How To Bypass a Ballast To Install LED Tubes?
LED tubes are the perfect solution for long term installation which eliminates the need for the fixture to be replaced. Convert your existing luminaire without needing a comprehensive reinstall. There is a lot of confusion regarding the installation of LED fixtures in the market. Removing a ballast from a fluorescent lighting fixture is not complicated as it seems.
The primary reason for bypassing a ballast is the use of LED tubes which do not require a ballast to operate.
What is Ballast?
A ballast is a part of a fluorescent tube system that regulates electricity and provides enough voltage to the fixture to light the tube. It is a crucial part in the functioning of a fluorescent tube.
A fluorescent tube when switched on needs high voltage for the tungsten filament to heat up and start the tube. For this heating up, a surge of electricity is needed but only for a brief moment. The ballast provides this surge and immediately lowers the electricity. Without this operation, the tungsten would overheat and the tube will explode.
How to Remove a Ballast?
Before you start the process, make sure that you have the below-mentioned tools:
- Wire Cutter
- Wire Connectors (Wire Nuts)
- Nut Drivers or Socket Wrench
- Wire Stripper
- Non-Contact Voltage Tester
Follow The Steps Mentioned Below
Step 1: Turn Off the Power:This can’t be stressed enough! The person who is assigned to bypass the ballast must turn off the power source before starting the process.
Step 2: Find The Ballast:After turning off the power source, must find the ballast, it will be under the tube, covered by a metal plate which will need to be unscrewed
Step 3: Disconnect the ballast:Now, this is the part where you need to pay close attention. The ballast will have an input power, coming from your home’s main electricity line, and an output side which will be giving power to the fixture and the tube. You will need to disconnect both the input and the output wire and then directly connect both of them without the ballast.
Here’s how it will be done. First of all, locate the red or black hot wire going into the ballast. This wire is providing power to the ballast. Cut this wire as close to the ballast as possible. Now cut the white neutral wire as well. Similarly, on the otherwise of ballast there will be two wires (or two sets of wires if the fixture supports two tubes). After disconnecting all the wires from the Ballast, unscrew the ballast housing and remove it.
Step 4: Reconnect the wires:Now that you have removed the ballast, connect the red or black hot wire from one end to the red or hot wire of the tombstone, do the same with the neutral wire. Once you have connected the main live wire to the fixture’s live wire, and the main neutral wire to the fixture’s neutral wire, the bypass process is complete.
Step 5: Check and Track:
- Wear shock-proof gloves to protect yourself from earthing.
- Don’t forget to turn off the power source.
- To prevent wiring damage, do not expose wiring edges of sheet metal or any other sharp objects.
- To avoid potential fire and shock, do not use luminaire employing shunting bi-pin fixture holder.
- Electrician or installer should disconnect the existing wires from fixture holder to make new
- connections instead of cutting the fixture leads.
THE BALLAST MUST BE REMOVED BY THE PERSON WHO IS FAMILIAR WITH THE WHOLE PROCESS OF BYPASSING BALLAST AND IS AWARE ABOUT ITS DANGERS
You can easily remove the ballast without the need of expensive services of an electrician.
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