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Commercial Electrical Repair: Repairing Or Replacing Your Electrical Ballast

Commercial Electrical Repair
Reading Time: 2 minutes

There are several key decisions a commercial property owner must make during ownership such as permitting, following code ordinances, insurance, and having the appropriate HVAC and electrical systems for their property. In this article we will be focusing on one of those areas, commercial electrical repair and specifically the difference between repairing or replacing your electrical ballast.

An Electrical Ballast

An electrical ballast reduces the amount of current flow from a power source to a dedicated circuit. Ballasts are manufactured either as fixed or variable resistors. In commercial properties, health care facilities and public institutions, we often see ballasts used where fluorescent or high-density discharge lamps are installed to limit the electrical current passing through the bulbs. An electronic ballast uses solid state electronic circuitry to power discharge lamps, for example when used for indoor and outdoor lighting.

If an electrical device is connected to a constant-voltage power supply, it draws a high amount of current until the device is destroyed or the power supply fails. To avoid this from happening, a ballast is installed to reduce the electrical current (by providing a positive resistance). Neon signs and LED lamps are examples of low-power loads, which normally require a fixed-resistor.

A common fluorescent light used both in residential and commercial property is the T12 tubular bulb, which is ideal for magnetic ballasts. The T indicates the tubular shape of the bulb and the number is the diameter in eighths of an inch or otherwise measured in millimeters. Since lighting and ballast technology have advanced, the trend has shifted towards electrical, making T12s a bit harder to source and more expensive on the U.S. market. If you have T12 bulbs with some life left in them, you can either switch out to an electrical ballast or change your lighting to the more energy efficient T8-type bulb.

Ballast Repair vs. Replacement

To determine if your ballasts should be repaired or replaced, below is a checklist of what signs to look for:

  • Delayed start.
  • New lighting tubes burn out or fail quickly after installation.
  • Flickering or inconsistent lighting levels.
  • Buzzing noise (this indicates that the current is too low or too high).
  • Low output levels.

For energy efficiency, reliability, and longevity it’s recommended to replace electrical ballasts rather than repair them. A certified Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric technician can help you determine the right fixture and most efficient ballast technology for your needs and always with consideration for your budget.

For accuracy and safety, it is imperative to hire a licensed and professional electrical company for commercial electrical ballast replacement. As one of the most comprehensive, highly experienced service providers in Florida, Art Plumbing, AC, & Electric are licensed and certified in commercial and residential electrical repair. With an excellent professional reputation, they are known to provide the highest standard of quality and service to their clients – give them a call today at 1-800-475-1504.


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