How to test an Electronic ballast with a Digital Multimeter- Do it Yourself

Most probably you have faced some issues with fluorescent light like flickering, delayed starting, dark portions in rod, or imbalanced lighting in your room. These problems show that there is some problem with the electronic ballast of your light.

On behalf of our experience, we could say that it may be harmful for fluorescent light and needs your attention to fix electronic ballast as soon as possible.

Don’t worry you don’t need to be an expert electrician to do that. In this guide, we’ll give you some simple steps by which you can learn how to test an electronic ballast with a digital multimeter. Kindly follow the steps given below,

Steps to test Electronic ballast with a Multimeter

Physical checkup

  • The first step is to turn off power coming to the light/ballast and wait for 5 minutes at least, let it be deenergized completely before the further inspection.
  • Remove the ballast cover from its place with help of a screwdriver, make sure it’s not too hot yet. Do it with help of safety gloves.
  • Now examine it physically first, look for any sign of spark, eruption, oil leakage or wear and tear. Replace it immediately if you clearly found any of these signs.

Testing Electronic ballast with Multimeter

For this arrange a top quality electronics multimeter. Set multimeter on lowest resistance range if you have a manual range meter. In auto range multimeter one doesn’t need to set the range before testing. You may also use an analog meter for this purpose.

  1. After setting multimeter on resistance, connect both of its leads with one another and verify that meter is working accurately. You should have a multimeter’s reading of 0.1 or 0.2 ohms to make sure that the multimeter and its leads are fine.
  2. Usually, there are three types of wires connected to ballast circuit. The two of them are power wires, yellow and blue in color. White colored wire is for neutral.
  3. You can also do this test if your multimeter has a continuity test parameter.
  4. Now connect one lead of meter with white and other with yellow and white wires respectively, if the blast is fine meter should read continuity.
  5. If things are not in this way in your case and wires are not giving continuity beep, you should now replace that electronic ballast.
  6. If this portion is working finely, you should further remove nut bolts of blast for testing low voltage side of transformer, the side which actually feeds power to fluorescent light.
  7. Now check continuity of black (power wire) and neutral wire. If continuity is ok then there is no problem with electronic blast.

What is an Electronic ballast?

Electronic ballast is a device that actually controls starting voltage and currents flowing in illumination devices like a fluorescent light. It operates on the principle of electrical gas discharge theory. It enhances power frequency to a very high level that lets begin a gas discharging process in fluorescent bulbs or lights. All of this happens under voltage and current control by ballast in the lamp area.

Final Tips

If you have completely examined electronic ballast by these steps and found it ok but still your gas filled lights are not working properly then you should go for some further tests. You should see if all wires are firmly connected to their points, there should be no loosing. Also check the physical condition of fluorescent light or bulb, any signs of breakage etc.