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Big Sound

01:01PM | 12/31/00
Member Since: 12/30/00
3 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I have 4 standard 48" flourescent fixtures. I attempted to install them in my basement. However, I started a new circuit for these to eventually replace an old one for (2) inefficient incandescents with pull chains. I hooked them up, one after another in a straight line (black to black, white to white, grnd to grnd making sure the grnd was also touching the fixture) and I planned to hook them to the old circuits' main feed at the beginning and add a standard toggle switch to the bunch at the beginning. When I decided to direct connect the chain of lights temporarily to the main circuit (bypassing the switch for now) to check my progress, nothing lit up. Not even a hum or click sound. I had one fixture that I hadn't hooked into the circuit yet, so I just attached a plug to it and connected it straight to the wall outlet where my washer is hooked up to see if it was working on it's own, ruling out a possible overloaded line. Nothing. I am wondering if there may be something I missed. I checked the circuit at every light along the chain and there is power going to them. No shorts. The lamps are rated at 118 volts 60 cycles on the fixture itself and even the bulbs are new (T8)(48")(32w).This is a regular 120 volt line and the electrical system is only about 20 years old so it's fairly new. Any ideas? The only thing I can think of is possibly bad ballasts (total coincidence with (4) brand new fixtures)or insufficient amps to power even one fixture. Thanks for any advice in advance.

ElectrcBil

05:16PM | 01/01/01
Member Since: 07/21/00
76 lifetime posts
Do the fixtures require T8 lamps?

ElectrcBil

05:37PM | 01/01/01
Member Since: 07/21/00
76 lifetime posts
Are you sure that the lamps required by these fixtures are t8's. If they are then i need a little more info to try to help.

rpxlpx

04:33AM | 01/03/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
You plugged one unit directly into an outlet that is known to be good and no light. The problem is logically with the light units (or bulbs), not your new wiring. When you get the single unit working, you'll know what to do for the rest.

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited January 03, 2001).]

Big Sound

06:59PM | 01/05/01
Member Since: 12/30/00
3 lifetime posts
The fixtures have a big sticker on them saying that they require T8 bulbs, and the bulbs I have fit between the tombstones and are sylvania 3000k t8's 32watts. The bulbs look alright and I have a whole box with about 20 or so still in the cardboard dividers. The units are single strip. The ballast inside has large text saying that they are 347 volts 60hz 18amps. I would presume this to be the output. The fixture itself says 118volts 60hz. The ballasts also say they are Class P Type 1 Outdoor. I hope that this information helps you. At least I got the fixtures for free, still sealed in their original box. It was a skid that was left behind by the contractors when they built the store where I work. So if the electricians knew something I didn't, then all I lost was a couple of hours on a Saturday. My next logical step is to get out my multitestor (once I get new batteries for it) and check the flow from the ballast itself. But I figured I would ask the experts first in case I am really wasting my time already.

ElectrcBil

07:23AM | 01/06/01
Member Since: 07/21/00
76 lifetime posts
Well then it is not the bulbs. I can't say for sure without looking at the ballast, but a lot of commercial fixtures are 277v input, Even though the fixtures are listed as 118v the manufacturers may have used the same frame and installed a higher voltage ballast. The 347volt listing on the ballast seems unusual, it may indeed be the output. This should be indicated along with the input voltage on the ballast. The 18 amps seems extremely high for a single bulb 4ft fixture. Its probably 1.8 amps and the decimal point is hard to read. You indicated that these fixtures have a ballast rated for outdoor use, do you know where they were installed at the store where you work? Can you find out the Voltage of the lights in the rest of the store where you work? I suggest looking in the electrical closet to see if one panel is labeled lighting and then to see if it is labeled 277v or something different than typical house voltage. My guess is these are 277v fixtures and will not work with 120 volts. Let me know what you find out. I am curious about that 347 volt listing on the ballast. I have really never been concerned on the output voltage of a ballast, I thought the output was much higher than that.

Big Sound

08:08PM | 01/08/01
Member Since: 12/30/00
3 lifetime posts
Well, everyone's hunch was correct. The ballasts are rated for a 277volt service and not 120 as stated on the fixture itself. The ballasts that I need were not even half the size of the one's that were in there. I took one in to a local home improvement store, and surprise, 277. Incidentally, the amps on the ballasts were .18, not 18 as I originally stated (missed the period). All other specs remain the same. Thanks for all the help from everyone.
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