58 PM   #8
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How do I replace a ballast?


It's important that the new ballast be grounded.
Since the ballast is covered with paint, I recommend scraping the paint off with fine sandpaper where the mounting screws hold the ballast, so you are assured that the mounting screws give you good electrical continuity to the rest of the fixture.
When you're testing your installation, be sure to completely reassemble the fixture, otherwise the tube(s) may not start properly.

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