View Full Version : replacing Hamilton ballast

07/13/2009, 05:20 AM
I have a triple-bulb Hamilton 250W MH set-up. The three bulbs go into one wire which goes through a wall into what looks like a single ballast. The ballast itself must actually be three ballasts in the same box, but it has one 6-pin connector that connects it. Hamilton has discontinued this model ballast. The question is: how can I replace the ballast(s)? Can I get three ice cap models, and somehow cut and splice wires, or do I have to replace the entire set-up all the way to the bulbs? Thanks in advance.

07/13/2009, 06:28 AM
I am sure that Hamilton can help you out on this. Have you talked to their support on the phone?

Shane Hoffman
07/13/2009, 07:00 AM
Yes you can replace with an icecap ballast. But you can go to hamiltons website or call customer support and they can get you an equivelent that will require you to open the black box and replace the guts. I have a 3 bulb 250 mh fixture with 2 80 t5s in it also. I had a ballast go out and replaced it in about 15 minuets (however I have a fairly extensive electrical background) Everything inside my box was wire nutted together. A couple of screws hold down the ballast itself. If you want you can open it and figure out which ballast is bad and remove that one to get the specs for ordering an equivelent if you go with icecap. Please dont open the box when it is plugged in. In mine there are a couple of lines in excess of 600 volts when circuit is open.

07/13/2009, 10:19 AM
Hamilton said they no longer support that ballast, and have no other advice other than ordering an entirely new retrofit kit, sockets, reflectors and all. IceCap says I cannot use my Hamilton sockets and power cords, and also recommend I buy a new retrofit kit, the whole thing. I have no electrical experience, and it seems that these lighting companies only want to sell entire retrofit kits. This would not be practical, because it would mean deconstructing my hood in one room, and putting it through the wall, and reconstructing with the ballasts on the other side. I just thought it would be easier to leave the sockets and reflectors in the hood, and simply exchange out the faulty ballast(s). No such luck. I am still thinking about ordering three separate icecap ballasts, and having an electrician try to hook them up to the pre-existing Hamilton wiring. Keeping fingers crossed!

07/13/2009, 10:26 AM
Is only one if the ballasts notworking? If so you could save some cash and only replace the faulty ballast. Icecap is a GREAT company to work with. I would highly recommend using their ballasts. If you have a reef club inuou area I am sure that you could find someone to help you with the upgrade.

07/13/2009, 03:58 PM
I don't know if one or all three of the ballasts are faulty. The box still gets hot but none of the bulbs come on. I wonder why all three ballasts would go bad at once, and if it is just one or two why are all three bulbs out?
Shane, if the box is unplugged, is there any shock hazard remaining, like with a capacitor in a TV set?

07/13/2009, 05:56 PM
Got an email from Hamilton. They offered to build me the triple ballast. I have to admit, I am pleasantly surprised at their offer. Anyway, I already ordered the icecaps, so I think I'll go with them.

07/13/2009, 06:17 PM
If all three bulbs will not fire then I would lean towards one common component. In other words one thing that all three use at the same time. Maybe an open in the ground loop or something to that effect.

Have you opened it up yet?

Shane Hoffman
07/13/2009, 06:54 PM
No. As long as you dont bust open the ballast itself no worries of being shocked........good luck you will be happy with the icecap ballasts...I would like to know why the icecaps ballast wouldnt work with hamiltons wiring and endcaps.

There is a hundred ballast companies out there and we consistantly order from whoever has the lowest prices at work...so long as the replacement ballastr specs are the same...

07/13/2009, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the info. You guys have been very helpful.