Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The scent of a transformer

Actually it was a Metal Halide 250 Watt ballast, but that would make a long title now- wouldn't it?

Short story:
We burnt a ballast in a light pole this morning.
Now, Six hours later, I still smell it.

Long, involved and wandering story:

Anyway- I got a cortisone shot in the elbow yesterday, and this morning felt like it had embedded razor blades. So I called the head service guy and asked if we could reschedule this service call for a day, or two?

"No, we promised them today and they're important people and we want their business."
Ok, I'll need a helper because I couldn't even hold my toothbrush right this morning.

So we get to this Mexican heritage place..you know 'Latino pride' and all.

For some reason they wanted ALL the ballasts and lamps (bulbs) changed out on light poles that looked almost brand new. Probably somekind of budget/funding/grant thing.

On the fourth light my guy just finished reconnecting the wires and i saw the one light was good, and walked over to where I could see the other one and "CHIT, DISCONNECT IT! FAST!" As the smoke poured out of every opening it could find.

I went up and took a quick look and saw it was hooked up right:
-hot to 208.
-Common to common.
-Ballast to capacitor.
-Ballast to lamp.
-Cap to lamp.

You hooked it up right, maybe it was just a bad ballast...that's why, when we heat something up after working on it- that we stay away when we power it on. (He's an apprentice, still kinda new)

I dug another ballast out of the truck, it got hooked up and worked fine.
We finished up and now, six hours latter I still smell like burnt insulation.

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