Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Best Tutorials for Ballast and Starter Replacement? (

MinaMinaMina 02-03-2012 01:55 AM

Best Tutorials for Ballast and Starter Replacement?
Yup yup, just like the title says!

I'm looking for the bestest, most very clearest and straight forwardest tutorial for each- replacing a ballast and replacing a starter on a double lamp T8 fluorescent fixture. And remember- these instructions are for ME, a complete klutz and electrical noob who has a sizable fear of getting shocked after a scarring incident with exposed appliance wires. (I think I still twitch a little when I think about that night. lol)

Tonight I acquired a double light fixture that only runs one lamp. I'm really, really hoping to get it fixed by TOMORROW night (Friday 2.3) because my local swap meet is Saturday and I need to know before hand if my light will be running before I blow a bunch of money on plants. Ya dig?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Mikaila31 02-03-2012 12:48 PM

I can certainly help there, but I need to know what the fixture is exactly. A dual fixture running one bulb isn't normal... If you could take it apart and post pics it would be best.

Other then that my thread on the DIY page goes in quite a bit about how electronic ballasts are wired. If you have a starter then the ballast is likely magnetic. If it was me I would just put an electric one in there if you are going to replace it.

MinaMinaMina 02-03-2012 02:14 PM

Thanks for the help, Mikaila31, I really appreciate it.

This is where I am now...equal parts happy and frustrated.

On the side that wasn't working, I first replaced the starter. That did the trick! Its working! YAY!

However... I went to replace the starter on the other lamp, because it was doing the "lit only at the ends of the lamp" thing and I read that was a sign of a bad starter (and it was a pack of two starters I bought, so why not?). And I can't get the stupid starter out! I know I have to push down and turn it counter clockwise, right? It moves a bit, maybe an eighth of a turn, back and forth. But I can't get the *bleep* out. My fingers are sore! Any suggestions?

MinaMinaMina 02-03-2012 04:17 PM

Handled. Boom. Like a boss.

Thanks for you help, Mikaila31! I finally had to destroy the old starter, break it into bits to get it out. But the socket was unharmed. Now I just have to mount the fixture back in the casing, and I have a fully functional double lamp T8 fixture for the whopping bargain of just $2! WOO! (i've been waiting for this for months. If feels good. :-D)

beetlebz 02-10-2012 02:49 PM

hehe starters on aquarium fixtures have a NASTY tendency to get a little corroded and STUCK. the BAD news is the inside of that starter socket is probably horrifying. Swapping out to an electronic ballast is pretty easy though, so if you want to try it in the future shoot me a PM and I can make you a video about how to do it. I actually wanna do the dual tube fixture on my 55... but honey!! I HAVE to go spend money at home depot! the forum is COUNTING on me!! :lol:

I still want to disassemble the wiring on my 110g canopy so I can fix the wood, then make a video about how to wire the light... it literally took me about 9 minutes to replace the VHO ballast with a single electronic one lol

Reefing Madness 02-12-2012 11:00 AM

beetlebz 02-12-2012 12:01 PM

those guys are punks, Ill do it for rizzle :)

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