Is your HID ballast not working and will not turn on sometimes? Or is the HID ballast making buzzing noise? Chances are the device is in dire need of a reset.
In this blog guide, we will walk you through how to reset HID ballast. Plus, we will touch on other aspects you should check when working on your HID light ballast. Continue reading to get a solid grasp!
What is HID Ballast? Where is It Located?
An HID ballast is a device that lights up HID lamps and regulates the electric current in said lamps to ensure stable performance. In simpler terms, it is like a power adapter for an HID bulb, making sure it gets the right amount of electricity to function without flickering or burning out too quickly.
The HID ballast in a light bulb is typically located near or inside the fixture. That said, ballasts for HID lights are often larger and heavier than traditional ballasts, so they may be located outside the fixture to allow for better ventilation and cooling.
Either way, if you have an HID light source in your space, chances are there is a ballast working behind the scenes to keep it shining bright.
Therefore, if your lights are dimming, flickering, or completely unable to turn on, a malfunctioning HID ballast is likely the culprit. Another tell-tale sign is an unusually hot light bulb or a strange humming sound.
How to Reset Ballast HID: A Step-by-Step Guide
What You Will Need To Have:
- A Philips screw
- A multimeter
- Replacement capacitor
- Soldering iron, soldering paste, and lead wire
Step 1 – Remove The Housing & Check The Parts
The first thing to do to fix a ballast is to remove its housing. This will give you direct access to it and actually proceed with the repair.
A medium-sized Philips screw should be able to help you get the job done. Once the housing is detached, check that the electrical board is still in good condition.
Examine all the parts on the board, starting with the capacitor. Most common problems stem from this part. Measure the resistance of each part with a multimeter.
- First, remove the capacitor and discharge it by shorting the two leads with a wire or a screwdriver.
- Then, switch the multimeter to the ohm function and touch its probes to the capacitor’s leads. If the readings show a low resistance value at first, then gradually increase to infinity, your capacitor is still good. Otherwise, it needs replacement.
- If the results show that the capacitor is indeed blown, you’ll need to replace this component to reset the ballast for HID lights.
Step 2 – Remove The Capacitor From The Board
- Use a soldering iron and solder wick to remove the solder from the capacitor leads. Be sure to carefully remove all the solder and avoid damaging the surrounding components or the board.
- Once the leads are free, gently wiggle the capacitor back and forth to remove it from the board.
- Don’t forget to take note of where the positive and negative ends are, so you’ll have an easier time assembling the new capacitor.
Step 3 – Solder The Replacement Capacitor Onto The Board
Grab your replacement capacitor to solder it onto your board. Make sure that the positive and negative ends are in the correct positions.
Enlist the help of a soldering iron, soldering tape, and lead paste—no need for a complicated HID capacitor DIY.
In any case, don’t forget to make sure the replacement is the same model as the busted one and that it is indeed functional.
Step 4 – Reinstall & Test
To wrap up the process, reattach the housing to reinstall the HID ballast replacement to your lighting system. If your system is not new, it is a good idea to test the repair first to confirm that it works and is good to go on your car.
Here is how to test it:
- Turn off the power source.
- Grab a multimeter and set it to its highest resistance rating.
- Take the casing off of the ballast.
- Connect the multimeter’s black probe to the white wire and the red one to the remaining wires.
- Read the multimeter results. It should be “OL” ( Open Loop). If it shows any other results, then your device is still faulty.
However, Ballast HID repair does not always require a replacement. A bad HID ballast might be caused by excess volts and amps, poorly-grounded wiring, or corroded solenoids. When these are the culprits, you need to take different steps to get the HID light ballast working again.
You can refer to this tutorial video to follow the process easily:
Culprit #1 – Excess Volts & Amps: How To Fix
Your HID ballast can be overloaded when there are more volts and amps needed. In this case, you just have to reset the volts and amps so that they align with the requirements and ratings of your ballast.
Here is how you can measure the volts with a multimeter:
- Plug the black probe into the portal “COM” and the red probe into “V”.
- Turn the multimeter on.
- Dial the voltage selector knob to the DC voltage settings (Where there is a V, line, dash).
- Hold the black probe to the negative terminal and the red probe to the positive terminal.
And here is how to use a multimeter to get the amps:
- Plug the black probe into the “COM” portal.
- The red probe goes into the “A” portal.
- Turn the multimeter on.
- Turn the knob to the A position.
- To get the reading by connecting the multimeter in series.
Make sure you do not touch the probe’s tips to each other or to metal surfaces for your safety. It is also a good idea to wear electrical insulated safety gloves and goggles.
Culprit #2 – Poorly-Grounded Wiring: How To Fix
All HID ballasts need to be properly grounded for safe and reliable operation. To elaborate, a proper ground connection is necessary to allow for the flow of electrical current through the ballast and to prevent the buildup of static electricity.
To address the issue, try reconnecting the HID ballast to the ground terminal.
Culprit #3 – Corroded Solenoids: How To Fix
Corrosion in HID ballast solenoids can cause electrical resistance and interfere with the proper flow of current, which can result in issues such as dimming or even complete failure. In this case, replace them with new ones, and the problem should be resolved.
- Note: If resetting does not work and none of these three culprits are causing your ballast to act out, consider getting an entirely new system. A replacement HID ballast 35w, for instance.
That’s all on how to reset HID ballast! The next time your ballast acts out, you know the steps to take to get it back in shape. But remember to check the volts and amps, wiring, and solenoids, too. They might be causing your ballast to flicker or cease working, not the capacitor.
If you have any questions on this topic, leave them in the comments. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thomas is the Founder of Powercorecard. He is a licensed electrician with more than a decade (15 years to be more specific) of experience in the electrical industry. He has served in multiple capacities, most recently as the Chief Electrical Officer for a respected electric company. His extensive knowledge and experience are the foundation of Powercorecard, particularly his tabs on cutting edge of new technology.