How to Replace a Light Ballast


Tired of the humming and flickering of your fluorescent light? You may need to change the ballast. The light ballast controls the flow of energy through the light bulb. A ballast that is faulty or has a short may cause the light bulb to hum or flicker. Check the model of your fluorescent ballast by checking the number at the end of the ballast to order a new part and to ensure the replacement part does not cost more than a new light.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire nut
  • Unplug the fluorescent fixture or shut off the power to the socket at the fuse box.

  • Remove the ballast cover using a socket wrench to remove the nut attachment or by unclipping the cover. That exposes the wiring underneath.

  • Cut the old ballast wiring several inches away from the ballast using sharp wire cutters.

  • Unscrew the ballast using a socket wrench to remove the mounting nut. Hold the ballast while your unscrewing it to keep it from dropping.

  • Place the new ballast in place of the old unit. Have someone hold the light in place.

  • Twist the wires of the new ballast to the old wires leading to the light. Cover the connected wire with a wire nut to protect the connection. Restore power and test the light.

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  • Photo Credit fluorescent light starter image by Edsweb from
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