If you use a tanning bed, you understand the importance of the bulbs inside this device. If the bulbs aren’t working or operating at full capacity, the results aren’t as noticeable for the person using the machine. Here are a few things to know about caring for and maintaining tanning bed ballasts and lamps.
The first key is to understand your ballast and the basic operation. Typically electrical in operation, tanning bed ballasts help to reduce the amount of energy flowing through the lamps. By limiting this current, the lamps will last longer on the machine, and the ballast will be under less pressure as well. Another reason the ballast is important is because it can take a 100-watt lamp, and by way of induction and electrical force combined, light the lamp fully while bringing the watt down to around 65 watts instead of 100.
If you are finding the lamps of the tanning bed aren’t lighting to full capacity, it may be a sign of a bad bulb or ballast. If it is the bulbs, there will usually be a total loss of illumination with most bulbs, but can also show itself as a flickering since florescent can also operate at diminished powers. To test this out, replace the faulty bulb. If the problem persists even with a new bulb, you may need to check your ballast.
While most units use an electronic ballast, you may also have what is called a choke ballast. The main difference between the two is that electronic ballasts use a steady stream of electrical current to create even outputs of light at the right level whereas a choke ballast may have more flickering overall. Regardless of which type you have, a bad ballast is a problem for a tanning bed. To test your ballast, you would install a new, working lamp and turn the unit on. If the unit fails to light but you know the bulb is good, the next step is a process of elimination to find out if it is the ballast. Check your wirings and your socket pins where the bulb should be, checking for any damage to these crucial areas along the way. If everything else is in working order, it is most likely the ballast itself.
Changing a ballast is relativity easy and affordable compared to buying a new machine or being faced with a bigger mechanical failure. The best way to prevent even costlier repairs is to deal with the ballast issue as soon as it presents itself. The longer you wait to repair any crucial part of your system, the more likely you are to face more extensive damage to the machine.