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CrankyDoug 11-22-18 01:22 PM

UV water sterilization - ballasts by the dozen
Several years ago I purchased an undercounter UV sterilizer and filtration system. It worked great as long as the filters were replaced regularly.

But the UV light ballast had to be replaced every six months or so. I finally got tired of buying ballasts and removed the system. It is cheaper to boil water or simply buy cases of bottled water.

I see UV water kits on ebay now that come with two or three extra ballasts. Doesn't anybody sell a system with a ballast that is not a consumable?

The same applies to UV devices made to install in HVAC ducts. I've never had one last longer than three months. I can understand consumable bulbs, not conumable ballasts.

What am I missing?

oil pan 4 11-22-18 04:29 PM

Figure out what voltage and power it uses and get a ballast transformer.
That'swhat I did.

Geo NR Gee 11-24-18 12:05 PM

Is it because of dirty power? Back in 1983 or so, I would always go through light bulbs. Someone told me that I had dirty power. I just looked it up....

“Dirty power” is an abnormality in the power quality that is being delivered to a system. These abnormalities can include low power factor, voltage variations, frequency variations, and surges. All electrical systems are based on a supply of power at a certain voltage and frequency.

Do ballast transformers help eliminate that?

CrankyDoug 11-24-18 12:31 PM

CFL's and other devices with switching supplies go poof if the input voltage drops enough. The manufacturers could eliminate that by putting a simple shut-down circuit in the device input, but then they couldn't sell as many replacements. I've lost a few computer power supplies that way. Now I use a UPS for my computer equipment.

You are probably right about that aspect of dirty power.

Magnetic ballast transformers are inherently more tolerant than switching supplies that lack low voltage protection. Finding a transformer ballast with the right specs might be a problem. Last time I went to Home Depot for a ballast they didn't have any transformer type devices. Perhaps their switching ballasts are better quality than the junk that comes with the UV sterilizers. I've replaced dozens of magnetic ballasts with switching-type replacements in commercial lighting with no noticable problems.

oil pan 4 11-25-18 05:32 PM

Ballasts just don't care.
I have some industrial 1.7kw UV tubes. At work they use some really expensive electronic ballast, something to the tune of $4,000 and they last a year or 2 at most.
I use a sodium lamp ballast.
Makes about 400 to 440 open current and around 200 under load.

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