If your fluorescent lighting is displaying any of the signs below, it could be a symptom of a bad ballast:
- Delayed start.
- Low output.
- Inconsistent lighting levels.
- Switch to an electronic ballast, keep lamp.
- Switch to an electronic ballast, switch to a T8 fluorescent.
- 1 How do I know if my ballast needs to be replaced?
- 2 How long do fluorescent ballasts last?
- 3 What causes a fluorescent ballast to go bad?
- 4 Can a bad ballast be repaired?
- 5 What does a bad ballast smell like?
- 6 Why are my fluorescent lights flickering?
- 7 How much does it cost to replace fluorescent light ballast?
- 8 Do I need an electrician to replace a ballast?
- 9 Will a bad ballast burn out bulbs?
- 10 How do I know if my ballast is T8 or T12?
- 11 What fails in a ballast?
- 12 Can I throw away fluorescent ballast?
- 13 Is it easy to replace a ballast?
- 14 Why do fluorescent lights not turn on sometimes?
How do I know if my ballast needs to be replaced?
2. Look for warning signs that the ballast is failing.
- Buzzing. If you hear a strange sound coming from your bulbs or light fixture, like a buzzing or humming noise, that’s often a sign your ballast is going.
- Dimming or flickering.
- No lights at all.
- Changing colors.
- Swollen casing.
- Burn marks.
- Water damage.
- Leaking oil.
How long do fluorescent ballasts last?
According to the Certified Ballast Manufacturers Association, the average magnetic ballast lasts about 75,000 hours, or 12 to 15 years with normal use.
What causes a fluorescent ballast to go bad?
Flickering fluorescent tubes can cause the ballast to overheat and fail prematurely! When it’s too hot or too cold, the ballast can burn or fail to start your lamps at all. Heat combined with prolonged condensation inside an electronic ballast can cause corrosion and ballast failure.
Can a bad ballast be repaired?
While simply swapping burned out bulbs in an existing ballast is deemed “ballast repair” by many – and can offer advantages in longevity and energy savings – sometimes this simple “fix” is not enough.
What does a bad ballast smell like?
A common source of these odors is the fluorescent light ballast. When called to such an incident, you typically will find an electrical odor or a haze of smoke. Overheating ballasts often exhibit symptoms. They may cause the bulb to flicker, shine, dim, or not work at all.
Why are my fluorescent lights flickering?
If your fluorescent bulbs flicker, most likely the problem is with the bulb itself. If the bulb is very dark on either end, it may be defective and burned out. The best way to test the functionality of a bulb is to put it into a fixture you know works. Flickering fluorescent lights can also be a result of temperature.
How much does it cost to replace fluorescent light ballast?
A replacement ballast costs about $10-25 depending on capacity and brand. The bite is that an electrician trip charge (which includes 30 or 60 minutes work) is going to be $75-150 probably – for about 5 minutes work on each light fixture.
Do I need an electrician to replace a ballast?
Yes. As a matter of fact, you do need a lock out tag out device in place for changing a ballast. ‘An electrician is replacing the ballast on a fluorescent light.
Will a bad ballast burn out bulbs?
The ballast itself can go bad, which causes lights to flicker or even appear to be burnt out, when in fact they aren’t. They require maintenance and energy to power, on top of the power used to light the fluorescent bulb. They are a large part of the equation when using fluorescent lamps.
How do I know if my ballast is T8 or T12?
If no markings are available, the size in diameter of the tube is the easiest way to determine the type you have installed. T8 tubes are 1-inch in diameter and T12 tubes are 1 1/2 -inch.
What fails in a ballast?
Ballast failure is often caused by the surrounding environment—mainly heat and moisture. When it’s too hot or too cold, a ballast can burn or fail to start your lamps. Heat, along with continuous condensation inside an electronic ballast, can cause corrosion over time.
Can I throw away fluorescent ballast?
According to EPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulations, the material must be incinerated. The entire lighting fixture does not need special handling and disposal as long as the ballast (electrical box) is not leaking. The non-leaking ballasts can be removed and recycled or disposed of properly.
Is it easy to replace a ballast?
You can get a new ballast at a hardware store or home center and install it in about 10 minutes. However, buying a ballast can be expensive, so consider pricing a brand-new fixture for comparison.
Why do fluorescent lights not turn on sometimes?
The fluorescent tube won’t turn on No electrical power due to a tripped breaker or blown fuse. A dead or dying ballast. A dead starter. A dead bulb.