Identify and Resolve Common Issues with Electronic Ballast Troubleshooting
If your fluorescent electronic ballast seems to be malfunctioning, troubleshooting it to determine the cause of the issue is a must. Doing so can help you decide whether you need to replace the ballast or just make some repairs. Though it may take some effort, these simple steps will help guide you and keep you safe while troubleshooting your ballast.
First and foremost, turn off the electricity running to the lighting circuit, making sure to also turn off the breaker at the main electrical panel. This is unnecessarily important, as electricity has serious hazards that should never be underestimated, and proper precautions must be taken. This includes should also replacing the ballast if you notice any oil leaking from it, as this could be a result of the internal seal becoming ruptured by excessive heat, causing you the need to replace the entire ballast.
You will then need to remove the protective covering and fluorescent bulb that was held in place at either end, also known as a tombstone. You will then need a few tools, namely a screwdriver and a multimeter to measure the high voltage of the ballast. After having shut off the electricity and waited a few moments for the stored energy within the ballast to dissipate, you can test the high voltage side for continuity between the wires that go to the tombstones by turning your multimeter to the “ohms” setting, and touch one probe to the white wire and the other to one of the colored wires coming from the ballast. A continuous circuit should be indicated across all wire pairs in order to determine that the ballast is likely functional, so then you can proceed to testing the low voltage side of the transformer.
To check the low voltage side, you will need to nut off the black and white wire that come from the power feed side of the ballast and test them using your volt-ohm meter. A continuous circuit should be indicated, otherwise you will need to get a replacement ballast. If it checks out, you may want to also try testing the wire connections from the tombstones to make sure all the wires are tightly connected, as a loose wire could be causing your ballast to malfunction.
Purchasing an electronic ballast from a trusted online source that comes with a warranty is always a good idea, as they will guide you better in fittings and other issues related to your ballast. But if you decide to take take matters into your own hands and troubleshoot your ballast yourself, make sure you always remain vigilant of your safety and the safety of others by taking the proper precautions. Follow these simple steps and you should be able to accurately determine the cause of the issue and decide whether or not you need to replace the ballast.