help!!! my plants are sitting in the dark-mh light not lighting!

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)October 22, 2005

I have a Sun Systems 1000W MH system. Last night it was working fine, right up till the timer shut it off at 7:00. I slept in today and got up at 10:30 and noticed that the plants were sitting in the dark. I checked everything, and noticed that the ballast was on and warm (the green light was also on on the ballast) but no light. The cords all seem connected. Then I replaced the bulb (always good to keep a spare on hand!) and still, nothing. I can't leave my plants in the dark for a week while I figure this out! Any idea what the problem might be??

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beaniebeagle

did you have a power flicker?
alot of ballasts wont restart immediately if they have a short power outage, think mine took an hour one time to get the bulb lit up again....is the ballast still on? or did you turn it off after you noticed the problem?

do you have a voltmeter?? you can check the plug on the ballast and where the bulb screws in to see if there's power/isolate where the problem is

hopefully its just a loose cord

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 1:46PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I don't have a voltmeter. I left the ballast off for three hours and tried again...still, nothing.

The ballast is getting power, that much I can tell. Can't tell if the socket is though.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 3:35PM
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lightmaster(z8 Salem, Ore.)

Since it is a MH, an ignitor is not present...check that off the list

Check the socket...a wire may have popped off as the thing cooled...look inside it and look for wires...the slightest breakage will prevent it from lighting...

~J~

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 6:03PM
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beaniebeagle

do you have a local hydroponics or other store that sells them?, they will likely help if you take it there

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 6:15PM
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DanaNY(z6 Astoria, NY)

Ouch, that sucks. I keep spotlight grow lights as backup (works fine in an emergency), but that probably won't help you if you had enough plants for 1000 watts.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 9:28PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Spotlights won't help but I do have a halogen "work light" in the garage (dual-500 watt) that is almost as bright. Too hot for permanent use but might tide them over.

I'll start looking for loose wires.

There are NO hydroponics stores (that I'm aware of) within a 40 mile radius of where I live. And I'm in a large metro area...apparently hydroponics isn't that popular where I live.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 10:05PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

The halogen will give you about a quarter of the light you had before, not great but better than nothing.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 7:40AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I just contacted Sunlight Supply and asked if there is a ballast warranty. Perhaps there is!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 12:05PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Warranty wasn't happening. I paid $100 and got a slightly used Hydrofarm ballast from a local greenhouse that was liquidating equipment.

Oddly enough, I noticed that my Agrosun Gold bulb burns about 15% brighter than it did before the old ballast went out. Perhaps it was going bad before I knew it was.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 11:01PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Well...now the new ballast is fried. I got a third one today and plugged it into a different outlet with a new bulb and new surge protector. Well it works, but it's 20% as bright as it should be.

What the he&& is the problem here? Why is my house current frying my ballasts?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 3:25AM
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lightmaster(z8 Salem, Ore.)

get a circuit tester, the one that has prongs like a plug, plug it into your outlet and see what glows...sounds like you have an open neutral wire...makes things brighter and more explosive :winks:

-j-

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 3:40PM
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beaniebeagle

my circuit tester was under 5 bucks at home depot

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 5:34PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Circuits seem OK. What would an "open neutral wire" be and how would it read?

Found out the problem with the third ballast-there's NO FRICKING capacitor in the box! Looks like a free capacitor from the store is the solution since they gave me one without it.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 10:25AM
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beaubrummel37

I bought a ballast from a retail store in Ohio; and
the ballast is a month old. The hum orginates at the
top end of the handle and you have to wedge something
between the ballast box and the handle to stop
humming:
I know ballasts normally hum but in this instance it's
rather a harsh sound.

I emailed Sun System as well:
I have a defective ballast(Sun System X Econogro
Remote Assembled Ballast); and I have a two year
warranty: Where do I send my ballast for repair or
replacement???
The retailer I purchased the aforesaid product from
said I should send the product to you.????

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 12:51AM
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