My partner Joe was troubleshooting "cycling" fluorescent lights in a restaurant yesterday and replaced the electronic ballasts. The lights were 8' pairs in WP fixtures, no vents for heat to escape. They were mounted above the cooking areas in the kitchen and the old ballasts were hot enough to burn your hand.
Today they call back, same symptoms.
I say heat. Fixtures that breathe better or have higher temp ballasts may be a solution.
Agree? Disagree? Any ideas?
Thanks in advance...
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI
We had that problem in our school kitchens. The electronic ballasts lasted a few months (motorolas were the absolute worst). The old fashioned ballasts lasted longer but not long enough so we finally changed all of the fixtures (in the "no air flow" areas) to the old incandescent stoncos with the glass and cage over the bulbs. 150w bulbs fit and they work fine. Not as efficient but when you consider the cost of constant service calls we think we're ahead.
Hi: Sounds like an "inproper use of equipment".. Check to see if the weatherproof fixture is listed for use inside, in a high ambient temperature location. It probably isn't listed by the mfg for use in a kitchen with high ambient temperatures.
Heat is the main killer of ballasts. The "old" ones were/are a lot larger in size, and can handle heat for longer periods, but they also are not listed for high ambient temperatures.