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Author Topic: obscure electrical safety marks.  (Read 1052 times)

John Roberts {JR}

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obscure electrical safety marks.
« on: February 12, 2017, 04:40:25 pm »

pre-story
======
I was troubleshooting my RO water filter's UV lamp germicidal purification stage.

The lamps are only expected to last one year, so i replaced the lamp like a few times before but no love this time.

Next i checked the ballast/PS for juice and not only was it hot, but the 44V supply was measuring 120VAC.  :o

The UVc lamp had a weird wiring configuration with what looked like a neon lamp (?) in series with the two heater elements.

The old bulb had plenty of discoloration which is normal over time. The neon (?) lamp was solid black and measures a couple megOhm instead of open circuit like good neons.

=======
Getting back to the ballast, and to practice what I preach I looked for the UL mark... instead I found CE, made in Korea and some cryptic symbols.

The first one I figured out was a rectangle inside another rectangle. This denotes class 2 wiring or double insulated. This should make me feel better except that my VOM measured continuity between each pin of the line cord plug and each pin of the low voltage output connector... so not even single insulated as the 120VAC output voltage measurement suggests.  :o :o

The other symbol i still can't find looks a little like a trash bin inside a circle, but there is no line through it, so i guess this means OK to discard in the trash? Which I plan to do soon.

[/edit ]  I took this apart because I could and the ballast appears to be a simple series inductor, with no pretense of even single insulation, let alone double. So I call shenanigans on the Korean manufacturer.  [/edit]

JR 
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 01:13:04 pm by John Roberts {JR} »
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Chris Hindle

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Re: obscure electrical safety marks.
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 01:01:09 pm »



The first one I figured out was a rectangle inside another rectangle. This denotes class 2 wiring or double insulated. This should make me feel better except that my VOM measured continuity between each pin of the line cord plug and each pin of the low voltage output connector... so not even single insulated as the 120VAC output voltage measurement suggests.  :o :o

The other symbol i still can't find looks a little like a trash bin inside a circle, but there is no line through it, so i guess this means OK to discard in the trash? Which I plan to do soon.

[
No line, and/or green circle, it's "safe" for household trash.
If there's a line through it, and/or a red circle, it means not to put in "common" garbage.
It would be considered "hazardous waste", and needs to be treated as such.
Chris.
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Ya, Whatever. Just throw a '57 on it, and get off my stage.

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: obscure electrical safety marks.
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 01:25:27 pm »

No line, and/or green circle, it's "safe" for household trash.
That was my guess but since the double insulated mark is total BS, and CE mark is meaningless for 110V US market, I won't worry too much about it.

The trash bin inside a circle is a bit of a leap since the image is not very distinct, just my best guess of what it might be.

JR
Quote
If there's a line through it, and/or a red circle, it means not to put in "common" garbage.
It would be considered "hazardous waste", and needs to be treated as such.
Chris.
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Jeff Robinson

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Re: obscure electrical safety marks.
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 02:02:38 pm »

pre-story
======
I was troubleshooting my RO water filter's UV lamp germicidal purification stage.

The lamps are only expected to last one year, so i replaced the lamp like a few times before but no love this time.

Next i checked the ballast/PS for juice and not only was it hot, but the 44V supply was measuring 120VAC.  :o

The UVc lamp had a weird wiring configuration with what looked like a neon lamp (?) in series with the two heater elements.

The old bulb had plenty of discoloration which is normal over time. The neon (?) lamp was solid black and measures a couple megOhm instead of open circuit like good neons.

=======
Getting back to the ballast, and to practice what I preach I looked for the UL mark... instead I found CE, made in Korea and some cryptic symbols.

The first one I figured out was a rectangle inside another rectangle. This denotes class 2 wiring or double insulated. This should make me feel better except that my VOM measured continuity between each pin of the line cord plug and each pin of the low voltage output connector... so not even single insulated as the 120VAC output voltage measurement suggests.  :o :o

The other symbol i still can't find looks a little like a trash bin inside a circle, but there is no line through it, so i guess this means OK to discard in the trash? Which I plan to do soon.

[/edit ]  I took this apart because I could and the ballast appears to be a simple series inductor, with no pretense of even single insulation, let alone double. So I call shenanigans on the Korean manufacturer.  [/edit]

JR

http://repairfaq.cis.upenn.edu/sam/flamp.htm#wd0
Preheat type fluorescent (low wattage, <13W) simply have a current limiting choke in series with the lamp, and the starter circuit in parallel (actually wired to arrange the filaments: "cathodes", in series during start).
See above link.
This means when not actually running a lamp you will read close to 120V (the higher the meter impedance, the closer to line voltage it will read).  You are correct, no line isolation.
This link explains how fluorescent lamps and ballasts interact (exclusive of preheat type).
http://www.geappliances.com/email/lighting/specifier/2008_07/downloads/DimmingLFL.pdf
Starters:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/question337.htm


HTH!

Jeff Robinson
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: obscure electrical safety marks.
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 03:28:05 pm »

http://repairfaq.cis.upenn.edu/sam/flamp.htm#wd0
Preheat type fluorescent (low wattage, <13W) simply have a current limiting choke in series with the lamp, and the starter circuit in parallel (actually wired to arrange the filaments: "cathodes", in series during start).
See above link.
This means when not actually running a lamp you will read close to 120V (the higher the meter impedance, the closer to line voltage it will read).  You are correct, no line isolation.
This link explains how fluorescent lamps and ballasts interact (exclusive of preheat type).
http://www.geappliances.com/email/lighting/specifier/2008_07/downloads/DimmingLFL.pdf
Starters:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/question337.htm


HTH!

Jeff Robinson
Thanks I think I stumbled across that link when goggling but didn't seem to cover my lamp configuration questions.

The UVc lamp is 6W and ballast is a series inductor labelled as 44V, so I ASSume under load when lamp is on, the inductor drops voltage to 44V ... OK that is logical.

FWIW these lamps are always on, so starter is not a serious investment. My recollection is these don't always start up right away and sometimes you need to unplug and replug a couple times to get them to start.

My guess is that the starter for my lamp is a simple neon bulb that connects the circuit between the two lamp heaters. During initial turn on when the no load voltage from the ballast inductor is 115V, the neon lamp breaks down (conducts) at roughly 60V putting the other 60V or so across the lamp electrodes. Once the lamp starts up the ballast output voltage sags to the rated 44V and neon lamp is cut off.

My light did not start after I replaced the UVc bulb making me suspect the neon bulb might be burned out. The bulb (bigger than typical small neon lamps) is seriously discolored and measures a couple megOhm... good neon lamps measure open circuit. In hindsight I suspect my neon lamp (starter?) is the problem. I have a new assembly coming in so I can compare good parts with what I have.

It is always an adventure...

JR 
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: obscure electrical safety marks.
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 02:39:51 pm »



My guess is that the starter for my lamp is a simple neon bulb that connects the circuit between the two lamp heaters. During initial turn on when the no load voltage from the ballast inductor is 115V, the neon lamp breaks down (conducts) at roughly 60V putting the other 60V or so across the lamp electrodes. Once the lamp starts up the ballast output voltage sags to the rated 44V and neon lamp is cut off.

JR
bzzzt wrong...

Received my new UVc lamp assembly and it starts fine, I decided to mess with the old one that wouldn't start.

If I put a single neon bulb in series with the heaters, the neon lamp glows brightly and would catch fire if left that way. The UVc fluorescent starts after several seconds. But neon does not get dimmer. 

Two neon lamps in series do not have enough voltage to do anything.

If I put a resistor in series with one neon bulb I get neon light but no fluorescent. Even a 100 ohm will fry the neon but not start the fluorescent.

I can find common florescent starters in the round metal cans, but nothing that looks like what mine uses (looks like a slightly larger neon bulb).

I notice I can buy a 95V neon lamp (vs typical 65V), that might do the trick... conduct enough to start it, then drop out when voltage sags to 44V .

I may need to break down and ask the water purification vendor where they sourced that starter they use...  Probably comes as an assembly from Korea.

JR

PS: FWIW the new ballast (also from Korea) is still CE marked, but now claims ROHS... still falsely claiming double insulated, and now the trash bin image has a line through it.. So lead free, but do not discard.  :o
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: obscure electrical safety marks.
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 05:19:34 pm »

PS: FWIW the new ballast (also from Korea) is still CE marked, but now claims ROHS... still falsely claiming double insulated, and now the trash bin image has a line through it.. So lead free, but do not discard.  :o
The latest craze is "halogen free".  Primarily directed at chlorinated or brominated flame retardants in the plastics (cases, circuit boards, connectors, anything with a UL 94V-X rating).  Since everyone knows iodine is good for you when you scrape your knee.  Although I'll wager that the anti fluoride in the drinking water folks would jump up and down if they found it in some consumer product.  The biggest part of this craze is BFRs in water bottles.  The toxic halogen based flame retardants were banned by RoHS years ago, but that hasn't stopped non-technical folks from conflating syllables and getting worked up about other compounds.

Curiously, I happen to know from my position in industry that there is a particular soldering flux that was developed specifically for a certain popular computer companies laptops as the Intel processors warp badly during soldering and this flux helped to keep the solder from separating during the warpping.  This flux specifies that it contains halides on the published datasheet.  So these laptops are not truly halogen free.  I asked a former compliance person from that company and was told that since the halogens in the flux weren't part of a BFR, it wasn't a problem.  At least that's how they played it.
So your trash can could mean anything.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: obscure electrical safety marks.
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 07:00:57 pm »

The latest craze is "halogen free". 

How about "gluten free" electronic products. Isn't that another hot-button word? :o

Jonathan Johnson

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Re: obscure electrical safety marks.
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 11:32:53 am »

How about "gluten free" electronic products. Isn't that another hot-button word? :o
Don't forget organic and GMO-free!
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Re: obscure electrical safety marks.
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 12:16:47 pm »

Don't forget organic and GMO-free!

Our new hifi speaker cables are made from Free-Range Organic Copper and certified GMO free. Only $12,000 per pair. Yes, they're directional.
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