Author Topic: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast  (Read 755 times)
good223
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How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « on: September 27, 2020, 09:36:27 PM » Author: good223
Does anyone have some info about replacing tar inside a ballast? I have a ballast that's extremely loud and buzzy. I'd like to replace the tar  with fresh tar to make it quiet again.

Where can I get new tar for this application?

This is the fixture I want to do it on. It's a top mount 2x40w HPF ballast.
https://www.lighting-gallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=11782&pos=13&pid=123608
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RyanF40T12
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #1 on: October 04, 2020, 01:29:13 PM » Author: RyanF40T12
The coil and other components are likely worn out as well.  You need to replace this ballast.  What type of bulbs are you using it on? 
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good223
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #2 on: October 04, 2020, 02:25:07 PM » Author: good223
The coil and other components are likely worn out as well.  You need to replace this ballast.  What type of bulbs are you using it on? 

I can't really replace it easily. It's a top mount ballast.

40w f40t12. The ones it was rated for.
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Xytrell
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #3 on: October 04, 2020, 11:39:28 PM » Author: Xytrell
I don't understand. You can't replace it easily? Your proposition of removing it, repotting it, and reinstalling it is a lot more labor intensive by comparison.
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good223
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #4 on: October 04, 2020, 11:48:33 PM » Author: good223
I don't understand. You can't replace it easily? Your proposition of removing it, repotting it, and reinstalling it is a lot more labor intensive by comparison.

It's a special top mount ballast. The wires come out from the bottom instead of the ends. The ballast is mounted on top of the fixture channel and the wires thread directly into the fixture via holes in the channel.

Looking at it from the outside, you won't see any wires.

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RyanF40T12
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 12:44:49 AM » Author: RyanF40T12
what about drilling holes in the channel for the side wires
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good223
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #6 on: October 05, 2020, 01:03:13 AM » Author: good223
what about drilling holes in the channel for the side wires

I could do that but I'd like to keep it original.
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joseph_125
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 01:56:18 AM » Author: joseph_125
I wonder if you can try reflowing the existing potting with some heat so it melts into any gaps that might have opened up over the years like what Don mentioned on your picture.

Alternately you could probably try to modify a newer preheat ballast to have either have leads coming out the back or fabricate a adapter plate to mount a newer style ballast in the existing top mount.
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good223
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #8 on: October 05, 2020, 02:26:17 AM » Author: good223
I wonder if you can try reflowing the existing potting with some heat so it melts into any gaps that might have opened up over the years like what Don mentioned on your picture.

Alternately you could probably try to modify a newer preheat ballast to have either have leads coming out the back or fabricate a adapter plate to mount a newer style ballast in the existing top mount.

If i remember correctly the tar is all dried up already... chunks floating around inside. Could i use some sort of roofing tar to replace the dried up tar?
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Bottled lightning
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #9 on: October 07, 2020, 08:04:44 PM » Author: Bottled lightning
Probably, I would avoid the stuff that is gooey at room temperature.

I have heard of people depotting other types of transformers by using kerosene to dissolve the old tar (obviously donít do this indoors).

While youíre at it I would also replace the wires and capacitor.
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good223
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Re: How to repot/replace tar inside ballast « Reply #10 on: October 08, 2020, 01:46:39 PM » Author: good223
Probably, I would avoid the stuff that is gooey at room temperature.

I have heard of people depotting other types of transformers by using kerosene to dissolve the old tar (obviously donít do this indoors).

While youíre at it I would also replace the wires and capacitor.

Any tar brand suggestions? I've never worked with roofing tar before.
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