How to Repair an HID Ballast

Two HID lamps on an isolated surface.
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-250
What You'll Need
HID ballast kit
New solenoids
Soldering Iron
New ballast system

The controller or intensity regulator for an HID lamp is called an HID ballast It is a great energy-saver, and in the long run, it will save you on the regular maintenance costs that usually occur with regular magnetic ballast HID lamps. In addition, it tends to produce a much higher intensity burst, thereby creating a much stronger light in the lamp. The life expectancy in any lamp that uses an HID ballast is much longer than that of any other type or kind. That being said, your HID ballast can still fail for reasons unknown. For example, it may spark but fail to fully ignite. Fortunately, there are a few ways to go about repairing and fixing an HID ballast.

Step 1 - Check Voltage and Amps

Check to make sure you have the proper voltage and amps for the HID ballast you are running. You can check the amps and volts by using a multimeter. If the voltage or amperage is too high, your ballast could be overloaded. If this is the case, you will need to reset the voltage and amperage appropriately or change the light so that it correlates to the ballast ratings and requirements.

Step 2 - Check the Wiring

Check the wiring on the ballast as well. In order for it to function properly, it must be getting a good ground, and the power supply must also be ample. If you are not getting one or the other, then you will need to adjust the wiring. Purchase a ballast repair kit, review the instructions, and replace or repair the wiring according to directions included in the ballast replacement kit.

Step 3 - Change the Solenoids

Sometimes the solenoids are the problem. See if you spot any corrosion on them upon inspection, and if you do, change them out for new ones.

Step 4 - Solder the Connections

One of the most common problems with an HID ballast has to do with the connections. Sometimes they can come loose and not fit together. To ensure a proper connection, you will want to solder the connections so that they are making good contact with one another. During the installation of the ballast, the manufacturer usually only suggests you crimp the wires together. While this is an acceptable method, it certainly is not the best way and they do tend to come loose. Eventually, you will have to reconnect them to get them to make better contact.

Step 5 - Purchase a New System

If all else fails, purchase a new HID ballast system altogether. This should only be done if all four of the previous steps have failed because it will cost you extra money. Make sure to write down the specifications of your old ballast system when preparing to go shopping for a new one so it will fit correctly and present no problems after installation.