How to Test Ballast Ignitor | Different Methods Described

Are you looking to learn more about ballast ignitors and how to test them? A ballast ignitor is a device used mainly in electricity generation plants, where it plays an important role in the ignition of the gas. The primary role of a Ballast Ignitor is to ignite the gas used in these plants, with ignition depending on having the correct voltage and current present. The electronic component has to be tested regularly for optimal performance and proper functioning of the plant. This guide will discuss the key aspects of how to test ballast ignitor, including what tools are needed and what safety precautions must be taken during the process.

How to Test Ballast Ignitor

If you’re experiencing issues with your fluorescent light, the culprit could be a faulty ballast ignitor. To determine if this is the case, you’ll need to test it. A ballast ignitor is a crucial component in any lighting system. It is responsible for starting the lamp and regulating its power supply. Without a functioning ballast ignitor, your lights won’t turn on or may flicker uncontrollably, causing more harm than good. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to test ballast ignitor regularly to ensure that it’s working correctly.

When testing an ignitor, follow this procedure.

When it comes to testing the ballast ignitor, following a proper procedure is key. First of all, wait until the pilot lights before turning on the power. This ensures that everything is set up correctly and reduces the risk of any potential accidents or malfunctions. Once the pilot is lit, you can move on to checking if the LED light is on.

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If the LED light is not on, this could indicate an issue with your ignitor. It’s important to check that it’s working properly before moving forward with any other steps. You can do this by inspecting it for damage, making sure all connections are secure, and checking if it’s receiving power.
If you’ve determined that the ignitor is functioning properly but still don’t see any light coming from your ballast energy source or breaker, then you’ll need to investigate further.

How to Test Ballast Ignitor through Continuity Test?

How to Test Ballast Ignitor

Testing for continuity between the ignitor terminals can be done using a multimeter. This is an easy and effective way to determine if this component needs replacing. To start,

  • Turn off the power to the lighting fixture and remove the ignitor from its housing.
  • Set your multimeter to test for continuity by turning it on and selecting the appropriate setting.
  • Then, touch each probe of the multimeter to one of the two ignitor terminals.
  • If there is continuity between these two points (indicated by a beep or light), then your ballast ignitor is working properly. If there is no continuity detected during this test, it’s likely that your ballast ignitor has failed and will need replacement.

In case you don’t have the multimeter, what should you do??… Here’s a solution!

How to Test Ballast Ignitor

If a multimeter is not available, another option is visually inspecting the ignitor for any noticeable signs of damage or wear. Look for cracks, chips, or discoloration on the ceramic portion of the ignitor. Observe if there are any loose connections or wires that could be causing issues. If you notice any of these signs, it’s likely time to replace your ignitor.
Another method is testing the ignitor with a known working unit. This involves swapping out your current ignitor with one from another furnace that is functioning properly.

How to Check Ballast Ignitor Through A Voltmeter

Voltmeter measures the voltage that’s being sent through the ignitor and ensures that it’s within a certain range. This simple process is essential for ensuring that your lighting system operates at optimal performance levels. Here are some straightforward steps you can take to check your ballast ignitor with a voltmeter.

  • First things first, make sure you have a good-quality digital voltmeter that can measure AC voltage up to 600 volts.
  • Switch off the power supply and remove the cover of your light fixture.
  • Locate the ballast and identify which terminals connect to the lamp and which ones connect to the power source.
  • Connect one probe of your voltmeter to each terminal of your ballast that connects to your lamp socket.
  • Switch on the power supply and turn on the switch for testing purposes only; don’t leave it on throughout this process.
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How to Use Power Supply to Test Ballast Ignitor

A ballast ignitor is an essential component in lighting systems that use high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, it is placed inside the ballast and connected to an AC power supply. It is responsible for starting the light of the filament and providing the necessary voltage to keep it lit. There are two types of ballast ignitors available in the market: magnetic and electronic. Magnetic ignitors have been around for a long time, while electronic ones are a newer technology that has gained popularity in recent years.

To test a ballast ignitor, one needs to use a power supply that can simulate the required voltage and current levels. This is especially important when troubleshooting lighting systems that use magnetic ballasts because these types of ballasts require a specific range of start-up voltages to ignite the lamp.

How to Check Ballast Ignitor through Ballast tester

Ballast ignitors are crucial in the functioning of gas-discharge lamps. These ignitors produce a high-voltage arc that is essential for igniting the gas within such lights. It’s important to note that these ballast ignitors can be tested using a ballast tester, but it’s not always accurate.

How to Test Ballast Ignitor

To check your ballast ignitor through a ballast tester, you need to connect the device to your lamp and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. While this method may seem straightforward, it’s not always 100% reliable as there are cases where a defective ballast appears to be working fine during testing using this tool.

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It’s also worth noting that testing your ballast ignitor with a multimeter may be more accurate than using a ballast tester.


The ballast ignitor is an important device that helps keep your furnace running. Without it, you will likely experience a disruption in heat, which can be inconvenient and even dangerous during colder months. Following the steps outlined in “How to Test Ballast Ignitor”, you should be able to accurately test your ballast ignitor with minimal effort. Remember that if you are uncertain of any part of the process, it’s best to seek out professional advice before proceeding. Doing so will help ensure that your furnace runs smoothly and safely all season long.


What does the ignitor do in ballast?

An ignitor is an electrical device used in ballasts to initiate the arc discharge in a fluorescent lamp. It works by generating high-voltage pulses to create a spark across the electrodes of the lamp, which then creates an electric arc that lights up the lamp. The ignitor is typically built into the ballast and is triggered when power is applied to the ballast. The ignitor also helps regulate the current flow through the lamp, ensuring that it operates at its optimal level. In some cases, an external ignitor may be used as well, depending on the type of ballast being used.

How do you check continuity on an igniter?

Checking continuity on an igniter is a simple process that can be done with a multimeter.

Do igniters have continuity?

Yes, igniters have continuity. Continuity is an electrical connection between two points in a circuit.
The continuity of an igniter is checked using an ohmmeter, which measures the resistance between two points in a circuit. If the resistance is low, then there is good continuity and the igniter will work properly. If the resistance is high, then there may be a problem with the connection and the igniter may not work correctly.

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