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#25440 - 05/08/03 03:35 PM Electronic Balasts
golf junkie Offline
Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE
What is your experience with the reliability of electronic balasts.

We recently changed out all the balasts in a medical clinic from magnetic to electronic. The magnetics were 15 years old and starting to fail frequently.
Now after less than 6 months the new electronics are failing at about the same rate that the old magnetics were.

On our new contruction projects it seems like we get approximately 2-3% of new fixtures with bad balasts.

What is your experience and opinion of electronic balasts?

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#25441 - 05/08/03 04:43 PM Re: Electronic Balasts
John Steinke Offline
Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 509
Loc: Reno,Nv., USA
Electronic ballasts are reliable.

If you are sharing a neutral on a 3-phase system, use a true-RMS ammeter to make sure that the ballasts are not overloading the neutral (through harmonics).

I like electronic ballasts because they are smaller, lighter, and quieter.
#25442 - 05/08/03 07:54 PM Re: Electronic Balasts
HotLine1 Offline

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6833
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Golf Junkie:
I have seen quite a few of the "first generation" electronic ballasts (T8) that had a high failure rate. The current generation appear to be reliable, and we have not had more that a handful of "callbacks" with the current items. We did see an abundance of "brands" in the first wave, seemed that a few of the TV mfgs where making ballasts.And there was a few "imported" ones floating around.

THe first generation had a harmonics issue, and quite a few of the "off" brands disapeared. Now, as with everything else, time and actual experiences have weeded the patch. Seems like only the major players are left, and the products are good.

We also found out that the single voltage (120 specially) aren't fond of voltage spikes. Have you monitored your problem site??? Spikes didn't bother the old magnetics, and the "newer" dual voltage electronics don't seem to mind "spikes".

Did you have a major brand that's giving you the problems?? Have you contacted the Mfg?? Check the stamped date for a "made on" date; if it's current you may have a warranty claim for the ballasts, and if you bitc*, they may give you a labor allowance.
#25443 - 05/08/03 10:20 PM Re: Electronic Balasts
frenchelectrican Offline

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
i work with alot of electronic ballast and the early models are kinda rough but new one are alot better than the old verison but i carry multi voltage electronc ballast that cure the voltage surge pretty good and make sure the ballast housing is grounded right if weak grounding it can trick you with some prb with it i work alot of T-8's and few T-12 too with electronic but the qualty is better now but you can check out the electral supply centere to see what they have and i will stay away from big box store they always not carry good grade ballast there

merci marc
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

#25444 - 05/09/03 04:03 PM Re: Electronic Balasts
sparky Offline
Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Does anyone here suppose that s/he will change out an original electronic ballast in 2050?

It would seem i've (i'll assume you've also) changed out some original 1950's ballasts....

'nuff said?
#25445 - 05/09/03 04:17 PM Re: Electronic Balasts
golf junkie Offline
Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE
Manufacturer's are usually Magnetek, Triad, and Motorola. I've seen failures with all three. The current problem is with Magnetek.

There is no problem with warranty on the balast.....but no allowance for labor, call backs, and lost goodwill with the customer.

These are all T8 FWIW.

[This message has been edited by golf junkie (edited 05-09-2003).]
#25446 - 05/09/03 06:01 PM Re: Electronic Balasts
txsparky Offline
Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
Not electronic, but I remember a battle with a ballast manufacturer on a High School that I did about ten years ago. The problem with them was noise though. We finally got the rep. from the co. out and he agreed that there was a problem and the manuf. paid the labor and furnished the ballasts for replacment.
Took a little hell raisin to convince them that they needed to pay for labor though.
#25447 - 05/09/03 08:34 PM Re: Electronic Balasts
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8560
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I hear you there.
I had a problem a few years ago in a Chemist shop, where the light fittings that all had Electronic HF Ballasts installed, were making this high-pitched squealing sound, it was really annoying.
But these were among the first lot of Electronic ones to come on to the market, replaced them, haven't been back since!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#25448 - 05/10/03 01:51 PM Re: Electronic Balasts
electure Offline

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4229
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
If you use Advance ballasts, you will never have a problem again.
Use a OEM replacement (probably an Advance reject), and you can fight it...forever...S
#25449 - 12/03/04 04:21 PM Re: Electronic Balasts
golf junkie Offline
Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE
"If you use Advance ballasts, you will never have a problem again."

I have a box full of burned out Advance ballasts that you can have if you want them.

I decided to resurect this thread to see how others are fairing with electronic ballasts.

I spent part of two days this week changing out ballasts on commercial projects we have finished in the past two years. They were all Advance or Sylvania, mostly Advance.

To Advance's credit they are giving us a labor allowance and 5 year warranty.

It's hard to explain to an owner why his brand new facilty will constantly have a dozen or so ballasts out.
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