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Old 02-13-2016, 12:06 PM   #1
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Ballast Help


Good Afternoon,

I am currently filling in for a engineer at my facility and i have a question. I know how to do regular 3 Lamp Ballast but i have a concern with the way some of them are set up.

I have a couple in the facility that have 2 Ballast for one 3 lamps instead of 1 single 3 lamp ballast. The one ballast is for 1 Lamp the other is for 2 lamp.

The 1 Lamp ballast has the normal Hot and Neutral wires and has a red wire and the Blue Wire

The 2 Lamp Ballast has the normal Hot and Neutral wires and has a red wire and 2 blue wires


My question is Can i use a 3 lamp blast? I know i would have to splice the Black hot wire and the neutral together and the Blue Wires will go to each blue wire for each bulb. The concern is the red wires can i splice them together.

Last edited by TMatzelle60; 02-13-2016 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:50 PM   #2
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It depends on where the power comes. It depends if they are both same voltage. The single ballast could be for emergency lighting. It might be hooked to UPS power to keep lights on in a power failure.

In any case you would only one set of hot wires and cap off the other if you go to a three lamp ballast.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:24 PM   #3
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There is only ne black and white that are to the breaker and this is not a emergency ballast or ups. It is old lighting and it seems like stead of using 1 3 lamp ballast they used a 1 lamp ballast and 2 lamp ballast in the same lighting.

My thing is with the 2 red wires. I know to splice black to black white to neutral and each blue goes to each bulb individually. But there is a extra red wire so I'm thinking splice the 2 with the ballast red so splice all 3 reds

Last edited by TMatzelle60; 02-13-2016 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:26 PM   #4
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Then it should be no issue. Just wire the tombstones according the the drawing on the new three lamp ballast.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:29 PM   #5
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Thanks I looked in other lights with a 3 lamp ballast and it's only one red wire comng from the fixture but because this one had 2 red because it used ballast that I can splice them
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:16 AM   #6
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Also, just a heads up. You used the term "facility". This is quite clearly telling us that it is not residential which usually has a single phase service.

Are you aware that some ballasts are rated at only 120v only and some 120/277v. Does this facility have 3 phase service which may indicate 277v service for the lighting which many facilities do. Make sure you are using the properly rated ballasts.

If you know this then fine but just wanted to throw this out there to you.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:42 AM   #7
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Replacement of the ballast would also mean that the ballast disconnect should also be installed.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:38 AM   #8
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Using 2 ballasts in a 3 or 4 lamp fixture was very common in the early days of electronic ballasts.

The only ones available were 1 or 2 lamp, the 3 and 4 lamp ones didn't come out until later on.

Even when the 3 and 4 lamp ones became available, they were very unreliable.

They're much better these days.
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:48 PM   #9
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Our Ballast are rated for 277 which i made sure we have. My concern is just splicing the 2 red wires. Again i don't see why this would be a problem.

Since it was a older system with a 1 lamp ballast which had 1 red wire and another 2 lamp ballast which came with another red wire. Now if i use a 3 Lamp ballast can i take the 2 existing red wires from the fixture once i cut the old ballasts out and splice them with the one red wire coming from the ballast.

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Old 02-14-2016, 05:10 PM   #10
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Splicing the reds is ok, if fact, it's the only way to make a single ballast work in place of two. Done it hundreds of times.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:17 PM   #11
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If you mean the reds form the tombstones then it will be fine if that is config the new ballast requires.
You connects the reds from the ballast to each other.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:35 PM   #12
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Micro, Thanks This info is for my son. He was to busy to make a account. His boss left him handing and he has been learning though himself and youtube and other people. He is working with Steam Sterilizers and his boss before he left did not show him a thing. He wants to make sure he is safe before he performs any work
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:02 PM   #13
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Hang on -- commercial facility, electrical work, no classroom or on-the-job training? I'd reconsider working there.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:24 PM   #14
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Trust me he knows. He went to Boces and knows about most basic things. He has had a lot of help from his boss and just trouble shooting. He is learning Slowly. He just wants to make sure that certain stuff can be done.

Trust me if you saw the way this guy fixed things that he showed me. He used Adjustable wrenches to hold pipes together. His bosses love him because he is a hard working and like i said he makes sure he is safe before performing any work and triple checks before he does it.

Some Supervisors are pathetic he just left not showing him anything and he does stuff like that. Some people would love to have a ability to learn as much as they can. Some people make me sick
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:57 PM   #15
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The new ballast will have a drawing on it of how to hook it up. If he
connects like the drawing then he will be fine.

Here is a sample of a four lamp version.


Last edited by joed; 02-14-2016 at 07:00 PM.
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