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Ballast Troubleshooting

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Ballast














Ballast
Troubleshooting

Spero has compiled a few time saving
techniques to assist in diagnosing a problem fixture(s).  There are three techniques
that cover most situations:


1) Visual Inspection-
Mercury and Metal Halide
High Pressure Sodium, Low
Pressure Sodium
Lamps in general.


2) Fast Fix- Visual
Inspection
Components.


3) Procedural Steps-
InspectionWhat to Measure?,
  Line VoltageOpen
Circuit Voltage
Chart for Open
Circuit Voltage Test Limits
, Shorted Socket,
  Capacitor CheckBallast Continuity Check (Primary Coil
Secondary Coil), 
Ignitors
, Short Circuit Lamp Current
Chart for Short Circuit Lamp Current,
  Further Checks, Ballast to
Lamp Remote Mounting Distance Chart.


**ALL TEST SHOULD BE PERFORMED BY QUALIFIED ELECTRICIANS ONLY! 
ALWAYS DISCONNECT THE IGNITOR BEFORE MEASURING THE OUTPUT VOLTAGE OF HPS BALLASTS--OR YOU
MAY DAMAGE YOUR MULTI-METER**


If you are unable to resolve your problems you can call Spero at 

(216) 851-3300 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


1)Visual Inspection (Top of Page)


End of Lamp Life:


Mercury and Metal Halide
Lamps- these lamps at end-of -life are characterized by low output and/or intermittent
starting.  Visual signs include blackening at the ends of the arc tube and electrode
tip deterioration.


High Pressure Sodium- aged HPS
lamps will tend to cycle at end-of-life.  After start-up, they will cycle off and on
as the aged lamp requires more voltage to stabilize and operate the arc than the ballast
is capable of providing.  Visual signs include a general blackening at the ends of
the arc tube.  The lamp may also exhibit a brownish tinge (sodium deposit) on the
outer glass envelope.


Low Pressure Sodium- at
end-of-life these lamps retain their light output but starting first becomes intermittent
and then impossible.  Visual signs include some blackening of the ends of the arc
tube.


Lamps-also look for broken arc tube, lamp broken
where it meets the base, broken or loose components in the lamp envelope, arc tube
blackening, deposits inside the outer glass envelope, lamp and ballast compatibility, and
proper lamp orientation designation (base-up or base-down).


2)Fast Fix (Top of Page)


Visual Inspection- visually
inspect lamp, ballast, capacitor and ignitor (where used) for physical signs of failure,
replacing any apparently defective components. 


Component replacement where no visual
defects appear- Verify that the correct line voltage is being supplied to the fixture,
check the power switches, circuit breakers, fuses, photo control, etc.  Replace lamp,
then ignitor, then both ballast and capacitor.


3)Procedural Steps (Top of Page)


Lamp will not start?


Visually inspect lamp for normal
end-of-life failure and physical damage; replace if needed.


Check circuit breakers, fuses, and/or photocell; replace if needed.


Visually inspect and verify proper combination of  lamp,
ballast, capacitor, ignitor and associated wiring diagram; correct if necessary.


Visually inspect ballast , capacitor, ignitor and socket for
physical damage and signs of failure; replace if needed.


Measure line voltage
at ballast input and verify conformance with ballast label. If measurements are off, 
electrical problems exist outside of fixture.  If unit is within specifications;
perform open circuit voltage test at
lamp socket.  If within test limits
replace lamp, if not perform test on capacitor,
ignitor and ballast.


Line Voltage (Top of Page)


Measure the line voltage at input to fixture to determine if the
power supply conforms to the requirements of the lighting system. A CWA ballast line
voltage should be within 10% of the nameplate rating. A high reactance or reactor
ballast should be within 5% of the nameplate rating.  If the voltage does not conform
then problem exists outside of fixture.


Open Circuit Voltage (Top of Page)


To determine if the ballast is supplying proper starting voltage to
the lamp, an open circuit voltage test is required.  The proper test procedure is:


        -Measure input voltage
(V1) to verify rated input voltage is being

         applied.


        -With the lamp out of the
socket and the proper voltage applied

         to the ballast, read the voltage (V2)
between the socket pin and

         shell. Readings should be within the
test limits.


volttest.gif (3411 bytes)



Open Circuit
Voltage Test Limits
(Top of Page)





































BALLAST
TYPE

LAMP

RMS
VOLTAGE

Wattage

ANSI Number

MERCURY


 

50


75


100


175


250


400


2-400
(ILO)


2-400
(Series)


700


1000

H46


H43


H38


H39


H37


H33


2-H33


2-H33


H35


H36

225-255


225-255


225-255


225-255


225-255


225-255


225-255


475-525


405-455


405-455

METAL HALIDE

70


100


150


175


250


250


400


2-400
(ILO)


2-400
(Series)


1000


1500

M85


M90


M81


M57


M80


M58


M59


2-M59


2-M59


M47


M48

210-250


250-300


220-260


285-320


230-270


285-320


285-320


285-320


600-665


400-445


400-445

HIGH PRESSURE
SODIUM

35


50


70


100


150


150


200


250


310


400


1000

S76


S68


S62


S54


S55


S56


S66


S50


S67


S51


S52

110-130


110-130


110-130


110-130


110-130


200-250


200-230


175-225


155-190


175-225


420-480

LOW PRESSURE
SODIUM

18


35


55


90


135


180

L69


L70


L71


L72


L73


L74

300-325


455-505


455-505


455-525


645-715


645-715







When
open circuit voltage test results in NO READING:

Further
steps should be made to determine whether cause is attributable to lamp socket short,
shorted or open capacitor, inoperative ballast,  short circuit at lamp, faulty
ignitor, improper wiring or open connection which would require further checks, as
follows:


Shorted Socket Check (Top of Page)


Turn off power and remove lamp from socket.  Check for internal
short in lamp socket with continuity meter across two lamp leads.  Should get NO
continuity.










Capacitor
Check
(Top of page)

Disconnect
capacitor from circuit, discharge capacitor by shorting between terminals.  Now check
capacitor with ohmmeter set at highest resistance scale:


    -If meter indicates a very low resistance which
then gradually

    increases, the capacitor does not require replacement.


    -If meter indicates a very high resistance which
does not diminish,

     it is open and should be replaced.


    -If meter indicates a very low resistance which
does not increase,

     the capacitor is shorted and should be replaced.


capcheck.gif (5239 bytes)

 

Ballast Continuity Check: (Top of Page)










Continuity
of Primary Coil

Disconnect ballast from power supply and
discharge the capacitor.  Check for continuity of ballast primary coil between input
leads as shown below: 


linecom.gif (5203 bytes)

lampline.gif (4263 bytes)

capline.gif (6527 bytes)


Continuity of Secondary Coil


Disconnect  ballast from power supply and discharge the
capacitor.  Check for continuity of ballast secondary coil between lamp and common
leads, as shown below:


Comcap2.gif (5411 bytes)










comlamp2.gif (5479 bytes)caplamp2.gif (3452 bytes)

Short Circuit Lamp Current (Top of Page)


To assure the ballast is delivering the proper current under lamp
starting conditions, a measurement may be taken by connecting the ammeter between the lamp
socket pin and the socket shell with the rated input voltage applied to the ballast.
  If available, a socket adapter may be used:


Energize ballast with proper rated input voltage.  Measure
current with ammeter at A1 and A2 as shown below.  Readings must be within test
limits shown in short circuit lamp current  test limits.

short current.gif (3681 bytes)

Short Circuit Lamp Current Test Limits (Top of page)





































BALLAST

TYPE

LAMP SECONDARY
SHORT CIRCUIT CURRENT AMP
Wattage ANSI Number
MERCURY 50

75

100

175

250

400

2-400(ILO)

2-400(Series)

700

1000
H46

H43

H38

H39

H37

H33

2-H33

2-H33

H35

H36
.85-1.15

.95-1.70

1.10-2.00

2.0-3.6

3.0-3.8

4.4-7.9

4.4-7.9

4.2-5.40

3.9-5.85

5.7-9.0

METAL
HALIDE

70

100

150

175

250

250

400

2-400(ILO)

2-400(Series)

1000

1500
M85

M90

M81

M57

M80

M58

M59

2-M59

2-M59

M47

M48
.85-1.30

1.15-1.76

1.75-2.60

1.5-1.90

2.9-4.3

2.2-2.85

3.5-4.5

3.5-4.5

3.3-4.3

4.8-6.15

7.4-9.6
HIGH PRESSURE

SODIUM
35

50

70

100

150

150

200

250

310

400

1000
S76

S68

S62

S54

S55

S56

S66

S50

S67

S51

S52
.85-1.45

1.5-2.3

1.6-2.9

2.45-3.8

3.5-5.4

2.0-3.0

2.50-3.7

3.0-5.7

3.8-5.7

5.0-7.6

5.5-8.1
LOW PRESSURE

SODIUM
18

35

55

90

135

180
L69

L70

L71

L72

L73

L74
0.30-.40

0.52-.78

0.52-.78

0.8-1.2

0.8-1.2

0.8-1.






 

Ignitors (Top of Page)


Ignitors are used as a starting aid with all high pressure sodium
and certain low-wattage metal halide lamps.


Measurement of the starting pulse voltage of an ignitor is beyond
the capability of most instruments available in the field.  In laboratory tests, an
oscilloscope is used to measure pulse height and width.  In the field,  some
simple tests may be performed to determine if the ignitor is operable:


     -Replace the ignitor with another which is
known to be operable.  If

      the lamp then starts, the previous ignitor was either
miswired or

      inoperative.

     -Remove the high pressure sodium lamp and replace it with a known

      operable HPS lamp of proper wattage.  If lamp lights,
ignitor is

      operating properly.

     -If lamp does not light, disconnect ignitor and proceed as
follows:


          -35W  to
150W (55V) HPS- Insert 120 V incandescant lamp in

           socket.  If lamp lights,
ignitor requires replacement.

          -150W (100V) to 400W HPS- Install
mercury lamp of comparable

           wattage.  If mecury lamp
starts, ignitor requires replacement.

          -1000W- Replace ignitor.


***Please Note: Ignitors are not interchageable.  Refer to
ballast label for designation of proper ignitor to be used with ballast.***


 







Further Checks (Top of Page)

Probable causes of Inoperative Ballast


     -Normal end-of-life failure.

     -Operating incorrect lamps.  Use of higher or lower wattage
lamps

      than rated for ballast will cause premature ballast
end-of-life.

     -Overheated due to heat from fixture or ambient temperature.

     -Voltage surge.

     -Miswiring or pinched wires.

     -Shorted or open capacitor.

     -Incorrect capacitor rating for ballast.

     -Capacitor miswired or wiring shorting against frame.


Probable causes of Shorted or Open Capacitor


     -Normal end-of-life failure.

     -Overheated due to heat from fixture or ambient temperature.

     -Capacitor heat barrier inadvertently removed.

     -Incorrect voltage rating of capacitor.

     -Mechanical damage such as overtightened bracket.


Ballast -to-Lamp Remote Mounting
Distance
(Top of Page)





























TYPE WATTAGE MAXIMUM DISTANCE
BETWEEN BALLAST AND LAMP (ONE WAY) IN FEET*
HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM

35-RH

50-RH

70-RH

100-RH

150-RH

50-XH

70-XH

100-XH

150-XH

200-CWA

250-CWA

400-CWA

1000-CWA

15

15

15

15

15

35

35

35

35

50

50

50

50

METAL HALIDE

35-RH

50-RH

70-RH

100-RH

150-RH

35-XH

50-XH

70-XH

100-XH

150-XH

175-CAW

250-CWA

320-CWA

400-CWA

1000-CWA

1500-CWA

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

20

50

10

65

45

10

30

50

35

MERCURY

100-CW

175-CW

250-CW

400-CW

700-CW

1000-CW

115

65

45

30

70

50

FLUORESCENT

26W-CF

32W-CF

42W-CF

16W-DD

21W-DD

28W-DD

38W-DD

10

10

10

10

10

10

10



*Distance based on 18 gauge. AWG secondary wires.(Top of Page)