I have me an old Greenlee/Beha one sitting on a shelf gathering dust. It was good for when I contracted department stores, cause I got too many defective lamps in my shipments, so I would make the delivery driver stand by as I tested every flor bulb sent out to the jobsite. Never used it to test for a bad ballast.
My Problem is with customers saving bad bulbs then calling me when they change the bulb and it doesn't light. So I go change the ballast because they told me they changed the bulbs and it still does not work. So I am looking for some sort of tester to prevent that.
[This message has been edited by Wireless (edited 11-09-2005).]
macmikeman, I Just find it very fustrating to change the ballast then put the bulbs back in and it still does not work. I'd rather know right away what it is and the charge a service call for less work.
Never take a customers word for thier "new bulb"... And if you take a bad one out, break out the sharpy and mark it as bad. That will keep it from ending up back in the fixture. Edjucate your customer to do the same.
I haven't used the tester you mentioned, but have used others, and seem to miss the mark when dealing with cap start, and get if'y. They are great for no or low voltage checks. And I know this sounds wierd, but I thought it was a great training aid. 'Cause after some time I started to be able to tell what was wrong just by how the bulbs would act, read the flicker so to speak. Even, but dimmed glow, usually a new bulb will do the trick. Flicker and hard to start go for the ballast, and do both bulb and ballast at the same time, as a bad ballast can prematurely age or kill a bulb. It's not the most accurate method by any means, but neither are the testers. IMO
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
I once made a 200 mile each way trip to a bank located on Vandenberg AFB. Loaded down with all the parts necessary to rebuild an ATM machine (which was at that time considered new/high-tech), I was amazed to find that the new manager had been installing bad bulbs that the old manager had been putting back in the package. This I didn't have, so I had to go to the local Safeway supermarket and spend 79 cents for a new 100W A-19. Security Pacific Bank was billed for the entire trip....
Gas Lamp Testers? I drove around with one in the truck for way too long. I find them absolutely useless.
Used the gas tester (BEHA/Greenlee) when we did a lot of neon service work; occasionally for a fluor tube.
As to "wierd"....took a box of F41-3Utubes from stockroom after replacing 'bad ballasts'......what the he**, it don't light. After playing around for a few, found the 'stock guy'...he said " oh, ALL of the boxes of bulbs we have are old (used), as he put them back in the sleeve and case to 'REST', cause they didn't light!!!!!
This was a service call when we did a national chain........
this one trick i done that many time to prevent some idiot to use the bad flourscent lamp is to clip the end pins only one side will do it because it sure fire way to get their attetion so no one can use the " used bulbs" again for bad new bulbs i just used the sharpie marker or wrap a electrical tape on the pins end with red tape or whatever your refernice of color you like to use so that way you know bulb is history
Merci , Marc
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)
The Greenlee tester has some value, and is somewhat helpful to me. This is especially the case when the bulb / ballast in question is unusual or exensive enough that it's not worth it to stock spare ones. The tester, however, is somewhat subjective in use, and you need a dark place for testing. For your usual fluorescent fixtures, simply putting in known "good" bulbs -usually from a working fixture nearby- is the simplest, most reliable solution. Good bulbs, good power to the fixture....not much left but the ballast!
Now- to belabor the obvious- many places start losing ballasts in rapid succession as the ballasts reach their "design age." Be alert for this pattern; if the old ballasts are about 10 years old, perhaps it's time to talk to the customer about replacing with T-8's as they wear out.