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How to Replace 3 Lamp Series-Parallel Ballast with Parallel

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A 3 lamp series-parallel ballast can not be replaced with a parallel ballast without rewiring at least two lampholders. As you can see in the “factory wiring” diagram below, the left side of lamp 1 and the right side of lamp 3 have individual wires. The right side of lamps 1 and 2, and the left side of lamps 2 and 3 have common wires. This is typical series parallel wiring.

There are three options for replacing a 3 lamp series-parallel ballast with parallel. The first is shown below in option 1. Option 2 and 3 are shown on page 2 of this article.

3 Lamp Series-Parallel Ballast

Factory wiring

The lampholders on the left side of lamp 2 and 3 need to be disconnected from each other and rewired as individual wires for the new parallel ballast as shown below. The lampholder on the right side of lamp 3 will be wired from Individual to common and connected to the lamp 1 and 2 right side common wires.

After 3 Lamp Ballast is Replaced Option 1

The lampholders on the left side of lamp 2 and 3 need to be disconnected from each other and rewired as individual wires for the new parallel ballast as shown above. The lampholder on the right side of lamp 3 will be wired from Individual to common and connected to the lamp 1 and 2 right side common wires.

Pull Wire from Lampholder 1 Pull Wire from Lampholder 2

In the left image, the wire is wrapped around the fingers of the dominant hand as shown. In the right image the dominant hand is closed, while grasping the lampholder in the other hand. The wire is gently pulled while twisting the dominant hand until the wire comes out.

How to Remove Wires from Fluorescent Lampholders

See page 2 for wiring options 2 and 3

Remove Wires from Fluorescent Lampholders Video

3 Lamp Series-Parallel Ballast3 Lamp Series-Parallel to Parallel Lampholder Wiring Diagram