Author Topic: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures?  (Read 3845 times)
bulb_tester2009
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #15 on: July 17, 2022, 10:27:23 PM » Author: bulb_tester2009
I had an 80w MV ballast short out with a spectacular display of fireworks and electrical arcing sounds. It was so intense that it fried the power strip it was plugged into yet somehow the lamp survived the carnage and still works.
A friend of mine also encountered an explosion of a magnetic ballast, causing the main switch of the whole residential building to trip.The reason is that the magnetic ballast exploded and caught fire because the ballast exceeded the rated voltage for a long time and the insulation layer was scraped open to check whether it was a copper coil.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2022, 10:29:37 PM by bulb_tester2009 » Logged

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由于我来自中国,所以英语不精通,大部分内容都是翻译的,所以可能不通顺,请大家谅解
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #16 on: July 17, 2022, 10:33:03 PM » Author: bulb_tester2009
A friend of mine also encountered an explosion of a magnetic ballast, causing the main switch of the whole residential building to trip.The reason is that the magnetic ballast exploded and caught fire because the ballast exceeded the rated voltage for a long time and the insulation layer was scraped open to check whether it was a copper coil.
Including, I also have a friend of my age. A inferior ballast emitted white smoke, causing the end cap to melt and crack the surface core due to high temperature.
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I've been collecting light bulbs since I was 2 years old and I've been collecting them ever since.
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由于我来自中国,所以英语不精通,大部分内容都是翻译的,所以可能不通顺,请大家谅解
Note:
Bulb base in China:E12(CES) E14(SES) B22d(BC) E27(ES) E40(GES)

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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #17 on: July 26, 2022, 12:32:44 AM » Author: 108CAM
I need to mention a street light fire that happened around 2003. A Sylvania Roadster about 2 KM's from my house had a faulty ignitor that caught fire. When I was going out with my mum to get KFC for dinner, my mum spotted a flame coming from the top of the light. At this point, the emergency services had already been called. Fast Forward to 2022 and a fellow lighting enthusiast not on LG told me that there was a recall on Sylvania Roadsters due to faulty ignitors and that the recall happened in the early 2000's. 
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #18 on: July 26, 2022, 02:29:14 PM » Author: AngryHorse
Mostly fluorescent choke’s I get called out to at work when they melt and trip all the lights out in our paint shop!
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #19 on: July 27, 2022, 03:59:36 PM » Author: Molly
Never
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #20 on: July 31, 2022, 07:10:51 PM » Author: xelareverse
Yep.
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #21 on: August 05, 2022, 10:46:28 PM » Author: joseph_125
I once blew up the discharge resistor on a capacitor I was using with a 1000w MH ballast. Made a rather loud arc sound. The capacitor was fine though. It turns out the resistor wasn't rated to take the ~480v coming from the ballast.
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #22 on: August 09, 2022, 04:34:54 AM » Author: 108CAM
The only other ballast failure I've encountered was with a 50w MV ballast that worked normally for about 3 seconds before making a pop sound and going open circuit.
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #23 on: August 09, 2022, 01:02:35 PM » Author: Michael
No explosion from a ballast but from worn out capacitor which violently broke the lanterns frame and tripped the main fuse in the street lighting switch board. 
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #24 on: August 09, 2022, 09:49:01 PM » Author: icefoglights
Had a capacitor in a mercury vapor fixture blow.  Not a fan of oil filled caps after that  :lol:
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #25 on: August 10, 2022, 02:09:41 AM » Author: Michael
I’m glad that those that fail in that way are filled with vegetable oils without PCBs.  - Just one time happened that a PCB filled cap exploded in a meat slicer. What a mess.

But back to the topic, the weakest ballasts which can fail and set the entire fixture on fire - if made of GRP - were the leak transformers for SOX lamps, those which did not have a thermal cutout installed.
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #26 on: May 11, 2024, 02:34:19 AM » Author: ace100w120v
I've had a few of those little 14/15/20w preheat chokes get smoked
A 2xF40 RS went up in smoke in my bedroom (it had been thermal-cycling for months before that, but I thought nothing of it since I'd seen lights in school do the same)
Had a few of the little ballast/choke things in those LOA F40 shoplights go up in smoke.
A 2xF32 electronic RS ballast in a fishtank light was probably the most recent smoker..
(most electronic's I've found "just die" which is far better)

Those sketchy LOA capacitive sidac things sure did tend to release the magic smoke. Forgot about them and the normal-power-factor rapid start ballasts that would thermally cycle with 34 watt 'energy saver' lamps.
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #27 on: May 11, 2024, 03:19:19 AM » Author: LightsAreBright27
I once got two electronic ballasts from outside. One exploded due to a short and on one I experimented connecting one end of one tube and one end of another tube. Both tubes glowed until a pop happened.
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #28 on: May 11, 2024, 11:39:55 PM » Author: Richmond2000
grade 12 in highschool a cat decided to climb the power pole and got across the top HV line and the secondary of one of the phases causing a massive spike in voltage on one of the phases before the transformer exploded and 1/3 of the lights ballasts blew up some with a load bang
and the schools boiler pump was cooked so we had NO heat and 1/3 of the lights out for a few weeks as they got everything sorted including replacing loads of ballasts and tubes 1/3 of a schools worth with an enrollment of about 900 students

mid 2000's the garage I worked in was lite with F40 t12 floros and mostly GE value line chokes from the 80's and they liked to fail leaking out the tar in them and letting the magic smoke out sometimes - we had a bucket truck I used to change them
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Re: Have you ever encountered a ballast explosion, smoke or other failures? « Reply #29 on: May 12, 2024, 01:25:46 PM » Author: wide-lite 1000

 I've never had a ballast blow but I've seen a couple do it . I have had a capacitor release the magic  smoke inside my Norelco 180w SOX streetlight . Also , back in my teen years , I wired a 50w HPS ballast improperly causing the lamp to grenade into schrapnel all over my bed room !!  :poof: I wasn't allowed to mess with lights in my room after that one !
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