Mercury Vapor Lamp Swithes - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 07-09-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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Mercury vapor lamp swithes

I have 6 light poles with mercury vapor lamps and 2 switches mounted to a gate pole that controlls the lamps. The switches are very old and one literally fell apart last night. I replaced both switches which were double pole types rated at 15 and 20 amperes, 120 volts. Now one switch will light the first two poles ( as it did originally ), but everytime I flip the second switch I blow two 30 amp ( ganged together ) breakers. My question: Does it take some kind of special switch to ignite or light the 4 remaining lamps? The old switch was a toggle type,but when it fell apart I found a spring and a ball bearing next to it. Was this some type of momenary contact switch? Help!!! And yes, I double checked the wiring and even took pictures before disassemble to make sure I rewired the new switches correctly.

Note: There are two jumpers connecting the two switches, but I don't know their purpose.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Patentman View Post
.....I double checked the wiring and even took pictures before disassemble to make sure I rewired the new switches correctly.....
Can you post those pics? if you need help Shout out for help

& Stay Safe
.....Bob Lavery
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:32 PM   #3
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Sounds like the second group of lights are 220 and maybe it was a 220 volt switch?
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:03 AM   #4
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Did you get the 4 way switch by mistake ?

The reason why I asked here due the double pole and 4 way switch look very simuair but interally it function diffrent so look at the model number and look at the toggle handle if it say "on" or "off" then you got correct double pole switch if not marked then you got 4 way switch

Now for double pole switch it will be wired in two diffrent ways so I or one of other members here will need to know what model switch it is due there is two ways to hook up properly with doube pole switch and before you install new switches I always check which conductors is live and what not.

Once you figured it out then the rest will fall in place.

Now if switch is properly hook up then one of the ballast is shorted out or underground conductor[s] can be shorted out as well there are few ways you can do is try to find the path to the first post and if you see the junction box there that fine unhook and cap it off and get ohmmeter to ring it out { only if the power is off first please } if the ohmmeter don't move at all maybe it will be safe to use.* but if the ohmemter swing pretty good or peg hard then you have a short somewhere along the conductor or cables

once you isolated that if everything is work fine then it possiblty you have old mercury vapour luminaire is shot.

You may get the new ballast but getting very limited so IMO just ditch all the old luminaries and get new Metal Halides they will really crank out more light for same wattage as old system or you can reduce wattage like example old one 400 watt MV to new 250 W metal halide that you can cut down the power useage in half but the light level will stay about the same

If you are serious with light level you can get 400 w Metal halide that will throw pretty serious amount of light.

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