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O/T Question - fluorescent light ballast

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Claymuncher, Mar 14, 2012.

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  1. Claymuncher

    Claymuncher Member

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    I could not find this info in a search. A fluorescent light ballast, if it does not have the bulbs in it but still has juice to it is it drawing any current at all?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Yes, but very small amount. It it gets warm it is drawing current.

    Jim Skeel
     
  3. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    The old magnetic ones certainly do. I don't know about the newer solid state ones. Probably not since there's no magnetic field. In the magnetic ballasts it's an excitation field which is very minimal.
     
  4. Claymuncher

    Claymuncher Member

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    Thanks for the info, bad for me as I have many fixtures used as indirect light on a cathedral ceiling. As I like to change the lighting for different occasions it is much easier for me to just disconnect a bulb than go through the riggers of unwiring them. Trying to find a way around switches as that would be a bitch. They are the older ballasts.

    What kind of meter do I need to buy to find out how much is being used when disconnected? I need to figure if it is worth running switches.


    CM
     
  5. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    Just use an Amprobe or similar clamp meter, if you use an analog, the meter might not pick up a reading if it is real small, you can wrap a wire around one of the jaws 10 times and hook the load in series through the loop, then divide the reading on the meter by 10
     
  6. Ljutic111

    Ljutic111 TS Member

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    OT but we lost our common and ground leg on the pole overhead before the panel box once and couldn`t get our Trap machines to work or any drill, sump pump or drop light -- anything that worked on 110 volt, but the fluorescent lights worked ?? Found this to be strange !!
     
  7. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    Well since we're on the subject, I have 5 shop buildings, about 17,000 sq ft in total, but one of them, my woodworking shop, when ever there is high humidity, the florescent light won't come on until they have been powered up an hour or two, all the other one work perfectly, and they are all the same make and model

    It drives me crazy, and I have no idea why they do it
     
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