Quick Question for the Electiricians...

Beach'd Out Stoner

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I have a 3' grow space that i'm using and i wanted to use flourescents... so i got 2 4' flors and i cut them into 3' lamps... now when i say i just cut them i really mean that i took the end caps off and i removed all the wiring so that the only thing i was cutting was the hood... so i assembled it all back together and its the perfect size to fit the 3' bulbs... but when i plug it in the bulbs just flicker and turn off... sometimes i can get them to stay on for maybe a min or two but then they turn off... now i looked at the ballast on the lights it says it supports T8 bulbs... and the bulbs i'm using are 3' T8 s so i dont know what to do? what can i do? thanks for the help...
 

Growdude

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Beach'd Out Stoner said:
I have a 3' grow space that i'm using and i wanted to use flourescents... so i got 2 4' flors and i cut them into 3' lamps... now when i say i just cut them i really mean that i took the end caps off and i removed all the wiring so that the only thing i was cutting was the hood... so i assembled it all back together and its the perfect size to fit the 3' bulbs... but when i plug it in the bulbs just flicker and turn off... sometimes i can get them to stay on for maybe a min or two but then they turn off... now i looked at the ballast on the lights it says it supports T8 bulbs... and the bulbs i'm using are 3' T8 s so i dont know what to do? what can i do? thanks for the help...

The bulbs you are using must be listed on the ballast not just the T8 part.
I think you will need a new ballast to support the new bulbs.
 

md.apothecary

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Also check your starters. Sometimes if they get beat around too much, you can damage them and you'll have to get new ones or replace the light.
 

Dubbaman

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IMO if the ballast is rated for the T-8 bulb it should start them (as it is doing) just fine the problem seems (for me) to be in the end caps if the shop lite ends are for a 4' ballast normally that is a T-12 bulb fixture id go to a home store and get different end caps and wire them for your bulbs. cause its that the current isn't keeping up with the different output for the bulb almost like there isn't a strong enough contact
 

Shocked

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there are definitely different ballasts for different size lamps. Be sure to read the ballast before you purchase it, it will look something like this 4T832120 (number of lamps/lamp type/wattage/voltage). It will also say on the ballast what length lamp it will accomodate.
 

medicore

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No one can say really which one it is. When you trouble shoot a flourescent light fixture the ballast can cause the same problems as bad wiring of the tombstones (end caps). If you can say that all the wires went to exactly the same place as before when you shortened the fixture then that is not the problem (unless they were installed poorly), the problem exists in the ballast.
 

Beach'd Out Stoner

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Dubbaman said:
IMO if the ballast is rated for the T-8 bulb it should start them (as it is doing) just fine the problem seems (for me) to be in the end caps if the shop lite ends are for a 4' ballast normally that is a T-12 bulb fixture id go to a home store and get different end caps and wire them for your bulbs. cause its that the current isn't keeping up with the different output for the bulb almost like there isn't a strong enough contact

this is the problem that i'm having... i've decided to give up on it for now... until i can figure it out... i looked on the box and the light needs to have 4' bulbs or else it wont run right... so where can i find the end caps that are for 3' lamps so i can switch them out? can i get them at home depot? what should i be looking for? thanks guys
 

Growdude

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Beach'd Out Stoner said:
this is the problem that i'm having... i've decided to give up on it for now... until i can figure it out... i looked on the box and the light needs to have 4' bulbs or else it wont run right... so where can i find the end caps that are for 3' lamps so i can switch them out? can i get them at home depot? what should i be looking for? thanks guys

The end caps fit or they dont, "the box" are you talking about the ballast?
 

Shocked

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The sockets (end plugs) make no difference when shortening the length of your fixture. Sockets for flourescents fit both T8 and T12. The problem is the ballast. Different ballasts configure to the sockets differently depending on the ballast manufacturer, so you must pay attention to the wiring diagram when changing a ballast.

Example: A sylvania T8 ballast for a 4 lamp fixture has 8 wire leads. A black and a white for power, two blues and two reds that connect to 4 sockets (one wire on each socket) on one side and two yellows that connect to the other 4 sockets (one yellow for two sockets). Whereas an advance ballast only has one yellow wire that connects to all four sockets on the one side.

If you have an older fixture you may have to remove the sockets and see how they are wired to make sure that they coincide with the new ballast you have. You may have to reconfigure your fixture to be able to work with your new ballast, it is very simply just snip, splice and wire nut.

This is my area of expertise so if you are still having problems I can draw out some diagrams and post them so we can get your fixture working :)




PS... Forgot the point I needed to make, lol. You must have a ballast designed for exactly what you want to do. If you have a 3foot 4 lamp fixture then you need a ballast that supports a 3foot 4 lamp fixture, it will say it on the ballast. A 4 foot 4 lamp ballast will not work in a 3 foot 4 lamp fixture you'll just burn out the ballast, and yes even when you plug everything in and the lamps flicker then go out the ballast is still working and since it is the wrong setup for the ballast it is slowly killing itself while the power is on and its life is shortend.

I'm not a big fan of Lowes, but HomeDepot will have the one you need. And just for a bonus here is a little insiders info....If you have a Tristate or a Rexel (eletrical supplyhouses) in your area, get to one of those for your ballasts, you will pay up to $20 less. I pay 9 bucks for ballasts, they are between $25 and $30 at the home improvement joints.
 
T

That crazy vancouver guy

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ok...here's the real scoop. you are trying to use a flo ballast made for 4' tubes to run 3' tubes. - won't work - scrap your original equipment and just go out and buy a 3' flo.

it usually helps if you read warnings and labels on equipment.
 

medicore

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That crazy vancouver guy said:
ok...here's the real scoop. you are trying to use a flo ballast made for 4' tubes to run 3' tubes. - won't work - scrap your original equipment and just go out and buy a 3' flo.

it usually helps if you read warnings and labels on equipment.

Amen!
 
T

That crazy vancouver guy

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hey... how about these words of wisdom.... "you can't stuff a square into a hole made in the shape of a circle"

:woohoo:

lol... I'm sounding like I'm as wise as Stoney Bud now... LOL...

time to smoke some more....:hubba:
 

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