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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    2,633
    You can't test electronic ballasts with DMM. If they're programmed start ballast, it gets more complicated.

    There are two pins on each end and with programmed start, if the connection is poor, the ballast will lock out. The lamp and ballast can be fine but not work due to loose connection.

    If you try to measure the voltage across instant start ballast with a meter, you may fry your meter. DMMs are not designed to take >600V @ 50,000Hz.

    Dielectric grease like the kind used on spark plug boots help with prevention of socket corrosion somewhat.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    54
    Forgot to add this to my post... Milwaukee has a tool out that supposedly tests ballasts and lamps. Might not be for a refer guy but if you end up doing a lot of lighting it may help.

    http://www.milwaukeetool.com/news/press-releases/1171


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  3. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
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    25,554
    Thanks to all who replied.

    I've learned some stuff and learned that, in some cases, I might be overthinking this.

    I had 3 cases in particular that the stores were struggling with and I was brought in to FIX THE D**N THING!!!!

    New lamps, new ballasts and off to the races. Been up and running with no complaints since.


    I think that the lighting company that the customer is employing is creating their own problems by using improper ballasts for the lamps in the cases, although I had been reading about the CC class ends and wonder if that may also be an issue.....

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    54
    I would stick with CC ballasts if you could. I haven't seen first hand but have heard of cases catching fire because of a wiring/connection and the ballast not shutting down. The market I work for actually has us going case by case and replacing any non CC ballast even if it is working just fine.


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  5. #31
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    Sep 2008
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    Western PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwegiel View Post
    I would stick with CC ballasts if you could. I haven't seen first hand but have heard of cases catching fire because of a wiring/connection and the ballast not shutting down. The market I work for actually has us going case by case and replacing any non CC ballast even if it is working just fine.


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    I buy OEM parts for these cases. I don't think that the lighting contractor does.

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
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    54
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    I buy OEM parts for these cases. I don't think that the lighting contractor does.
    Good, that's the best way to go.


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  7. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Buffalo NY
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    3,082
    Quote Originally Posted by gwegiel View Post
    Forgot to add this to my post... Milwaukee has a tool out that supposedly tests ballasts and lamps. Might not be for a refer guy but if you end up doing a lot of lighting it may help.

    http://www.milwaukeetool.com/news/press-releases/1171


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    I saw that at Grainger today. $249 is a lot of money. We just change the bulbs and if that does not do it then the ballast is bad. I do find a lot of lose connections when I get to the ballast. Lazy electricians.


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  8. #34
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    South Mississippi
    Posts
    132

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In a Mess
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    1,008

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegiel View Post
    d. I haven't seen first hand but have heard of cases catching fire because of a wiring/connection

    I have seen it a few times especialy with lightes shelves and plugs in dry Meat cases and near produce cases with misters, 3 instances that i recall where fire department was called, one where therewas considerable dammage to case!

    Mike
    Sig removed by mod. G-Rated site

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    4,392
    Quote Originally Posted by gwegiel View Post
    The market I work for actually has us going case by case and replacing any non CC ballast even if it is working just fine.
    Refrigeration ballasts are freakin' expensive.

    Go LED and don't look back.

  11. #37
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    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
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    25,554

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,227
    Quote Originally Posted by craig1 View Post

    Go LED and don't look back.
    The price is dropping fast. Almost all new illuminated store front signs are now LED. Same price as neon now with a lot more advantages.
    For what it's worth jp you can check the output of rapid start ballast. Simply check between your start and end leads. Normally red and blue. Look for the open circuit voltage on the ballast label. Use a 1000volt rated meter. You can also check between the socket leads for the heater circuit volts. ( Hot Cathode ) Which will be low voltage. Electronic ballast stink. They do not like line spikes. They will shut down and have to have the primary volts reset.
    Neon tubes are consider ( Cold Cathode ) no heaters. 15,000 volts transformers compared to say 1,000 volt ballast. Using high voltage to strike an arc.

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    wedged in freezer shelf
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    6,662
    Quote Originally Posted by ICanHas View Post
    DMMs are not designed to take >600V @ 50,000Hz.
    Was looking at Fluke 80 series, 233 or 28II meters
    They list 1000V and at or over 50 kHz
    Is testing for voltage across the pins good for nothing with troubleshooting?
    “If You Can Dodge A Wrench You Can Dodge A Ball”

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