How often do UV lamps need to be changed?
UV lamps should be replaced every 12 months. They usually have a lifespan of approximately 9,000 hours. Calculated, this means the lamp can operate for approximately 375 days before needing to be replaced. Since the lamp is technically good for about a year and a week, this gives you a little window of time in case you forget to order a replacement lamp in time. However, you should have a spare lamp on hand or set a reminder to order a new lamp a month before your old one expires.
How do I know when the UV lamp needs to be replaced?
When the UV lamp needs to be replaced, the alarm on the UV system will beep. The alarm is set to go off for a period of 12 months. Once the UV system’s alarm is reset, it will no longer beep to remind you to change the bulb.
However, just like the indicator light on the refrigerator tells you to change the filter, some people will turn off the alarm on the ballast so it doesn’t beep. Unless you have actually replaced the UV lamp with a replacement bulb, this is a bad idea for two reasons. First, the lights will continue to lose intensity. It will continue to be ineffective and ineffective for a long time before the alarm goes off 365 days later. Additionally, when you don’t replace the UV lamp, the UV system’s ballast will work harder and harder to maintain the intensity of the ultraviolet wavelengths. Without the mercury to back it up, the system will overwork itself trying to produce the same dose of UV. This puts unnecessary stress on the system. Whenever a system is straining to perform its intended function, you risk damaging the system and seeing overall performance decrease prematurely. So, for your safety and to protect your UV system, always replace your lamp when the lamp replacement warning is activated.
How to replace UV lamp
Installing a replacement bulb every year is essential to keeping your family safe from microbial contaminants in the water. To ensure proper installation, follow the steps below carefully.
1. Cut off the water supply in the house
To avoid water leaks during the lamp replacement process, ensure that your home’s water supply is turned off during installation.
2. Unplug the UV system
UV lights are dangerous to touch and look at when powered on. Make sure the lamp is unplugged and cool before you begin installing the new lamp. If you are unsure about any step during the installation process, consult a professional to assist you.
3. Let the UV system operate
When the UV light is turned on, it generates heat. After unplugging the UV system, leave it alone for 10 to 15 minutes to cool.
4. Remove the protective cover and lamp plug
Press the tabs at the top of the system to remove the protective cover, also known as the safety cap. At this stage, you can also unplug the lamp. Make sure you do not disconnect any wires during this step.
5. Remove the UV lamp and sleeve from the chamber
Unscrew the sleeve pin and remove the old O-rings. You will replace them with new O-rings when you install the new lights. Carefully remove the old lamp from the quartz tube. When handling quartz sleeves, always wear protective gloves. Fingerprints and other debris can block UV rays and prevent the inactivation of microbial contaminants.
6. Install the new O-ring onto the lamp
When installing the new O-rings, you can tighten the bushing bolt to the quartz bushing.
7. Install the new UV lamp into the lamp assembly
Be careful not to over-tighten the lamp, as this may break the sleeve. Make sure the light fits snugly, but don’t use too much force while tightening.
8. Install the new lamp and sleeve into the system
Make sure the lamp is correctly aligned with the lamp plug before replacing the safety cap.
9. Turn on the house’s water supply and check for leaks
Run water through the system, ensuring consistent performance and no leaks. As always, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to check disinfection procedures and routine maintenance.
Remember that different UV systems will be configured differently. This may require you to take different steps to remove the bushing and lamp during replacement. However, whenever you replace a UV lamp, you should always take the opportunity to clean the quartz sleeve and replace the O-rings.
How to dispose of old UV lamps
Old UV bulbs should be disposed of at your nearest recycling solution. If there is no recycling location near you, your state may allow UV bulbs to be thrown in the regular trash if sealed in a plastic bag. If neither of these options are available to you, find a local household hazardous waste facility to dispose of your old UV lamp.
Common UV lamp problems
If your UV system experiences problems after installing new lights, you can try solutions for each problem.
UV lamp does not power on
If the lamp does not turn on after installing the new lamp, check for two problems.
- Check if the system is plugged in.
- If the system is plugged in, check the wiring for damage. The wires run from the ballast to the bulb. Before checking the wiring, make sure you unplug the system for safety.
UV system leaks
A leaking UV system is most likely due to an improperly sized or improperly placed O-ring. To ensure the O-ring is the correct size, purchase directly from the UV system manufacturer. If the O-ring is too large or too small, dangerous UV-C light can leak out and affect your health.
The UV system alarm is beeping
If the alarm on your system goes off after replacing the bulb, this could be a problem with the bulb itself or the ballast. With new bulbs, you are most likely dealing with a bad ballast. In this case, replacing the ballast will solve the problem. If the bulb is not new and the ballast is working properly, the bulb must be replaced.
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