Changing a Bad Ballast

When you are a strong, independent business owner, there are certain things that you have to take on yourself. In fact, it’s guaranteed that more minor details need to be handled by you, especially when you are first getting going with your business. From changing lightbulbs to being the cleaning crew, you will wear many hats. However, you may be struggling with some lighting issues that aren’t fixed, even with a lightbulb change. If you’ve noticed that your place of business has lights that are attempting to get your company on a list of haunted businesses because of annoying flickering and inconsistent lighting levels, you may need to change the ballasts. Now, this may seem like a very complicated issue that needs an electrician, but it’s actually much simpler than it seems.

Changing a Ballast

The first step in changing a ballast is to eliminate the power running to it. That’s right, the first step in any electrical change is to turn off the circuit breaker. This is absolutely necessary, even before removing the lightbulb.

Once the circuit breaker is shut off, you can go ahead and remove the lightbulb and open up the fixture, removing the ballast cover.

Make sure that you got the right ballast for your needs. Warehouse-Lighting has several options to choose from, including a universal one that may be considered if you’re not sure which ballast is the right fit. Just hold them up and make sure that they match or look very similar and have the right voltage and current match. If not, you may need to take the old one out and take it with you to the store or write down the specifications before ordering another one.

Once you’ve determined you have the right ballast, go ahead and cut the old wiring several inches from the end of the ballast with wire cutters. Cut all of the wires that connect to the old ballast.

Unscrew the old ballast. You should find a mounting nut up near the connection, simply use a nut driver to remove this. To ensure you don’t have a ballast come down on your face, hold it in place with your free hand while unscrewing. There may be two mounting nuts, you’ll need to check, it depends on the ballast type.

Once the old ballast is out, go ahead and install the new one. You’ll mount it with the same mounting nut(s) and then you’ll simply strip the electrical wiring back about ½ an ich, and then you’ll connect the matching-colored wires together with twist-wire connectors.

Once everything is good to go and you have replaced the lightbulb and closed the light, you can go ahead and turn the power back on to the light.

Now that this challenge is completed, you should have no problem with the ballast for several years to come. Ballasts generally last 20 years, but it does depend on the environment as cheaper light bulbs and colder environments can significantly decrease their lifespan.


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