There is no way I can cover all the safety elements when dealing with ballasts and such, but I will cover some basics here, to help you prevent injury or worse. This page shouldn't be seen as a comprehensive tutorial on electrical safety.
Most of our ballasts use 120VAC, and you must connect to power. This means you should use proper switches and such. Common home light switches you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot are fine. you should always connect the neutral wire direct to the circuit (usually the white wire) and switch only the black wire (hot). 230v ballasts require you switch both.
All of our ballasts are case ground. This means there is no "green" wire, you need to run a wire directly to the case of the ballast to the ground wire in your circuit. Failure to do so could cause a nasty shock, or even electrocution, in the event of a ballast failure. The wire you run from the ballast to your ground wire should typically be 14 gauge, and can be wrapped under one of the mounting screws. As long as all your ballasts are connect to the same circuit and they are close together, it is fine to have a single ground wire connected to all the ballasts.
If you don't own a volt/ohm meter (VOM), or don't know how to use one, you probably need to have someone else do your wiring. A VOM is pretty basic equipment that you will have to have to do much of anything.
The voltage coming out of the ballasts jumps to 600V at start, and operates at over 100,000hz. That is enough to really, really hurt. Best case, your arm tingles for an hour, worse case, you die. Don't ever leave spare red wires exposed or just taped. You really need to cap them, and don't fire up the ballast until you have done so. I've been hit by the end of one before, I promise that it is a new kind of hurt that doesn't just go away.
All our lamps and ballasts are designed to operate under pretty extreme circumstances. They can operate in fairly high moisture, outdoor fixtures, warehouses, any industrial setting. What they can't do is be exposed directly to the elements. They do operate at high voltages, and if you get water on the lamps ends, you will see a light show and ruin some equipment. Maybe even get hurt.
Do not operate UV lamps in an open environment. UV damage is cumulative, meaning it adds up over time. You skin can protect itself by tanning, your eyes can not. Repeated exposure of even a little over a long period of time can cause blindness. Really good sunglasses are probably ok for a few seconds to check something (although according to OSHA, they are not) but if you have to be around the lamps regularly, you MUST buy and wear protective eyewear designed to protect from 100% of UVA and UVB. Not doing so will cause "Arc Eye
Don't overload a circuit. All the ballasts have a maximum amp draw listed on them, although the ballast will usually draw less as the ballasts are designed for multiple applications. If you are using a bunch of ballasts on one circuit, you need to know the exact amp draw of the ballast for how you are using it (call and ask us if you aren't sure) and never put more than 80% of load on a circuit. This means never put more than 16 amps of load on a 20 amp circuit, or more than 12 amps of load on a 15 amp circuit. And if you are using so many ballasts that this is even a consideration, you should be using a dedicated circuit, one that isn't shared with anything else in your building.
Our ballasts are designed for either short cycles, or will run for days on end. While they are cool running for shorter cycles (less than an hour) they will heat up if used days on end. As such, you should make accommodations for this. This means don't mount them flat on wood, instead use a nut or several washers to shim them, so they have at least a 1/4 inch gap, and make sure they are so the heat can be dissipated to the open air and not in a sealed box. Cooling fans are usually not needed unless you are running a lot of fans or they are mounted in a fairly closed area.
Back to Support