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Old 08-25-2012, 06:13 PM   #1
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light question

Hi. For last 4 years I own Current Orbit 48" 2MH and 4 T5. Last two bulbs changes I have problem with 1 MH bulb ok the same balast. Got lucky last time, it finally light up. This time it cant. I even see some smoke coming for10 sec.. Is it ballast? And most important. Can I still use that light with only one MH working? Until I figure it out ? Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
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If it was the ballast you can smell it. It will smell like an electrical burn. At least that`s what it was like with mine. The smoking is definitely not a good thing.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:13 PM   #3
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Smoke was coming from that bulb.... When I tried again it start lighting up but stoped. Anyway can I still use that light with just one MH bulb working? Until I figure that out?
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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Are there separate ballasts for each MH? If so, then all you need to do is unplug the problem ballast and just run the one MH and T5s. If you have an old bulb that still lights you could test it to make sure it isn't a bulb issue. !!!!Unplug the ballast first!!!! and clean out the socket with a pencil eraser. It may sound strange but an eraser does a good job of cleaning out corroded single end light sockets. If you happen to have a double ended socket cleaning it out is tricker. What makes me think it could hopefully be a socket issue is that normally when a ballast goes out it smokes from the ballast and not the socket. If corrosion at the socket makes a short and the ballast still functions it will "burn" the socket at the short. If that's the case, you'll have to replace the ruined socket.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:02 PM   #5
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It is double ended socket. I paid 800$ 4 years ago. It is good brand. I was happy but now... Where should I start? I don't want to burn my house either?
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by artur
It is double ended socket. I paid 800$ 4 years ago. It is good brand. I was happy but now... Where should I start? I don't want to burn my house either?
That really is a good fixture. Even though it's four years old the manufacturer may be able to tell you on what part of their fixture needs to be replaced. If I had it in front of me it would be easier to help you. If you've never wired a MH ballast from scratch it may be something you need to have someone help you with. Do you know anybody who has DIY experience? Honestly, it's insanely easy and typically only has three wires to connect, but you have to be really confident about it and have a wording diagram from the manufacture if it's your first time. They probably have it online. Still, if you have a buddy whose an electrician or have a multimeter you can easily tell if the ballast is still good.

First thing you'll want to do is disassemble the fixture and carefully look over the wiring to see if it's burned or cut anywhere inside the fixture. Sometimes a sharp metal edge can damage a wire after a few years and cause a short. After that, you'll have to use a multimeter. Do you own one?
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:16 AM   #7
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I would not want to risk losing everything in a fire, not to mention my life and others'. My aunt had an aquarium light catch on fire and it was caught just in time. No amount of savings by not buying a new one can justify the risk.
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by clearancepuppy
I would not want to risk losing everything in a fire, not to mention my life and others'. My aunt had an aquarium light catch on fire and it was caught just in time. No amount of savings y not buying a new one can justify the risk.
These problems are easy to safely fix by people who know how to do it. Even if the OP doesn't know how to do it himself (which is totally normal BTW) it's still cheaper to hire an electrician or send it to the company for repair than to buy a new fixture. You don't have to build a new house if one outlet shorts out. As long as the problem gets repaired everything will be good as new.

Though, I totally understand your point. Safety has to come before everything else. That's why getting a professional to service it isn't a bad idea. Still, lots of people, including me, have been wiring their own and other peoples ballasts for years.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:39 AM   #9
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I tend to worry excessively about what can go wrong. I did not mean to offend and/or oversimplify the issue.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by clearancepuppy
I tend to worry excessively about what can go wrong. I did not mean to offend and/or oversimplify the issue.
No no no. You didn't offend anyone. Nobody can fault you for being careful. ~_^
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