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Electrical Wire and Cable

Changing a Fluorescent Light Fixture Ballast

My Florescent Light Went Out, How Do I Replace the Light Fixture Ballast? How to Make Your Fluorescent Light Fixture Last Longer and Avoid Burning Out the Expensive Ballast.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

Hooking Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
for Backup Power

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How to Make Your Fluorescent Light Ballast Last Longer
[ad#block]Electrical Question: My florescent light went out over my bathroom sink.

I know zero about electrical matters and wonder how that could happen?
Please advise – Thanks

This electrical question came from: Ken, a Homeowner from Pickens, South Carolina.

Additional Comments: This is the first time I have seen your web site.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Ken.

Replacing a Fixture Ballast

Application: Replacing a Fluorescent Light Fixture Ballast.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Hand Tools and Safe Ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal experience, the light fixture and access to the light fixture.
Precaution: Identify the light fixture circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Replacement parts for the light fixture should be compatible with the type of fluorescent lamps that have been installed.

How to Replace a Light Fixture Ballast
Electrician Explains How to Replace a Light Fixture Ballast

Make the Fluorescent Light Fixture Last Longer to Avoid Burning Out the Ballast

The Key to a Longer Lasting Florescent Ballast

More about Lighting

F40 and F34 Lamps and Ballast
How to Use F40 and F34 Lamps and Ballasts

How to Wire a Switch

Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring Diagrams

Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.

Lighting for the Home
recessed lighting

Planning and Installing Home Lighting

Home lighting articles covering recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, lighting terminology and more.

The following may also be helpful for you:

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book
Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

More articles about Fluorescent and Home Electrical Wiring:
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

4 Responses to “Changing a Fluorescent Light Fixture Ballast”
  1. Al says:

    Sorry, don’t know the correct verbage. My bathroom florescent fixture is a 2-light type and has one broken socket at one end of one of the lights. I have another model workshop florescent fixture. Could I just use one socket from it to replace the broken one. Worse case, can I use the work light ballast RS lamp to replace the bath one?

    Bath: Two F40W T12 RS lamp (120V. 60 Hertz)

    Work Light: Two F40 430 Mars lamp (120V, 60 Hertz) or two 4FT 34W/35w RS-lamp 460 MA Max

    Thank you!

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Yes Al,
    The two pin florescent lamp sockets are compatible for both T12 and T8 Lamps, the only difference may be the height of the socket.
    FYI – these sockets may be purchased from your local hardware store.


  3. Terry Staph says:


    During the recent power outage I used a generator to power my fish tanks. The result was two burned out power strips ( one actually burned ) and two burned out ballasts in the aquarium light fixtures. I checked the generator voltage and it was between 117-125.

    What caused the problems??



  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Terry,
    Sorry to hear about the problem with the power outage and generator. I have seen the same thing happen, and what we concluded was that the voltage from the generator fluctuated because it was powering up other devices that turned On at the same time which pulled down the voltage. When the voltage drops it causes power supplies such as the ballast to overheat. Having a good brand power strip will protect whatever is plugged in to the point of self destruct. The voltage that you have stated is in the safe zone, but it must be steady and the 60 cycles or hertz must be right as well.
    I highly recommend generators that are sized appropriately and have electronic voltage regulators.
    I hope your fish are OK.