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Old 10-16-2006, 06:44 PM   #1
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please help w/ selection of bad ballast


I have a four bulb (2 ballast) 4' light fixture in my kitchen. The light has been getting slower and slower to turn on. Now it doesn't turn on at all. I pulled the panel covering the ballast and with the light switch set to on and no bulbs in it the ballast is warm and the other is stone cold. The hardwires coming through the ceiling go to the first ballast that is warm and then to one side of the terminals and then the other side of the light fixture terminals and then the second ballast.
Which one is bad?
Hope that isn't too confusing.

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Old 10-16-2006, 07:00 PM   #2
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please help w/ selection of bad ballast


Did you change the starter? about $2

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Old 10-16-2006, 07:06 PM   #3
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please help w/ selection of bad ballast


You might be a little confused, and your description has me confused.

A 4 lamp fluorescent fixture with 2 ballasts is actually two, 2-lamp fixtures in the same housing. Put more simply, one ballast does the outside pair of lamps, and the other ballast does the inside pair of lamps. Which pair of lamps isn't working? It's pretty easy to follow the ballast leads to see which lamps they do. You might want to get a known good pair of lamps (new ones, perhaps) and try them and see what you're up against. You may have one bad ballast, or maybe even two. You need to put in a good set of lamps first to see if your lamps are bad or if it's your ballast. If you can't get a good set of lamps to lamp up in either the inside or the outside pair of sockets, then you have two bad ballasts. Evaluate the condition of the rest of the fixture for possible replacement as a unit, as the cost of two new ballasts can sometimes exceed the cost of a new fixture in some of the more plain styles.
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:12 PM   #4
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please help w/ selection of bad ballast


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Originally Posted by mdshunk View Post
You might be a little confused, and your description has me confused.

A 4 lamp fluorescent fixture with 2 ballasts is actually two, 2-lamp fixtures in the same housing. Put more simply, one ballast does the outside pair of lamps, and the other ballast does the inside pair of lamps. Which pair of lamps isn't working? It's pretty easy to follow the ballast leads to see which lamps they do. You might want to get a known good pair of lamps (new ones, perhaps) and try them and see what you're up against. You may have one bad ballast, or maybe even two. You need to put in a good set of lamps first to see if your lamps are bad or if it's your ballast. If you can't get a good set of lamps to lamp up in either the inside or the outside pair of sockets, then you have two bad ballasts. Evaluate the condition of the rest of the fixture for possible replacement as a unit, as the cost of two new ballasts can sometimes exceed the cost of a new fixture in some of the more plain styles.
Thank you, I should of said what you stated but...I am not too good with wiring.
I bought a new set of bulbs and tried them in the outside and inside. Still nothing.
The light had been getting slower and slower to turn on and then it didn't come on at all. Is that common for both ballast to go?
Anyway, as far as a starter I don't think it has a external one and there is only the two ballast and some wires.
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:51 PM   #5
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please help w/ selection of bad ballast


Well, you really ought to take a volt meter to the power at the fixture and confirm you have 120 volts. If you do, you've got yourself two bad ballasts (assuming you had good lamps to test with). Congratulations. Get some new ballasts or go fixture shopping.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:58 PM   #6
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please help w/ selection of bad ballast


OK, I replaced both ballast and the inner bulbs work fine. That is great as we only used two to begin with. There was too much light when four of them were working. I tried the outer two with the two known good bulbs and I couldn't get them to work. Maybe there is a bad connector on the outer bulbs. They used to work several years back when we used all four.
Anyway, thanks for all your help.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:08 PM   #7
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please help w/ selection of bad ballast


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Maybe there is a bad connector on the outer bulbs.
Maybe so. Those "tombstones" do break. They're only a buck or so to replace. You can usually find a bad one with a visual examination. The conductor might have come loose or unplugged out of the back of one of them also.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:13 PM   #8
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please help w/ selection of bad ballast


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Maybe so. Those "tombstones" do break. They're only a buck or so to replace. You can usually find a bad one with a visual examination. The conductor might have come loose or unplugged out of the back of one of them also.
I really appreciate your help. Have a good week.

Michael
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:54 AM   #9
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OK, I replaced both ballast and the inner bulbs work fine.

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