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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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Old 08-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #11
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Did not have pictures . Today I started all over again. I checked wires inside as much as I vould without taking everything apart. Looks ok.. then I took bylo out and checked both ends ( sockets). One where I saw little smoke, looked yellowish, other ok. I took send paper and with little piece cleaned that socket. I saw little porcelain piece fell. Checked old bulb , it was a live from old bulb. I put new bulb and it works!!!!!! Because that littlevpice was stock there new bulb did not make right connection and could not fire up?!?! Now when everything is clean, bulb qorks... Is that make sense? Couldl that be a reason. Fixture works. But is it safe? What you guys think?
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by artur
Did not have pictures . Today I started all over again. I checked wires inside as much as I vould without taking everything apart. Looks ok.. then I took bylo out and checked both ends ( sockets). One where I saw little smoke, looked yellowish, other ok. I took send paper and with little piece cleaned that socket. I saw little porcelain piece fell. Checked old bulb , it was a live from old bulb. I put new bulb and it works!!!!!! Because that littlevpice was stock there new bulb did not make right connection and could not fire up?!?! Now when everything is clean, bulb qorks... Is that make sense? Couldl that be a reason. Fixture works. But is it safe? What you guys think?
That's exactly what I thought it was in my first post. Sounded like an issue with the socket making connection with the bulb. That's the BEST possible problem to have with a light fixture. It's way more common than people often realize.

Yes, it should be perfectly safe to use as long as the wiring and socket are not damaged. You could change out the socket if your comfortable doing it. It was hard to tell what exactly happened from your post. Was the porcelain piece from your old bulb? If so then all is good. If it's from a chipped socket it should be replaced (very easy to do). Either way, you rock for getting it running again. Great job!!!
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by CorallineAlgae View Post
That's exactly what I thought it was in my first post. Sounded like an issue with the socket making connection with the bulb. That's the BEST possible problem to have with a light fixture. It's way more common than people often realize.

Yes, it should be perfectly safe to use as long as the wiring and socket are not damaged. You could change out the socket if your comfortable doing it. It was hard to tell what exactly happened from your post. Was the porcelain piece from your old bulb? If so then all is good. If it's from a chipped socket it should be replaced (very easy to do). Either way, you rock for getting it running again. Great job!!!
Yes, that little piece was from old bulb. Socket looks ok, just that metal part is little yellow from that little shortage when bulb did not make good conection. I guess I live it or should i replace it...Thank you very much for all your help. I really appreciate it. Thank-you.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artur

Yes, that little piece was from old bulb. Socket looks ok, just that metal part is little yellow from that little shortage when bulb did not make good conection. I guess I live it or should i replace it...Thank you very much for all your help. I really appreciate it. Thank-you.
You're so welcome. I'm glad I was able to help a little. Your socket is probably fine. No need to replace it. It's a relief to hear that it was something so minor. That's a VERY nice light fixture. Glad you don't need to get another one.

I'll have to check and see if you have any pictures of your tank posted next time I go on the PC.
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