Author Topic: PSMH Troubleshooting  (Read 1766 times)
tmcdllr
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PSMH Troubleshooting « on: September 09, 2011, 01:54:17 AM » Author: tmcdllr
I have a new, 50 watt PSMH fixture complete with a new bulb that does not light up. I can hear the ballast hum but the lamp does not strike, and it seems to be a cheap Chinese lamp. What are some quick, easy ways to troubleshoot this? I don't see any loose wires. I'm wondering if I put an incandescent lamp in it and it lights up, that would at least tell me the socket is getting power but should I be doing this? I don't have another MH lamp to try, any suggestions?

Thanks
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Medved
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Re: PSMH Troubleshooting « Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 02:58:12 AM » Author: Medved
If the ballast does not warm up significantly and does not cause any sparking related smell (ozone,...), it is likely OK.
Connect some higher power fluorescent to it. If it flicker and/or light up, the ignitor is OK.
Then try to connect some lower power merc. If it light up, the ballast itself is OK as well. You may measure the ballast current, it should be about 0.7..1A (depend on arc voltage).
Alternative is to measure the short circuit current - it have to be about 1..2A.
If all these show the ballast is good, the lamp is most likely faulty
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tmcdllr
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Re: PSMH Troubleshooting « Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 03:07:09 AM » Author: tmcdllr
There is no arcing or ozone smell, I'm starting to think more and more its the lamp. I have a 50w mercury lamp...would that be ok to try?

Otherwise I will have to order a 50wPSMH lamp.
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icefoglights
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Re: PSMH Troubleshooting « Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 03:55:56 AM » Author: icefoglights
You say the ballast hums?  What is the hum like?  Is it a soft hum, like the one a ballast would make during operation, or is it a loud buzz, like an HPS ballast while attempting a hot restrike?  That could indicate operation of the starter.

You can disconnect the starter, than measure the socket voltage.  It should be at least 240 volts, if not higher.  If that checks out fine, reconnect the starter and try the 50 watt mercury lamp.  I don't know how different it's voltage or current requirements are from 50 watt PSMH, so I wouldn't let it run up, but if it strikes, you know the ballast and starter are working.

As far as lamps go, I don't know what you have available there, but most Lowes i've been to sell Sylvania protected style PSMH lamps in the 50 watt size.
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tmcdllr
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Re: PSMH Troubleshooting « Reply #4 on: September 09, 2011, 04:34:41 AM » Author: tmcdllr
I will check out Lowe's.

The ballast makes a soft hum like during normal operation.
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Re: PSMH Troubleshooting « Reply #5 on: September 09, 2011, 05:10:38 AM » Author: Ash
If that checks out fine, reconnect the starter and try the 50 watt mercury lamp

I think the lamp would start without the starter too, so it does not tell the condition of the starter
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Medved
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Re: PSMH Troubleshooting « Reply #6 on: September 09, 2011, 06:50:05 AM » Author: Medved
The MV should start without the ignitor.
The 50W MV is 0.6A/93V, MH is 0.75A/75V, so the MV would be slightly overdriven, but for short test it should be OK (I would expect about 0.65..0.7A with the MV after warmup).

As Icefoglights wrote, if the hum is only "soft" and the MV light up, the fault may be in the ignitor. Then try it with some thinner (krypton filled) fluorescent (e.g. F32T8), with correct ignitor it should be at least flashing.
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Re: PSMH Troubleshooting « Reply #7 on: September 09, 2011, 10:50:37 PM » Author: icefoglights
Your right, the MV would probably light without the ignitor.  Best check for that would me a known good lamp, either a new 50 watt MH, or a known good medium base HPS lamp.  I would not let the HPS lamp run up, but if it strikes, the ignitor is good.  If not, you'll have to track down a replacement, or try to get a warranty replacement on the fixture.
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Re: PSMH Troubleshooting « Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 02:52:29 AM » Author: tmcdllr
Alright so I tried a new lamp in it and the same thing happens. I tried an incandescent lamp in it and the lamp lights, during this time there was no ignitor clicking at so I thought the ignitor was bad. So, I put in a new ignitor, plugged it in with the PSMH lamp, and it struck and reached full brightness. But, the next time I powered up the light the exact same thing happened, so now I'm not sure what to think. Could both ignitors now be bad? The ballast had a soft hum and lit an incandescent lamp. I'm wondering now if I should just change it to a mercury ballast. I sure wish I knew what was going on and what is wrong so I could get this working properly.
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Re: PSMH Troubleshooting « Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 03:34:40 PM » Author: Ash
Some ignitors are attempting to be "smart" and go off if they sense a faulty lamp. After disconnecting th epower for a minute or so they'll work again

Is there a tap on the ballast for the ignitor ? If yes, this tap alone may be faulty, thats why the ballast works in all the tests without the ignitor. Try to tighten it if there is a screw. Try an ignitor of different type that does not need that tap, but compatible with the ballast and lamp

Test the ignitors and lamps on a different ballast

Do you have a non-contact voltage tester ? I think it should be able to tell for sure whether ignition voltage is present or not - hold it near (but dont touch) the isolated wire with the ignitor disconnected and see the brightness, and compare to when ignitor is present
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