Every do-it-yourselfer has an area that he just does not feel comfortable in. For some people, it is plumbing; for others, it is electrical work. However, even if working with wires intimidates you, one job anyone can do it the wiring of an Advance T5 ballast in a fluorescent light fixture. The ballast is the black, rectangular-shaped box that regulates how much electricity can flow into the tubes. Over time, this ballast will burn out. To replace it, you have to disconnect the wires and wire in a new ballast.
Things You'll Need
- Screwdriver set
- Wire cutters/strippers
- Electrical tape
Cut the power to the fixture. Do this by unplugging the light from its outlet, or, if this is not possible, going to the basement or utility closet and cutting the power at the fuse box.
Access the old ballast. Remove any accessories that are on the fixture, including the light tubes. Then take off the casing. Accomplishing this step requires nothing more than a screwdriver. Once the fixture is open, notice the rectangular black box; this is the ballast.
Disconnect and remove the old ballast. First, clip the four colored wires extending from the ballast to the fixture. Cut them as close to the ballast as possible. Then unscrew the mounting screws holding the ballast onto the fixture. Remove the old ballast.
Strip the wires. Use the wire stripping function of your cutters and take off about 1 inch of insulation from each of the wires coming from the fixture. This will allow you to connect them to the new ballast.
Attach the new Advantage T5 ballast with the same mounting screws. Twist together each colored wire from the new ballast with the same-colored wire from the fixture; black to black, red to red, and so on. Cover each twisted connection with electrical tape to prevent a short, or worse, a house fire.
Reassemble the light fixture and turn back on the power.
- "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Electrical Repair "; Terry Meany; 2000
- "The Complete Guide to Home Wiring: A Comprehensive Manual, from Basic Repairs to Advanced Projects (Black & Decker Home Improvement Library; U.S. Edition)"; Creative Publishing International; 2001
- Photo Credit Pliers and wire cutters image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com
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