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Thread: Ballasts and Static Electricity

  1. #9
    ChronoKiento's Avatar
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    Okay whoever designed those fixtures is an idiot, because not only were the holes for the chains way too small and almost impossible to get in.. but it's made that the chain goes directly into the electrical box where all the cords are, and I found this out when I touched the electrometer to the second shelf and it jumped a bit.. so I knew it had to be coming from that fixture which was the one that I originally had not suspected.. So then I touched it all around the fixture and got nothing.. then I touched the link holding up the fixture and the needle moved about 6mm.. so after that it was kind of obvious. So I just replaced those chain links with another plastic tie. Now I just hope that the plastic doesn't get melted or something. I doubt it could since I touched the link myself and didn't get shocked but oh well. After that.. I touched the electrometer pin to the plastic... just to make sure. :P

    Anyways.. mission accomplished! Electricity is a neat thing.

    ...are ballast and fixture the same thing?..I've been using them as if they are but now I'm not sure.
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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Ballast is the actual electrical part (rectangular box with wires) fixture is the whole lamp assembly...

    and its usually called a "multimeter" instead of electrometer

    very nice work Chrono, most would be too intimidated to even try.... way to go!

  3. #11
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Chrono,

    One caveat, on that fixture... for that chain to become "hot" there must be an exposed wire inside the fixture that the chain was getting up against... which at some future time could possibly still get against the housing somehow, not real likely but...

    just be aware, personally I would take it apart and fix it, probably just a strand of wire that is not in its wire nut correctly, no biggie to fix... remove the wire nut twist that loose strand with the rest of them and reinstall the wire nut, problem fixed

    however, the next time you are going to be in the neighborhood, why not just return the fixture and have them give you a replacement..

    if you fix the ground issue it will not be safety issue, but..... why not return it while it is still new and "returnable"

    just tell the clerk that it shocks the crap out of ya when you touch it, which it did

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  4. #12
    ChronoKiento's Avatar
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    Lol. I ordered them off of the internet and I'm not entirely sure if I still can return them.. I'm thinking that when I get two more fixtures since I'll have to take the current one down to move it back further, I'll have a look and see if I can tell what exactly is wrong. Tending to the grounding issue is my next step since I know that's a big deal. I'm pretty sure that it'll be fine for now since it's really not touching ANY metal right now, just plastic. And remember that when I touched the multimeter to the actual fixture hood, it didn't do anything so I shouldn't have to worry about being shocked by that. Well.. I'm hoping I don't.
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  5. #13
    A Cajun(isc) Carnivore CP30's Avatar
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    Hey Chrono, thanks for the thread (and thanks av8tor for the troubleshooting). I have had the exact same "problem" with my shelf for almost 2 years! I have never worried about it as it is a very small current I feel. I will have to check the wires in the fixtures, but I know that my timer is not grounded - I even had to go pick up a converter to plug my lights in (and I have not grounded that ). Like you it seems to come a go. Perhaps it is always there but I am only able to feel it sometimes?
    Anyway, thanks!
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  6. #14
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    CP30,

    it may or may not always be there and you may not always be able to feel it....some of the variables would be humidity, thermal expansion/contraction of the area in question, even your body's resistance is constantly changing...

    3 prong "adapters" kill a lot of people every year, all they do is give the appearance of being safe.... I have over 30 yrs of electro-mechanical experience and to the best of my knowledge I have never seen even one of them being used properly

    Ive even seen them on washing machines, unreal....lets not ground the machine, fill it with water, stand on concrete... barefoot even, and then stick our hands in it.... sheesh, sometimes you just gotta wonder what keeps some people alive.... oh it gets even better, you look behind the machine and that extra safety ground wire that is suppose to be connected to the cold water pipe, well it is still coiled up and has the factory zip tie on it, never been used

    (sorry, teacher mode disengaged, gets off soapbox LOL)

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  7. #15
    ChronoKiento's Avatar
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    Here's an update.. I recently noticed that the other shelf that I didn't replace the metal chain links started shocking me again.. which is actually the same one that was shocking me from the start. I recently got a grounded appliance timer, I did have the old one on an adapter that canceled out the grounding wire. I just touched the shelf and nothing happened.. though that's not to say that the problem is fixed. I'll just have to keep checking.
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