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Fixing Juwel Light Bar.

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself Projects & Hardware' started by doresy, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. doresy

    doresy Sometimes Right, Sometimes Wrong but ALWAYS certai

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    Ok, I was bitten by the all too common curse of the Juwel Rio Light Bar failure! Not wanting to pay the price for a new one and to be buying what could be the eventual same problem further down the road led me into taking the matter into hand.
    Realizing that this problem was so common (and a poke from a Mod) prompted me into doing this journal in that it may help other members of the forum.
    Disclaimer: This method refers to my own experience with a Rio 120 with T8 lighting therefor it is aimed at that model but I am guessing that all Rio's with this lighting are the same in princible. Here we go....

    Firstly, inside the light bar there is only a bunch of wires and a ballast. There are 8 wires from the 4 endcaps and a live and neutral. The ballast is long white metal box. If you have checked the tubes/switch/and plug fuse then your problem lays with this ballast.

    Right, before you start you need to source a replacment ballast. I checked out eBay and found there was a ready supply of just about every sort. As there are no seperate starters in the modern Juwel light bar then you need an electronic or digital balast. Mine, for instance needed a 2 x 18w T8 ballast (being there are 2 tube at 18w and it's a T8 type light)
    You will also have to source a piece of plastic slightly bigger than the piece you are going to cut out of the light bar

    After making sure it's not pluged in! remove the tubes. You need to have a cutting tool. I used a small diamond cutter. A dremmel is a good tool too. I decided to cut in from the underneth side of the light bar so the repair would be hidden.

    1st picture shows a cut out I made. (Do not cut too deep as you may cut wires, the plastic is onlly 1-2mm thick) Also, do not cut right to the edge as you will need a flange to stick the cover on later.

    [​IMG]

    Remove the cut out to reveal the ballast

    [​IMG]

    Next pull out the ballast, you may need to spread the light bar to allow it to come out

    [​IMG]

    Then you need to disconnect the wires. I marked them with tape and corresponding numbers. To disconnect the wire press down on the little tags and pull on the wire gently. The live and neutral are at the other end.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the clever part. Cut a small section from the removed piece of casing that the ballast holding screw goes into.

    [​IMG]

    With these pieces screw them to the new ballast (for spacing then glue them to the new plastic 'patch' which has been made slightly bigger than the cut out. When dry remove the ballast from the patch leaving the mounting piece in place

    [​IMG]

    Right now the wiring up. With the new ballast I got there were only 6 terminals but I had 8 wires from the tubes. If this happens to you then study the little diagram and it will show you that 2 of the wires need to be connected together.(see connector in picture) If your new ballast is the same as the old one then wire up using the numbers that you stuck on. The live and neutral go up the other end and unless marked you can put them either way around)
    It would be a good idea at this stage to test the lights!

    [​IMG]

    Next, fix the ballast to the plastic using the screws and your mounts that you stuck on earlier.

    [​IMG]

    Now turn the assembly over and jiggle it into the light bar. You may have to spread it a bit. Now then, I decided not to glue it in place incase I ever had to remove it again. I opted to silicone it in place and added screw (stainless screws) for safety.

    [​IMG]


    And finally the finished artical in working condition after being switch on and off several times then left on for 8 hours and again switch on and off several times......success :hyper:

    [​IMG]

    Well I hope this helps someone but remember, I AM NOT AN ELECTRICIAN AND THEREFORE AM ONLY SHARING MY EXPERIENCES WITH YOU. IF YOU CHOSE TO COPY THEM THEN I TAKE NO RESPONSABILITY WHATSOEVER.
    Good luck my friend :good:
     
  2. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Planted Section

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    Nice write up Doresy. Could you put a pic of the working light into the first post just to show it works.

    Might be worth noting not to put the wires from the same 2 end caps into the same one if you don't have enough terminals. this could be a problem down the line, not sure.

    Could be a life saver. I don't know what it is with Juwel I bars but there are always posts of them not working. Maybe that when they first started using electronic ballasts they were quite new to the cheaper end of the market and maybe not as reliable.

    Good Work.

    AC
     
  3. doresy

    doresy Sometimes Right, Sometimes Wrong but ALWAYS certai

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    Cheers mate.
    If you check out the picture under where I mentionded that 'it would be a good idea at this stage to test the lights' you should clearly see mine working! *EDIT* Oh you mean the original post where all this started (derrr) ok, later maybe :good:
    Also, if the instructions are follow correctly no 2 wires from the same endcap will be connected as it is very clear in the little wiring diagram which wire to connect. (It must be 'cos I got it right :lol: )

    My total cost of repair was £4 (against £59 for a new light bar) How much it cost my company however, achem :whistle:

    I'm with you on the cheap/sub-standard componants theory, but not a slur on Juwel you understand ;)
     
  4. shroob

    shroob Member

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    Very very useful topic. The light unit on my juwel vision 260 has gone, so in the near future I will probably be attempting this myself (well, I say myself I mean my Dad will be helping, as I have no desire to electracute myself). Certainly a saving on money, so its worth a go.
     
  5. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Planted Section

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    didn't notice the light was on in that pic. lol

    AC
     
  6. flash22

    flash22 Member

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    you can drill out the 2 plastic rivits out either end then iirc take the end caps off, then the top lid should slide out
     
  7. doresy

    doresy Sometimes Right, Sometimes Wrong but ALWAYS certai

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    I tried that first off but the light bar was welded or glued all the way along which is why I went in the way I did.
     
  8. shroob

    shroob Member

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    Just noticed this has been pinned - well deserved as well.
     
  9. BigC

    BigC Member

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    Really good thread Dorsey, :good: thank you, it will go a long way to helping others with this particular problem which seems to dogg Juwel lighting.
    Regards
    BigC
     
  10. keenonfish

    keenonfish Member

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    I suspect being stuffed in a small area without an air flow is the main cause.
     
  11. doresy

    doresy Sometimes Right, Sometimes Wrong but ALWAYS certai

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    Well no not really as the electronic ballasts run much cooler than the old sort (I believe). I think it's just the mass produced syndrome. We all know that there are many products out there that could be made to literally last forever but where's the profit in doing that for the retailer??? :shifty:
     
  12. keenonfish

    keenonfish Member

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    Yes they run a lot cooler as they work on a switched mode principle but they will always benefit from some airflow to carry the heat away. In fact I bet a datasheet on said device would state a minimum requirement! Of course, in such an application it is hard to provide a safe form of ventilation or heat sink and Juwel will not want their light hoods to last forever ;)



    Anyway nice job I would have taken a pretty similar approach myself :good:
     
  13. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Planted Section

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    I dont think the problem is to do with ventilation. The old Fluval canopies had enclosed ballast areas with no ventialtion and they used the old magnetic ballasts but I haven't seen anywhere near the volume of threads on failures as the I bar.

    At least now people don't need to buy new ones or return them to Juwel etc.

    AC
     
  14. tuskancharger

    tuskancharger Member

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    the ballast bar i puchased cost me £16 but i used more or less the same procedure for replacing it
     
  15. doresy

    doresy Sometimes Right, Sometimes Wrong but ALWAYS certai

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    Still a great saving and what's more hopefully the ballast will be better than the ones Juwel supply in their light bars
     

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