Have you noticed that one of your fluorescent light fixtures is flickering nearly every time it’s turned on? Or have you heard it producing a buzzing sound? If your lights are flickering and making annoying buzzing sounds whenever they are turned on, lighting repair will need to be performed.
While lighting ballasts are not usually repairable when they go bad, the upside is the cheap cost of a new replacement ballast. Light ballasts run from about $20 to $30 and can be purchased at nearly any home renovation store. The real cost of replacing a light ballast comes in the form of the work required to get the new ballast up and running with your light fixture.
Steps to Replace a Light Ballast
Before you start, unplug the light fixture or flip off the circuit breaker. Make sure there is no electricity going toward the light ballast when you are trying to install it. After the electricity to the fixture is completely off, get a new ballast, screwdriver, nut driver, wire cutters or strippers and wire connectors ready.
Disassemble the Light Fixture
Remove the fixture cover, and unscrew the bulb. Be careful when handling fluorescent light bulbs as they contain some amount of mercury, which can be harmful to children and pets. Uncover the ballast compartment to reveal the ballast and the internal wiring. Ballast compartments may be attached with clips or wire nuts – which you’ll need to unattach.
Cut the Fluorescent Ballast Wiring
With the ballast compartment open, you’ll find four to eight wires connected to the ballast. Use wire snips or side-cutting pliers to cut all the ballast wiring a few inches from the end of the ballast.
Remove the Ballast
Take out the faulty fluorescent ballast by unscrewing the mounting nuts around it. Keep a hand on the old ballast to keep it from dropping out when the nuts are unscrewed.
Replace the Ballast
Make sure that your new ballast matches the old one, and install the new ballast. Strip the wires back about half an inch. Use twist-wire connectors to connect the ballast wires. Replace the ballast compartment cover and reassemble the light fixture.
Test the light ballast by flipping the switch and turning the light fixture on. If it works without any flickering or a buzzing sound, you’re all done! Your new fluorescent light fixture should be good for another decade.
If you have any further questions regarding your light fixture or the ballast itself, feel free to call Mister Sparky of the Bay Area! Our professionals can help provide you with further instructions or details with your installation.
Contact Mister Sparky Today
Sometimes, electrical projects are better left to the professionals. If replacing your light ballast hasn’t gone according to plan, or your uncomfortable performing electrical tasks, contact Mister Sparky of the Bay Area today. Our licensed and trained electricians have years of experience in installing and replacing light ballasts.
For professional electrical service from an industry leader that you can count on, call Mister Sparky of the Bay Area today!