Replacing fluorescent light ballast


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Old 02-11-23, 12:38 PM
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Replacing fluorescent light ballast

I am replacing an old Magnetek 806-SLH-TC-P ballast for 2 T12 single pin type fluorescent bulbs. It seems the Philiips Lighting 1/2F96T12 ballast (Philips Advance Centium 60-Watt 2-Lamp T12 High Frequency Electronic Replacement Ballast 520403 - The Home Depot) should work. Am I correct about this? However, the wiring on the new ballast is slightly different from that on the old ballast and I'm not sure about the correct way to wire it. The old ballast has 1 red and 1 blue wire on one end and 1 white and 1 black wire on the other end. The new ballast is the same except for an extra blue wire (so it has 2 blue and 1 red wires on one end). What do I do with the extra blue wire? Thank you for any help with this. Attached are some pictures of the fixture and old ballast.

Light fixture

Ballast
 

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02-13-23, 10:06 PM
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Does this help....


It doesn't matter what the colors are on the non-spring sockets.
Just connect all four into one bundle and connect to red.
 
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Old 02-11-23, 12:58 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Now would be the perfect time to switch to fluorescent tubes. The light output is stunning.
I have four of these LED tubes in my shop.

To answer your question directly.... the AC incoming supply goes directly to the sockets at the non spring end. Since these are very high output/high voltage tubes when you take the tubes out of the socket the power is disconnected. This was done for safety from shocks.

This is what you currently have......


This is how the wiring needs to be changed for the new ballast......
 
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Old 02-11-23, 01:20 PM
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Thank you very much Pete! If I understand correctly, the 2 blue wires from the new ballast would go to the sockets on the spring end of the fixture. The red wire from the new ballast would go around to the black and white wire end of the fixture. But where do I splice in the red wire, into the existing white going to the fixtue? or into the black wire? Thanks again.
 
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Old 02-11-23, 01:28 PM
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I noticed that there are 1 white, 1 black and 1 red wire coming from the conduit, the house power supply coming into the fixture. These are the AC wires. The white and black wires (which are heavier guage than the ballast wires) each go into the non-spring end of the fixture, but the red wire is capped off, not attached to anything. Do I attach the red wire from the new ballast to the unattached AC red wire?
 
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Old 02-11-23, 01:40 PM
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More than likely three wire cable was used to feed your light because that's what they had or the white and black is switched while the red and white could be always live. Leave the red wire capped.

You would connect the incoming white and black wires directly to the ballast.
The two blue wires go to each end spring.
The red wire connects to all the wires at the non spring end.
 
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Old 02-11-23, 01:47 PM
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The black and white ballast wires are attached at caps to the same wires going in to the non spring end ( I guess to make replacing the ballast wiring easier). Do I splice into (to split the red wire) the red wire and attach one arm into the black wire cap and the other arm of the red wire into the white wire cap?
 
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Old 02-11-23, 02:02 PM
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Those are two wire sockets. You only need to connect to one wire on each socket.
You can pick one wire from each socket or use all four to connect to the red.
 
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Old 02-11-23, 02:29 PM
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Thanks so much Pete! It will be easier to tap into the existing caps for the ballast wires, so I'll be effectively tapping into all 4 socket wires. Would you know why the old ballast needs only the red and blue wires while the new one needs the extra (blue) wire? I guess it has to do with a difference between the older magnetic versus the newer electronic technology. Thanks again, I really appreciate your help!
 
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Old 02-11-23, 05:14 PM
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The new ballast has two independent drivers in it with red as common.
From red to one blue is one circuit and from red to the other blue is the other circuit.

The old style created a balance across the tube.
Actually a pretty novel idea but not very energy efficient.
 
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Old 02-11-23, 10:15 PM
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I'm trying to understand the flow of electrons through the wiring diagram. It looks like the current from the main supply enters the bulbs at the non spring end, flows through the bulbs to the blue wires and then across to the red wires (via the bridge from the black and white ballast wires), and then returns through the red wire back to the black and white ballast wires. But what happens at the ballast? Does current flow only from the black and white ballast wires through the ballast to the red wires? Or can the current flow from the blue wires back through the ballast to the black and white ballast wires? What controls (or prevents) current flow through the ballast? I see in the diagram that it is grounded.
 
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Old 02-12-23, 04:12 PM
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I purchased 2 Advance ICN-2P60-N ballasts (which is rapid start for twin single-pin T12 bulbs, Advance ICN-2P60-N Centium Fluorescent Ballast - for F96T12ES - Lighting Accessories - Amazon.com), although I originally suggested the ICN-2P60-SC. The wiring for both is the same and the -N was available at a local ACE hardware. I replaced the old ballast in the bank of lights in the picture and made the connections as in the diagram and connected the red wire to the capped black and white wires from the main to the non-spring end of one bulb and bridged a wire from that cap to the other capped black and white wires for the other bulb. After putting the fixture and bulbs back in place and turning the circuit on, I heard a click but none of the lights went on. There is an identical fixture on the other side of the garage and both fixtures are connected to a junction box and run off the same switch. So I have one new electronic ballast in one fixture, which had not been working, and one old magnetic ballast in the other fixture, which had been working. Now none of the lights are working. Is the problem some incompatibility between the different ballasts? Is the ICN-2P60-N the equivalent to the ICN-2P60_SC? Thanks for any help with this.
 

Last edited by Kanfixit; 02-12-23 at 04:17 PM. Reason: adding a link
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Old 02-12-23, 04:46 PM
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I'm not understanding the problem. Most of the 2xF96 ballasts wire the same way.
This diagram is what is seen on all of those ballasts.

 
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Old 02-12-23, 10:01 PM
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Actually many cases newer electronic ballasts are wired differently than the old style magnetic ballast like you have in your fixture. In the old style, the hot and neutral go through the lamp sockets first before going to the ballast. You have to wire the fixture exactly how the label shows on the new ballast.

Also, make sure your lamps/sockets are not High Output (HO)
 
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Old 02-13-23, 09:34 AM
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I think I wired things correctly, but I am concerned about the connections between the red wire and the main wires (black and white). I will take some pictures and post later today. In the meantime, from the diagram, it's not clear to me whether the current enters the tubes or the ballast first. Isn't it moving to both locations at the same time? Regarding high output sockets, these fixtures are about 20 years old, so I think they are pretty standard (or what was standard at the time).
 
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Old 02-13-23, 10:11 AM
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You need to connect the incoming power wiring to the ballast only.
Power wiring no longer goes to the sockets.
Only the red wire connects to those two sockets now.
 
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Old 02-13-23, 11:04 AM
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Well, then that's one problem. The existing wiring had the incoming power going to both sockets. As you'll see in the following pictures, I connected the white and black ballast wires from the new ballast to both the non-spring sockets AND to the incoming power.








 
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Old 02-13-23, 11:24 AM
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The first picture shows the 2 blue wires from the new ballast going into the spring end of the fixture. The second picture shows the red white and black ballast wires going toward the non-spring (main) end of the fixture. The third picture shows the black and white ballast wires spliced into the existing wires going to the main end sockets. The next picture shows the wiring at the main end. The main red wire with the orange cap is not connected to anything. I spliced the red ballast wire into the two existing caps, directly into the white main, and then with a wire bridging to the black main. The last two pictures show the wiring going into and then at the main end tube sockets. So one main end socket has the incoming power and I presume the black ballast wire, while the other socket has the white main wire and I presume the white ballast wire.

"You need to connect the incoming power wiring to the ballast only.
Power wiring no longer goes to the sockets.
Only the red wire connects to those two sockets now."

So, do I need to disconnect the black and white wires (preexisting wires) that go from the main caps (the blacked taped caps in the second to last picture) to the sockets in order to stop main power going there? That would leave the main white wire and red ballast wire in one cap and the main black wire and bridging red wire in the other cap. Then I think only the black and white ballast wires would be connected at the sockets.


 
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Old 02-13-23, 11:46 AM
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After installing the new ballast and turning on the switch to both fixtures, none of the lights worked. Why would the current wiring prevent the other lighting fixture (with the old ballast) from working?
 
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Old 02-13-23, 11:59 AM
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"You need to connect the incoming power wiring to the ballast only.
Power wiring no longer goes to the sockets.
Only the red wire connects to those two sockets now."

Does this mean that the black and white main wires connect directly and only to the black and white ballast wires, and that the red ballast wire should be connected to the existing black and white ballast wires going to the sockets? And that I should disconnect the main wires (black and white) going from the black caps to the sockets?
 
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Old 02-13-23, 12:23 PM
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You have two wires on each non spring end.
That means there are a total of four wires coming from those two sockets.
Connect all four wires together and connect to the red wire.

Doesn't make a difference what colors are currently on the sockets.
 
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Old 02-13-23, 01:42 PM
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If I understand correctly, I should 1) disconnect the new black and white ballast wires from the corresponding wires going to the sockets 2) connect the white and black main wires directly to the white and black ballast wires 3) disconnect the wires between the mains and the sockets 4) disconnect the red wire from the main caps and 5) connect the red wire to the 4 wires feeding into the 2 sockets. Is this right?
 
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Old 02-13-23, 10:06 PM
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Does this help....


It doesn't matter what the colors are on the non-spring sockets.
Just connect all four into one bundle and connect to red.
 
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Old 02-14-23, 05:27 AM
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Yes, that makes the wiring very clear, thank you for taking the trouble to draw it! I wasn't clear about the connection to the mains in the diagram in post #2. It looked to me (untrained in electrical work) that the black and white main wires were meant to be connected to the sockets through the red wire. But I see that's not the case, the only connection between the main and the fixture is through the ballast. I will make the changes, hopefully within a day or so, and report back. Thanks again for all your help!
 
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Old 02-20-23, 10:49 AM
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I finally got to rewiring the connections. After turning the power on, both fixtures are working-the fixture with the new ballast and the fixture with the old which, which had been working before but had stopped due to my original faulty wiring. Thanks very much for your help with this!
 
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Old 01-08-24, 08:46 PM
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I am greatly appreciative of this conversation. I tried it the first time and had success. I have 6 more in my garage that may go out and you folks provided a quick solution. I am greatly appreciative.
 
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Old 01-09-24, 03:48 PM
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Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad this thread helped you!
 
 

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