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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3622
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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I am trying to replace a 5 wire ballast (2 red on one end,

Customer Question

I am trying to replace a 5 wire ballast (2 red on one end, 1 blue, 1 white, and 1 red on the other) with a six. This is one of three fluorescents connected a single power source. The new one has 2 blue, 2 red, one black nad one white.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Jason replied 3 years ago.

Jason :

Hello. Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer...

Jason :

Can you provide brand name and part numbers for the two ballasts?

Customer :

Old - Universal

Customer :

New GE

Customer :

NE is GE140RS120-DIY

Customer :

I can't fine a number on the old one. It is a rapid start

Jason :

OK, please stand by while I search for the wiring diagrams.

Jason :

Does this ballast drive only one bulb?

Customer :

Yes

Jason :

Thank you for the additional information. I am still searching for relevant diagrams, but I think I can tell you how to wire the new ballast without a diagram. You will need each socket to have provisions for two wires. Also, you will need to know which of the wires that are connected to the old ballast are the incoming power wires into the fixture. Can you confirm those two conditions for me?

Customer :

The two red wires are attached to the end of the fixture. The blue wire is attached to the other end of the fixture (think). The black is attached to a red wire that goes to the next fixture. The white is to the end of the fixture. There is another wire that seems to loop from the next fixture. There are three fixtures lined up. Each with its own ballast.

Jason :

You stated "There is another wire that seems to loop from the next fixture." What color is that wire?

Customer :

white

Jason :

Connect the two red wires from the new ballast to the two red wires that go into the end of the fixture. One from ballast to one from fixture. Other from ballast to other from fixture. This will be two splices, each on two red wires. One side of each splice comes from the ballast. The other side of each splice comes from the end of the fixture. The red that loops to the next fixture gets the black from the new ballast. The white that loops to the next fixture gets the ballast white. That leaves two blues from the new ballast, correct?

Customer :

Yes. But there is also the white that goes from the ballast to the end of the fixture. The one that loops does not connect to anything.

Jason :

Is the white that comes from the end of the fixture a much smaller size of wire than the two wires that loop into the next fixture?

Customer :

No.

Jason :

The wires coming from the ballast are typically much smaller than the wires that bring power into the fixture. Is this not the case with your light?

Customer :

The power supply comes into the first fixture. The fixture I am working on is the last of the three. I am thinking that the looped wire is coming from the second fixture and and spliced to the wire connected to the third.

Jason :

Can you remove the socket at the opposite end of the fixture from the spliced red wires? I need to know how many wires are connected to that socket, and how many holes are on the back of that socket. If the wires enter into the front of the socket, where you can see them, then you won't need to remove the socket from the fixture. Sometimes the wires enter the back of the socket, sometimes the front.

Customer :

a discover. The first fixture is powered by a three-prong plug.

Customer :

I can't get to the rest right now. It is my mother's house and she started cooking in partial light.

Jason :

OK. I have started a diagram for you. It's almost done. Will you be here for a few more minutes, until I can get it posted?

Customer :

Yes.

Jason :

Thank you. FYI- you will see a gray wire on the diagram. That represents the white wire from the ballast. I made it gray because white won't show up on your computer screen.

Customer :

Do I attach both blue wires to the single blue?

Jason :

Probably not. It really depends on how the blue socket is wired. Can you see the wires entering that socket?

Customer :

But there is only one blue wire going into the end of the fixture.

Jason :

Each pin on the end of the bulb gets referenced to a blue wire. This means the socket should have an imaginary line drawn down the center of it, dividing it in half. Each blue wire connects to one half of the socket. It's not uncommon to have to rewire sockets when crossing ballast brands. To do this right, we have to know how many wires enter that socket, and how many ports for wires the socket has.

Customer :

So I need to take the fixture down and apart?

Jason :

Yes, unfortunately. That's very common too. I always try to buy replacement ballasts that match up wire for wire, color for color. But that's not always possible. When it isn't, I have to rewire the sockets.

Customer :

I will try that tomorrow and reply back to you. I presume I can indicate my satisfaction throught the email?

Jason :

Well, when you are satisfied, your clicking Accept indicates that, and ensures that I get paid for my time. We only get paid when the customer clicks the Accept button.

Customer :

Thanks. I will let you know how it works out.

Jason :

You may have to replace that one socket, if it doesn't have the appropriate wiring ports on it.

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