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Thread: Trouble wiring fluorescent fixture to three-pronged plug

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    Trouble wiring fluorescent fixture to three-pronged plug

    The other day I bought a fluorescent light fixture that I want to use for growing carnivorous plants. I paid extra for the light to come pre wired with a three-pronged plug and cord but, alas, it did not. So instead of waiting an extra week for them to send me the cord and or have to pay the extra money to send the light back to them, I've decided to just do it myself.

    So far, everything seems ok. I bought an 8 foot pre-stripped cord that can be plugged into the wall, a bag of wire nuts, and a knock-out adaptor to hold the cord in the fixture.

    The cord has three wires: black, white, and green. I've already connected them to the black and white wires from the fixture, and the green ground wire has been wrapped around a green screw in the fixture.

    The fixture, on the other hand, has three wires, too: black, white, and grey with red stripes. The problem I'm having is what to do with this grey/red wire. When I put bulbs in the fixture, only half of them light up, so obviously this is because the grey/red wire is not connected to anything, and it clearly powers half the lights.

    My question is, how do I connect this grey/red wire to the cord if the black wires are already connected? There are no more wires for me to connect to. Is it possible to wire both the black and grey/red wires from the fixture to the one black wire on the cord?

    Thanks a lot!
    - Mat




    Edit: Just got off the phone with contractor lighting again, and they told me to connect the grey/red and black wires from the fixture to the one black wire on the cord. I had no idea you could safely connect three wires together. Now I know. I'd still like to know what you guys think about this, so I'm not going to delete the post. Thanks!
    Last edited by mato; 08-30-2011 at 10:07 AM.

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert, but if the grey and red does indeed connect to the other half of the fixture then it would be fine to connect to the black with the wire nut. Just as long as the gauge of the cord is at least or bigger gauge than the wire in the fixture.
    JB
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    Plant Ninja Smitty's Avatar
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    red/gray to the hot side. Should fire up the second bank of lights

    some pics would be nice because sometimes red/gray wires into a thermal switch. Which is prolly not on the fixture but you haven't been real clear as to which lights you are using.

    Previously known as: NY Plant Nerd

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    The black and grey/red wires to the one black wire seems to work. Only weird thing is I put one tube in a socket that would be powered by the grey/red and one in a socket that would be powered by the black, and after blinking once they went out. Took them out and put both bulbs in the sockets powered by the grey/red and it worked fine. Something seems amiss..

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    on the ballast itself, there is normally schematics.... id look there

    As far as more then two wires being connected together, that is perfectly normal. What you have here is one part of the fixture is capable of being on an emergency lighting circuit or thermal protector (assumption on my part) when installed in a warehouse or factory.

    Just take a peek at the label on the ballast and see what the schematics tells ya.
    FWIW, Im pretty sure Mach (Kula) ran into the same thing and talks about it w/pics in the other thread.

    In fact here is one of his pics from that thread:


    HTH's
    Av

    (look at the label on the ballast mate, it should end any confusion)

    :-)
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 08-30-2011 at 10:50 AM.

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    I think I used the thread you're talking about to wire the whole thing. Only difference was that he connected his grey/red to an extra white wire on his cord. I don't think I have the same wires to work with.

    When looking at the ballast, it shows that the grey/red and black control different halves of the fixture. There is also a chart that has "S" in one column and "Lamps" in the other column. Below that it says "On = 3 lamps on" and "Off = 2 lamps on." Not really sure what this means..

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    what is the make and model number off the ballast?

    His cord doesnt have an extra white... looks to me like that there were two quick disconnects coming out of the fixture in his images.

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    Also, is it normal for these bulbs to become burning to the touch after only being on for a very short amount of time? Didn't realize the heat difference would be so much greater than the T8s I have.

    ---------- Post added at 11:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:58 AM ----------

    It's a Centium ICS-4S54-90C-2LS-G

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