Light fixture smoked and made noise


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Old 11-20-22, 10:16 AM
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Light fixture smoked and made noise

The light fixture smoked and made noise. Its an old fixture that's been with the house for for 56 years. I cut the juice and turned the light off and removed the bulbs. I'm thinking about clipping each individual wire and wrapping it with electrical tape and tying them off separately until I get the light fixture replaced





 
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Old 11-20-22, 11:05 AM
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The ballast overheated and probably failed. As long as the power is off it is no problem.

Looks like it is an 8 foot fixture. LED replacement tubes are available that do not need a ballast and the rewiring is simple. Cut the wires close to the ballast and leave them long to the sockets to make rewiring easy.
 
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Old 11-20-22, 11:20 AM
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I can't leave the power off there and I'm not going to rewire it any time soon. Can I cut the wires attached to the ballast, seal each one off for now, and turn the power back on safely?
 
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Old 11-20-22, 11:42 AM
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Or what can I do very easily and very quickly to make it safe and turn the power back on and leave it on?
 
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Old 11-20-22, 12:11 PM
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Hello?
 
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Old 11-20-22, 12:47 PM
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Do I have to do anything at all right now besides leave the light switch off for it to not catch fire??
 
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Old 11-20-22, 12:53 PM
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Cutting the exposed end of the wires -- stripped part of the wires -- so no actual conductor (copper wire) is exposed, taping the tip/end of the wires with electrical tape, and making sure the end of the wires are not in contact with each other for good measure. It should be safe then.
 
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Old 11-20-22, 01:00 PM
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So there are two red power wires coming from the hole at the top where the power is. These are twisted each with a black and a white wire on the one end where the lamps plug in. There is a black and white wire coming from that socket end to the ballast. The other end of the ballast has one red wire and one blue to the other end where the bulbs attach. So if I cut the wires attached to the ballest, disconnect the two red power wires from the black and red wire, and cover each individual wire with electrical tape and keep them separate, it should be ok with the juice on but the light switch off?
 
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Old 11-20-22, 02:29 PM
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If I am reading correctly and from what I see in the photos there are two red wires connected to the wires that come into the fixture from the box above. Cut and cap those separately and it will be safe. If you anticipate rewiring for LEDs, cut them near the ballast (assuming that they go directly into the ballast.)

Edit: I read it again. If the white and black wires are connected to the reds, cut at those connections and cap the reds separately.
 
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Old 11-20-22, 03:02 PM
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Cut the black and white power wires feeding the ballast and cap them. Then the rest of the lights can be used.
 
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Old 11-25-22, 04:52 AM
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If there are markings on the ballast near where each wire enters, label the wires to match. One at a time, cut each wire as close to the ballast as is possible and tape (or cap) its cut end.

You may need another trip to the hardware or big box store to get wire nuts small enough to stay on the wire ends.
 
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Old 01-23-23, 01:28 PM
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Question I tied off the wires inside after removing balast now...?

I tied off the wires after removing the balast. I've read what's here and seen countless videos on youtube on replacing it with LED light connecting to existing wires. How do I get the right light for it that is compatible? Should it come with instructions? What's the worst that could happen if I get the wiring wrong the first or second time? I am not confident in my ability to handle this, especially since the colors and routing of the wires in my case don't match any examples I've seen in the videos etc.
 
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Old 01-23-23, 03:21 PM
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as others have stated this looks to be an 8' fixture

I recommend using one of the 8' to 4' retrofit kits and either use 2 2 lamp ballasts and 4 F32T8 fluorescent tubes (which is what I would do) or just "upgrade" to LED lamps get some type B (Ballast bypass) LED Tubes which is what everyone else here would probably do.

The retrofit kit will make it easier and cheaper to find lamps as the 4' ones are everywhere this more common

if you do the retrofit option save some of the 18AWG wires from the ballast (if sold wire as some of the older ballasts used tinned stranded wires, Universal MFG. Group was one of them) as the 14AWG wire will not fit into the fluorescent lamp holders (Tombstones)

Wire the 120VAC hot and neutral per the wiring directions on the LED "tubes" of your choice
 
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Old 01-24-23, 03:22 AM
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I would replace it with 2 4 foot LED fixtures.

If worried about the install get a knowledgeable friend to help or get in a pro.

 
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