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My home has Nutone 769RLN "B" unit exhaust fan with light on them (763RL/769RL "A" Unit). The lights contain ballasts and have a provision to use 13W CFL with a G24q-1 base. Unfortunately the ballasts seem to be going bad and are burning out my CFLs at an alarming rate. I suspect if I plugin an LED equivalent of the 13W CFL, I will experience similar burn outs of my LED bulbs too.

I also researched online and Nutone does not have any viable upgrade path where I could simply replace the lighting assembly / grille with an LED equivalent.

So, I am looking to DIY this on the cheap and I wanted to ensure I do it the right way. My idea is to bypass the bad ballast and plugin either a 13W equivalent LED bulb with G24q-1 base or use a G24q to Standard base adapter and plugin a LED bulb with a standard base.

I am comfortable making this change, except I want to make sure I do it safely and in the right way since these fixtures are in damp environment. I was mainly concerned about the right way to splice the wires together to ensure that I don't inadvertently start a fire.

Does this plan sound ok? If not, how should I change it? What is the correct way to splice the wires together that will operate in damp conditions so that I can bypass the ballast?

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Is the area that the ballast is in the same as where the branch circuit wire enters the fixture? As long as the terminations are enclosed inside the fixture in an area that was designed to house them, normal twist-on connectors (wire nuts) are fine to use. If you really want to be thorough, it would not hurt to use weatherproof connectors, the kind with the silicone grease inside. The bigger potential problem, in my opinion, is accidentally reversing the line and neutral connections to the socket when you bypass the ballast. I have seen this in fixtures many times, and the danger is real, especially in a bathroom. Make sure, whatever you do, that the neutral connection is the one going to the large metal thread cup inside the bulb socket. If the line and neutral connections are reversed, this then energizes that metal thread and the entire base of the bulb, which is bad news.

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  • My plan is to simply use my multimeter to double check the wires that are connected together. As the wires run through the ballast is there a problem using the multimeter? Additionally, once I bypass the ballast is there an issue with using the CFL? Or it won’t work?
    – Null
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 15:24

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