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Old 04-10-2018, 02:51 PM   #1
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Need help replacing florescent ballast


We have a light fixture in our house that is a double bulb fluorescent fixture. I went to change the bulbs, but as I was moving them they started flickering on and off, and one was on but barely (looked like you could see waves of light moving down the bulb). I think from Googling that I need to replace the ballast. I have a picture below, and was planning on getting this one from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IHexeF
Is this the correct one? It looks like it has only 1 red wire where as my current one has 2.

When I replace it, do I just cut all wires on both sides and reconnect with wire nuts? I was surprised you would have to do this, but never really done much with this type of light. I guess I was expecting that the ballast can be unplugged or something. Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:56 PM   #2
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Looks like my picture didn't work:
https://ibb.co/g1h8bc
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:22 PM   #3
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Re: Need help replacing florescent ballast


Just get a 2-lamp T8 ballast from Home Depot, about $14.00. Cut all the wires on the old one, and remove the old one. Connect red to red, blue to blue, and yellow to yellow. Install two T8 LED lamps ($6 each), and you should be good to go!
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:26 PM   #4
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Re: Need help replacing florescent ballast


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Just get a 2-lamp T8 ballast from Home Depot, about $14.00. Cut all the wires on the old one, and remove the old one. Connect red to red, blue to blue, and yellow to yellow. Install two T8 LED lamps ($6 each), and you should be good to go!
Have to disagree vigorously with this suggestion. Installing a new ballast and then using LED tubes is poor economy. Costs more and uses more energy. Buy direct wire LED tubes and eliminate the ballast.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:31 PM   #5
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Re: Need help replacing florescent ballast


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Have to disagree vigorously with this suggestion. Installing a new ballast and then using LED tubes is poor economy. Costs more and uses more energy. Buy direct wire LED tubes and eliminate the ballast.
I didn't know they made such a thing. Where would I find those at, and how much do they cost per bulb? Are they available in all colors (4100K, 5000K, etc)?
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:37 PM   #6
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Re: Need help replacing florescent ballast


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I didn't know they made such a thing. Where would I find those at, and how much do they cost per bulb? Are they available in all colors (4100K, 5000K, etc)?
I pay $2 CAD for fluorescent and $14 for LED direct wire.
Both of the above are 4' T8.
US prices are likely lower.

BTW, @BluegrassGuy , I was expecting you to tell him he needs to
change his panel -)

Last edited by CodeMatters; 04-10-2018 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:42 PM   #7
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Re: Need help replacing florescent ballast


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I pay $2 CAD for fluorescent and $14 for LED direct wire.
Both of the above are 4' T8.
US prices are likely lower.

BTW, @Blue garassGuy, I was expecting you to tell him he needs to
change his panel -)
OK, thanks. What does the panel have to do with these lamps? The OP made no reference to his panel, so I have no idea what he has. But in general, if the panel is more than 30 years old and/or replacement breakers are not readily available, then I would probably recommend an upgrade.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:45 PM   #8
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Re: Need help replacing florescent ballast


If you are not going to switch to LED then try new tubes first. You can't tell if the ballast is bad by looking at the lights.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:46 PM   #9
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Re: Need help replacing florescent ballast


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I pay $2 CAD for fluorescent and $14 for LED direct wire.
Both of the above are 4' T8.
US prices are likely lower.

I have to ask where in Canada you get LED for that cheap.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:51 PM   #10
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Re: Need help replacing florescent ballast


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OK, thanks. What does the panel have to do with these lamps? The OP made no reference to his panel, so I have no idea what he has. But in general, if the panel is more than 30 years old and/or replacement breakers are not readily available, then I would probably recommend an upgrade.
Supposed to be light hearted teasing based on my noticing that you
recommend panel replacement.....often -)
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:56 PM   #11
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I have to ask where in Canada you get LED for that cheap.
Small chain called FuturPlus. Stores in Montreal and Ottawa areas.
Was really happy when I discovered them. Hated dealing with
Westburne and the others where I'd often pay more than H.D..
Unfortunately, they aren't down your way. -(
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:31 PM   #12
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Supposed to be light hearted teasing based on my noticing that you
recommend panel replacement.....often -)
Oh, OK. LOL I didn't pick up on that at first. Sorry!

But you are correct that I do usually recommend replacement of old panels.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:20 AM   #13
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Thanks for the tips! If I get the LED direct wire bubs, what do they direct wire to? And what happens with the wires from the ballast? Looking online or seems like you have to change the bulb sockets. Thanks again
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:25 AM   #14
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Also, @joed , I thought it was the bulbs at first so I changed one but it didn't work. Then the old one came on a bit and so did the new one as I played with them/hit the light, but they wouldn't stay on and one looked only half as bright as it should be. Would this indicate a ballast problem?
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:13 AM   #15
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Thanks for the tips! If I get the LED direct wire bubs, what do they direct wire to? And what happens with the wires from the ballast? Looking online or seems like you have to change the bulb sockets. Thanks again
Direct wire LED tubes come with 2 different wiring configurations, both completely replace the ballast.

1. Double ended powered (or 2 sided). Take all the wires from 1 end of the fixture (I use the reds and blues)and wire to the 120 VAC hot wire, take all the wires from the other end of the fixture (the yellows) and wire to the neutral. This IMO is the easiest wiring configuration.

2. Single ended powered. This requires that the tombstones (lamp sockets) be un-shunted (shunted means both terminals on the tombstone are wired together). The hot and neutral are wired to the same end of the lamp, the other end has no connection. If you have shunted tombstones you need to replace the tombstone on the wired end.

Here is a 10 pack from Amazon for $7 per tube US (not sure what they would be in Canada).

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FZ0IUY2...01FZ0IUY2?th=1
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