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Thread: electronic ballast?

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    Scrapette started this thread.
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    electronic ballast?

    I'm breaking down some light fixtures that I got from a supermarket remodel and I found these long rectangular boxes in them connected to the wires, the boxes are marked "electronic ballast". Would these be considered motors? Should I break them open for copper or try to sell them whole? Should I leave wires connected to them? Thanks for any advice in advance. Sorry I don't have a photograph.

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    Shred.

    They won't take them any other way.
    Everyone one of you is 2 minutes too late.

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    There does appear to be a market for them if you can find a buyer and have the quantity. Appears to be about half the price of small copper transformers.

    Scrap Times: Copper Ballasts

    Alibaba.com

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    Theres about 100 gms (2/9ths of a Lb?) Copper wire in each one.

    If you want to get dirty you can get better money from them by stripping them.

    What sort? Old, encased in tar.
    Or Modern, covered in white paint?

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    From the mess all over me, I'd say tar. I'm so glad I did laundry today. It's all so covered with hard and soft black stuff that it's hard to see what things are in it.

    Thanks for the info, I'm not sure I want to open up a batch of these.

    do they have tantalum or whatever that stuff is in them, do you know?
    Last edited by Scrapette; 11-20-2011 at 10:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
    There does appear to be a market for them if you can find a buyer and have the quantity. Appears to be about half the price of small copper transformers.

    Scrap Times: Copper Ballasts

    Alibaba.com
    Thanks for the links and the other information. I have around sixteen now, but can possible get more, but not a huge number.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eesakiwi View Post
    Theres about 100 gms (2/9ths of a Lb?) Copper wire in each one.

    If you want to get dirty you can get better money from them by stripping them.

    What sort? Old, encased in tar.
    Or Modern, covered in white paint?
    Is the copper the wire wrapped around a spool inside a metal frame? How do you get to it? Hammer time?

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    The modern ones I pull the backing plate off & use a cold chisle down thru the groove, & then lever the 'C's off with a flat screwdriver, then punch out the squares inside the coil.
    The coils covered in paint so I bash it & most of the paint falls off & they sell as domestic copper.

    The older ones, tar filled,
    I bash the outer case off or heat it in a fire so the tar softens. Then heat the tar off, then pull the iron core - a long legged 'U' shape out of the coil, the coils covered in tar but cleans up easy like.

    Theres other sorts, I have found 3 sorts, but they seem to be just variations of the two.

    About 100gms per ballast, the last tar filled ones had a wooden block in one end to fill up space.
    And a very thin tar soaked ricepaper inside the coil, when I unravelled the wire the ricepaper fell off, made a huge mess of the place & there wasn't much ricepaper, in volume, after all.

    If you think its worth doing, just pull one apart & learn from it & do the rest 'production style'.
    Its a dirty job, but I like to get every little bit possible.

    I have found the wire in the newer ones is a solid single strand, I don't see that very often.
    Last edited by eesakiwi; 11-20-2011 at 11:26 PM.

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    Hmmm. I would be careful here. I don't have much experience with them but I thought they were considered hazardous. Here's a little clip from this web site on them. Just make sure you aren't poisoning yourself and your family for a few bucks.

    "PCB-containing wet ballasts must be handled as hazardous waste. PCBs were banned from use in fluorescent light ballasts in 1978, but many of these older units may still exist and be in use today since their useful life span is typically 10 to 30 years. Ballasts manufactured after 1978 will be labeled “non-PCB” or “contains no PCBs.” If it doesn’t have either of these labels, it should be assumed to contain PCBs and be handled as hazardous waste."

    http://earth911.com/news/2007/06/16/...lamp-ballasts/

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    there is a sign at my yard saying the things they dont take. ballast is marked on there clear as day....

    BUT, when i asked the guy who grades my material as i dump it, he told me they take it no problem and that it goes in the shred. whats a guy supposed to think of that? i'm not sure either, but i have about 5 of them in the trunk of my car and they dont really need to move, as i have my hands full with plenty of other scrap right now.
    We're the renegades of Junk!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eesakiwi View Post
    The modern ones I pull the backing plate off & use a cold chisle down thru the groove, & then lever the 'C's off with a flat screwdriver, then punch out the squares inside the coil.
    The coils covered in paint so I bash it & most of the paint falls off & they sell as domestic copper.

    The older ones, tar filled,
    I bash the outer case off or heat it in a fire so the tar softens. Then heat the tar off, then pull the iron core - a long legged 'U' shape out of the coil, the coils covered in tar but cleans up easy like.

    Theres other sorts, I have found 3 sorts, but they seem to be just variations of the two.

    About 100gms per ballast, the last tar filled ones had a wooden block in one end to fill up space.
    And a very thin tar soaked ricepaper inside the coil, when I unravelled the wire the ricepaper fell off, made a huge mess of the place & there wasn't much ricepaper, in volume, after all.

    If you think its worth doing, just pull one apart & learn from it & do the rest 'production style'.
    Its a dirty job, but I like to get every little bit possible.

    I have found the wire in the newer ones is a solid single strand, I don't see that very often.
    Thanks for that information, eesakiwi. Since the only yard around here that takes steel won't take them,I may eventually break them down. These have a board in them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wdaddy View Post
    Hmmm. I would be careful here. I don't have much experience with them but I thought they were considered hazardous. Here's a little clip from this web site on them. Just make sure you aren't poisoning yourself and your family for a few bucks.

    "PCB-containing wet ballasts must be handled as hazardous waste. PCBs were banned from use in fluorescent light ballasts in 1978, but many of these older units may still exist and be in use today since their useful life span is typically 10 to 30 years. Ballasts manufactured after 1978 will be labeled “non-PCB” or “contains no PCBs.” If it doesn’t have either of these labels, it should be assumed to contain PCBs and be handled as hazardous waste."

    http://earth911.com/news/2007/06/16/...lamp-ballasts/
    Thanks for for that information, wdaddy, these are marked that they don't contain pcbs. Of course, they could have other nasty stuff in them and they have a lot of tar !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Filthy View Post
    there is a sign at my yard saying the things they dont take. ballast is marked on there clear as day....

    BUT, when i asked the guy who grades my material as i dump it, he told me they take it no problem and that it goes in the shred. whats a guy supposed to think of that? i'm not sure either, but i have about 5 of them in the trunk of my car and they dont really need to move, as i have my hands full with plenty of other scrap right now.
    My yard won't take them and mine are marked as having no pcbs. They have boards in them so I may break them down eventually after I figure out a way to do it that doesn't make such a mess. Thanks for the post.

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    The old ones with tar are major carcinogens (cancer-causing). Not sure about the new ones though. I wouldn't even handle them extensively, much less break them down
    There's nothing more fun and more effective than hitting something repeatedly with a sledgehammer

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    Find a buyer and let them deal with them is what I say. Some things are just best left to the professionals.

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  22. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap man View Post
    The old ones with tar are major carcinogens (cancer-causing). Not sure about the new ones though. I wouldn't even handle them extensively, much less break them down
    Thanks for that information. These are from 1995 0r 1997.

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    I dotn know about anyone else, but they go in my motor bucket. I get 15c per lb for them./:>

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    I set the tar ones on a slanted computer side piece with a pan at the bottom set a propain torch under it, the tar runs into the pan. when finnished I throw them in a bucket of Gasoline, they come out as bright and shiney transformers @ .30 per lb. or ready for break down.

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  27. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddude View Post
    I set the tar ones on a slanted computer side piece with a pan at the bottom set a propain torch under it, the tar runs into the pan. when finnished I throw them in a bucket of Gasoline, they come out as bright and shiney transformers @ .30 per lb. or ready for break down.
    My thanks button isn't working, so I wanted to thank you, olddude for giving me some ideas.

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    oops forgot make sure they are cool before throwing them in the gasolne.

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