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Old 06-24-2010, 10:49 PM   #1
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Mercury Vapor Light Fixture Wiring


I found a used mercury vapor light fixture at a sale that I installed on a pole today. Last night I started fiddling with the unit but found two white wires versus a black and white. I made a to guess which of the two white wires were hot - hooked everything up to an extension cord in the shop and the light came on so I felt I got lucky. Before I made the climb up the ladder today to install the light I tested it out once again. Once installed on the pole I flipped the circuit breaker and the light came on (no dusk to dawn feature on this jewell). As I walked away I turned back once again to look at the light and now it was off. Is it possible to have the wires backwards - I would have thought it would have blown the circuit breakers. It is now dark outside and the light is off. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Old 06-24-2010, 10:53 PM   #2
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Mercury Vapor Light Fixture Wiring


Are you sure the bulb wattage = the ballast wattage ?

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Old 06-24-2010, 10:56 PM   #3
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Mercury Vapor Light Fixture Wiring


I installed a new bulb that matched the old one that was bad. I believe it was a 175 watt R39?
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:16 PM   #4
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Mercury Vapor Light Fixture Wiring


you're dealing with AC. you can't wire it up backwards

How long is the run to the top of the pole? maybe low voltage there?

I've noticed the transformer on my Metal Halide light I hacked up to use with an aquarium gets very hot (It burned the paint on the spiderman lunchbox I put it in ). could be you have a bad transformer that fails after it heats up. I've had a coil on an old snowmobile do that. but it had no problem getting you well past walking distance first.

I'd do an extended extention cord test.

also, with the metal Halide, the bulbs are made to lay vertical or horizontal. get the wrong one, it burn out quick. I'm not sure if Mercury Vapor bulbs are like that too.

Last edited by forresth; 06-24-2010 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:38 AM   #5
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Mercury Vapor Light Fixture Wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy084 View Post
I installed a new bulb that matched the old one that was bad. I believe it was a 175 watt R39?
You can still get mercury vapour bulbs. { they come in few diffrent shape and size BT38 is most common for 175 W MV }
However for the ballast you will not get new ballast anymore at all so if the ballast burn out see below I will fill the details a moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by forresth View Post
you're dealing with AC. you can't wire it up backwards

How long is the run to the top of the pole? maybe low voltage there?

I've noticed the transformer on my Metal Halide light I hacked up to use with an aquarium gets very hot (It burned the paint on the spiderman lunchbox I put it in ). could be you have a bad transformer that fails after it heats up. I've had a coil on an old snowmobile do that. but it had no problem getting you well past walking distance first.

I'd do an extended extention cord test.

also, with the metal Halide, the bulbs are made to lay vertical or horizontal. get the wrong one, it burn out quick. I'm not sure if Mercury Vapor bulbs are like that too.
First thing some of the MV luminaires will have multi taps so it will work more than one voltage so just watch out on that one.

Next step is double check some luminaire may have hidden photocell in there if that the case you will need to double check it.

The way you describe you have two white conductors that is both bulb and photocell netural. and single black useally that is ballast lead while you may have to find a red conductor from photocell to see if you have any loose connections there.

{ Make sure you turn off the power off on this one due the HID lumiaire some will have capitour in there }

But if the ballast is shot and need new one the only way you can do that is get new luminaire or reballast with Metal Halide but with MH bulbs some will required a safety glass on bottom of the lens { that is mantory requirement with few types of MH bulbs unless you have open rated bulbs }

The other thing with 175 W MH they are twice brighter than old MV bulbs.

Otherwise if you are in mild weather area the large compact flourscent dusk to dawn luminaire will work pretty well also.

Merci,Marc
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