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1victorianfarmhouse 02-14-2014 05:37 PM

Replacing Old Fluorescent Light Ballasts with New Ballasts
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I have an old fluorescent light in my basement that doesn't work. I've tried replacing both 4' bulbs, and both starters with no luck. The Starring and Co. ballast is dated Jan 9, 1957, and has some sticky stuff oozing out of it and has an old electrical smell. I'm guessing this might be the culprit..... The other light in the system works fine.

On the left side it has a black wire and a black/white wire, and is marked LINE and Lights 1&2. One the right side is marked Lamp #1 and Lamp #2, with a black wire and a black/red wire.

My question is to install the new ballast, is all I need to do is just connect the existing black and white wires to the new ballast, and the new blue and red wires as shown in the diagram on the new ballast in the photo? No starters needed?

Photo of old and new ballasts attached.

OF COURSE I will shut off the appropriate breaker before doing anything!



nealtw 02-14-2014 06:03 PM

Handle with care the leaking goop is pcb. When you get this figured out change anything older than 1979

JoeD 02-14-2014 06:49 PM

Yes. Wire like the diagram on the ballast.

kok328 02-14-2014 06:51 PM

Check around, it might be easier and cheaper to replace the entire fixture.

1victorianfarmhouse 02-14-2014 06:55 PM

Thanks, Neal....yah, there might be some PCBs involved, will need to check the other two sets too, though they work.

And thank you Joe, as well. With stuff like this I don't like to play trial and error even though it looks simple.


1victorianfarmhouse 02-14-2014 07:20 PM

Thanks, kok, I already bought the ballasts a while ago, so I'm stuck with them. The old light fixtures are fine, and anything new would require redoing the mounting. I am planning to buy another new pair to add some additional light on the other side of the room, though.


speedy petey 02-15-2014 06:05 AM

You will definitely have to re-wire the whole fixture. Most likely this fixture has starters that will have to be eliminated. Sometimes it can look complicated, but every wire is shown in the diagram on the ballast so if you take your time you should be able to figure it out.

Wuzzat? 02-15-2014 07:11 AM

If the fixture is not grounded it probably won't work reliably. There is capacitance between the tubes and the metal housing and this is necessary for the tubes to "start".

Match the tubes to the ballast.

There is a small chance that the fixture still won't work with a new ballast and tubes. In this case there is a bad connection or broken wire.

I doubt the new ballast will last 57 years, regardless of what the GE's computer projections say.

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