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Problems with Metal Halide Fixture

Hi Everyone,

I have three suspended Coralife Metal Halide pendants (5500 K 175 W bulbs)
over my largest tank. The line which they are on contains a GFI. Recently,
one of the fixtures has been developing a problem which I initially thought
was related to the bulb nearing the end of it's life - the bulb would
occassionally just go out of a period of time, re-lighting later, and then
go out again. The bulbs are just over one year old so I thought that it was
probably time for new bulbs.

But in the past week, I have noticed that in addition to failing to light,
something is causing the circuit breaker in the GFI to trip, turning the
electricity off in the circuit. I have carefully checked, and there is no
moisture anywhere near the ballasts (they are located in a nearby closet to
shield my ears from their sometimes annoying "buzz") nor near the electrical

If I flip the "on-off" switch on the offending ballast to off, the GFI does
not trip, and the other two fixtures operate properly. But whenever I
attempt to use the troublesome fixture, a couple of minutes (or sometimes
hours) later the GFI will trip, sending the tank into darkness.

Do I have a flakey bulb, a flakey ballast, or is there some other problem
which I might not be aware of which could be causing this? As each fixture
cost me $399.00 Cdn. when I bought them just over a year ago, the prospect
or replacing a ballast after ony one year seems shocking (or at least

I'd appreciate any comments from those not as electrically challenged as I


James Purchase
Toronto, Ontario
jpurch at interlog_com