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Matt Day
12-09-2017, 8:34 PM
I have a 2 bulb T8 fluorescent light in my basement thatís about 6 years old and recently stopped working. First step was two new bulbs which still didnít work so Iím guessing the ballast failed. But Iím having a heck of a time figuring out which ballast to buy.


On different lights I have, Iím replacing my lay in T12ís with LEDís since I donít have any T12 bulbs and itís hard to spend almost $20 on bulbs when I can get a flat panel LED for $30. For these T8ís, I have bulbs and these are the chain mounted type with a plug that is nice to move around, so Iíd like to keep them working.

Heres a picture of the ballast witing diagram for the T8ís in question.

Could this ballast be wired for both 2 and 4 bulb applications? Itís hard to find (havenít yet) this type of ballast so should I get a standard ballast and rewire the tombstones?

Thanks

Jim Koepke
12-09-2017, 8:47 PM
The last time a ballast went bad in one of my fixtures it was converted to take 120V LED replacements. It was purchased at Home Depot. Do not try to use the ones made to run on a fluorescent lamp ballast on 120V. Some of the hired help might try to tell you it will work fine, at least they tried telling me it would.

It is likely cheaper and less work to purchase a new LED fixture at Costco or one of the Borgs.

If you insist on replacing the ballast it has to be one made to power the lamps you are using. A T-12 ballast isn't going to be a good choice to power a T-8 or T-5 lamp.

jtk

Bill Bukovec
12-09-2017, 8:50 PM
Sorry I can't help with your wiring. The problems you are having is why I buy LEDs now.

Matt Day
12-09-2017, 8:58 PM
This is a T8 fixture in question and iíll Obviously use T8 bulbs. I mentioned T12ís only because I am replacing them with LEDís and I understand the costs and benefits. New LED is about $30, hopefully a ballast would be $10 and I have bulbs.

Any help with the ballast in question?

Jim Koepke
12-09-2017, 8:58 PM
Sorry I can't help with your wiring. The problems you are having is why I buy LEDs now.

That thought runs through my head when my LEDs come on in the shop and the fluorescents merely glow because of the low temps.

jtk

Jim Becker
12-09-2017, 9:00 PM
It is likely cheaper and less work to purchase a new LED fixture at Costco or one of the Borgs.

Costco actually has a two-pack of LED shop light fixtures available with an effective cost of $19.95 each this month. That's for the whole fixture including the LED lamps. They even can be daisy-chained. I bought two more to deal with the last two old lighting fixtures in my shop and they arrived today.

keith wootton
12-09-2017, 9:41 PM
matt,

much easier to buy led bulbs that do not need a ballast. cheaper too, because you don't have to buy ballast, and the bulbs w/o ballasts use a little less power. lot's of recent discussions here.

keith

Matt Day
12-09-2017, 9:51 PM
Jim - thanks for the tip about Costco but Iím not a member.

Guys, I COMPLETELY understand the advantage of LEDís. As I said Iím converting my old T12ís to LEDís and love them. BUT I have these T8ís that arenít that old and I have a bunch of new bulbs for them. If I can replace a ballast for $10 and use up my existing spare bulbs, Iíd prefer to go that route.

Could someone who is knowledgeable about ballasts and my question please respond. Iím going to request this thread be deleted if one more person tells me to just buy LEDís! (Kidding)

Joe. Rivera
12-09-2017, 9:58 PM
<p>

I have a 2 bulb T8 fluorescent light in my basement that&rsquo;s about 6 years old and recently stopped working. First step was two new bulbs which still didn&rsquo;t work so I&rsquo;m guessing the ballast failed. But I&rsquo;m having a heck of a time figuring out which ballast to buy. On different lights I have, I&rsquo;m replacing my lay in T12&rsquo;s with LED&rsquo;s since I don&rsquo;t have any T12 bulbs and it&rsquo;s hard to spend almost $20 on bulbs when I can get a flat panel LED for $30. For these T8&rsquo;s, I have bulbs and these are the chain mounted type with a plug that is nice to move around, so I&rsquo;d like to keep them working. Heres a picture of the ballast witing diagram for the T8&rsquo;s in question. Could this ballast be wired for both 2 and 4 bulb applications? It&rsquo;s hard to find (haven&rsquo;t yet) this type of ballast so should I get a standard ballast and rewire the tombstones? Thanks</p>
<p>
&nbsp;</p>
<p>
that pic is showing a 2 lamp wiring only. There should be a listing on the ballast of what watt bulb, How many, and what T &nbsp;types it can run. Im not clear on what length bulb and how many you have in your original fixture. You should be able to match a new ballast to your fixture and bulbs , You can cut and wire the tombstones easy to a new ballast configuration for the amount and type bulbs you have now.</p>

Matt Day
12-09-2017, 10:28 PM
Thanks Joe. The fixture has two T8 bulbs (40w I think), 4í long.

So so youíre saying I could get most any of the standard F32T8 ballasts, and rewire the tombstones? The obvious issue Iím having is that the existing ballast has about double the wired coming out of it than the ones I find when I search for ďF32T8 ballastĒ.

Joe. Rivera
12-10-2017, 6:52 AM
Correct.
Read the ballast and match to the amount and watt bulbs you have. If your bulbs are in fact 40watt- T8 you&#39;ll need a ballast that list 2- F40T8. Then follow the wiring diagram on that ballast.
Easy peasy, well , except doing the work overhead.

John K Jordan
12-10-2017, 7:14 AM
Would it be simpler and fairly inexpensive to just replace the fixture? I've seen some new T8 fixtures for pretty cheap. You could put a plug on any of them, probably even use the cord from the old fixture. All that would be needed is a grommet/strain relief for protection where the cord enters the fixture.

JKJ

Jason Roehl
12-10-2017, 7:39 AM
I've replaced quite a few ballasts in my time. Post pics of the wiring schematic from BOTH the old ballast, and the new ballast, and I should be able to muddle through it. 4' T8 bulbs should only be 32W, that's why they're more efficient than T12 bulbs (40W in 4'). The issue here is whether or not you have shunted tombstones. I generally am converting T12 fixtures to T8, and they have shunted tombstones, so they're quite easy to rewire--aside from the power wires, there are only 3 to the bulbs.

Matt Day
12-10-2017, 7:40 AM
Luckily this fixture is easily taken down since itís on chains, so itís on my bench now and rewiring will be simple.

Iíll plan to get this ballast for $12, rewire, and get some more life out of it.

https://www.amazon.com/Advance-ICN-2P32-N-Electronic-Fluorescent-Ballast/dp/B0053VHAPY
(The existing bulbs are 32w)

Sound good?

Matt Day
12-10-2017, 7:44 AM
Well never mind, the above ballast wonít work. There are 2 existing wires at each tombstone. And the new ballast only accounts for 1 at each tombstone. Ugh. Where can I find a replacement ballast that will work?

Mike Kreinhop
12-10-2017, 8:00 AM
Well never mind, the above ballast wonít work. There are 2 existing wires at each tombstone. And the new ballast only accounts for 1 at each tombstone. Ugh. Where can I find a replacement ballast that will work?

I think you will be fine with the newer electronic ballast. I've replaced several older transformer and early electronic ballasts with the newer electronic ballasts and they work perfectly. Here's a video showing the process with the multi-wire lamp bases.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkSVmbMtJD0

Jerome Stanek
12-10-2017, 8:04 AM
try these from Lowes

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Utilitech-32-W-Equivalent-Bright-White-T8-LED-Tube-Light-Bulb/1000083437

Matt Day
12-10-2017, 8:21 AM
Mike - that video cleared it up perfectly! Thanks!

David L Morse
12-10-2017, 10:52 AM
I hope this doesn't fit the TMI category...

Your existing ballast is "Rapid Start". This type of ballast uses the heaters on each end of the tube. The heaters are connected between the two end pins and so each pin has a separate wire to the ballast ("unshunted" tombstones).

The ballast in your Amazon link is "Instant Start". This type bypasses the heaters by shorting the end pins ("shunted" tombstones). This ballast has fewer wires. Of course you can manually wire unshunted tombstones to do this as shown in the video.

Either will work in your fixture. Usage patterns determine the preferred type.

If the lights are on for long periods of time an Instant Start ballast has the advantage. It uses slightly less power because the heaters are not used..

If the lights are switched on and off many times a day then a Rapid Start ballast gives longer lamp life.

Most residential uses are in between those extremes. Either type will work. An exception would be something like a large pantry with a door switch that's used a lot.

Rod Sheridan
12-11-2017, 9:55 AM
Your old ballast looks like a T12 type.

The T8 lamps have both pins on the socket connected together and only one wire to the ballast.

The new ballast will have the much simpler wiring diagram printed on it, you will be able to easily follow it.....Rod.

Matt Day
12-11-2017, 10:06 AM
Thanks Rod. The ballast can do both T12 or T8 I think, based on the label.

Iíll post back after I get the new one installed, and hopefully working.

Robert Engel
12-11-2017, 10:09 AM
No you can't use it on 4 bulbs.

You need either a 4 bulb ballast like this (https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-120-Volt-Electronic-Ballast-for-4-ft-4-Lamp-T8-Fixture-93885/205409893)t or 2-2 bulb ballasts.

BTW you can't use a T8 ballast on T12 bulbs.

Matt Day
12-15-2017, 4:15 PM
It worked! I wired it per Mikeís video, but one tombstone had an extra wire so I wire nutted that and left it alone.