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Hi, I have a 250w HPS set up. I used it once last year and worked fine fr the few months needed. Then a few months ago, i wanted to use it again and it was going fine until the light stopped working,... it just kept flickering ... so i bought a new bulb and this one did the same thing, so I gave up that plant. So this past week, i decided it must be cheap bulbs so I bought a new bulb and before I took the old bulb out, i turned on the set up and the bulb worked for the first 18 hour cycle, but then, it just kept flickering when it tried to come back on. Since I had the new bulb, i tried that one, and the same result. I am stumped. It seems the bulbs are okay... so is it the ballast? the setup hasn't been messed with and the cables all seem fine. But if it is the ballast, why would it have worked for 18 hours (after a few months of not being used) and then not work again? Each bulb exhibits the same behaviour... just flickering... oh, i recall last year when this symptom first started, the bulb actually came on after some flickering.. Please help! Do i need to buy a new ballast? is it the reflector?
Could possibly be as simple as a loose wire in the ballast. When its working properly tap on it hard enough to vibrate but obviously not enough to damage anything. If the light flickers or starts showing symptoms again it might just be a wire loose. Otherwise idk it could be something not fixable.
Quote: mushroomyz08 said: Could possibly be as simple as a loose wire in the ballast.....
Magnetic Ballast I assume?
If it is magnetic Unplug wait 30 minutes and take it apart and clean it up and check all the wires like mushroomyz08 suggested.
Mag. Ballast have a Capacitor and a starter(igniter) inside. If either or are bad you can get a flicker start. HPS need a stable High Voltage kick in the ass to ignite. once its burning they want a nice stable upsurged voltage. The igniter provides the kick and if its bad you will never get a full arc and only ever get a flicker.
Typical sign of a fail capacitor is a weak light 20-50% normal brightness. But sometimes it will flicker so its 50/50.
I would check the wires 1st. If that does not help change the starter 250wHPS starters will run you $5-15. If that don't work then the capacitor $5-15.
Sometimes tapping the starter (WHILE UNPLUGGED!!) will get it working again from a long storage time.
Typical Ballast Guts
-------------------- Dr. Glas Plandai Ph.D. Major in Horticulture
Minor in Sustainable Agriculture
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