Is A Bad Ballast Dangerous?

Dangers. As with any electrical situation where overheating is possible, a bad ballast can pose a fire danger. The overheated ballast could cause the plastic housing on the light itself to melt and, in the right conditions, flame up.

What happens when a ballast goes bad?

If the ballast is bad, then the needle won’t move. If you’re using a digital multimeter, often the digital readout will possibly list a “1” when it doesn’t find a measurable resistance.

How can you tell if the ballast is bad?

  1. 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. …
  2. Dimming or flickering. …
  3. No lights at all. …
  4. Changing colors. …
  5. Swollen casing. …
  6. Burn marks. …
  7. Water damage. …
  8. Leaking oil.

Is a bad ballast a fire hazard?

A burned-out fluorescent tube also heats up and burdensthe ballast which feeds the tube and can ultimately flare up. The heat radiation of a burned-out fluorescent tube can even melt the tube’s protective casing. Combine these with any dust on the tube’s surface and you are looking at a major fire hazard.

Can a fluorescent ballast cause a fire?

Overheated fluorescent lights can cause fires! Overheating of the ballast could result in the following: Ignition of nearby combustible materials. … Molten compounds from within the ballast dripping on stock, equipment or furnishings.

Do you need to be an electrician to change 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. The electrician uses the light switch on the wall to de-energize the florescent light.

How much is it to replace a 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.

How long does a ballast 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. The optimum economic life of a fluorescent lighting system with magnetic ballasts is usually about 15 years.

How do you bypass a ballast?

  1. Turn off the power. Flipping the light switch to the “off” position does not necessarily end the flow of electricity. …
  2. Locate your ballast. …
  3. Cut the hot and neutral wires. …
  4. Cut the socket lead wires. …
  5. Remove the ballast. …
  6. Connect the input wires to the output wires.

Why would a ballast melt?

When a bulb of the wrong size or voltage is used in the fixture, the ballast often overheats, causing the light to shut off. The bulbs and the fixture must also match in frequency, or the ballast becomes overworked and overheated.

Can ballasts catch fire?

As with any electrical situation where overheating is possible, a bad ballast can pose a fire danger. The overheated ballast could cause the plastic housing on the light itself to melt and, in the right conditions, flame up.

Does 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.

Is it safe to leave a fluorescent light bulb socket empty?

It is not safe to leave light bulb sockets empty. They pose an electrocution risk and a fire hazard because of high enough voltage to cause serious electrocution injury. Also, debris could get into the socket, get ignited, and start a fire, although this is an unlikely scenario.

How hot should a fluorescent ballast get?

Ballasts usually run hot, about 140 degrees F, but if one is so hot that you can’t keep your hands on it, it is likely the culprit.

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