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Article ID3
Created On1/6/2011
Modified1/6/2011

How To Test The Functionality Of A Combination Exit Sign with Lights

How To Test The Functionality Of A Combination Exit Sign with Lights

The first step in testing a combination exit sign with lights is to observe what part of the sign is functional, if any. 

Answer these questions first:

1. Is the sign illuminated?
  • If yes, proceed to #3.
  • If there is no illumination proceed to #2.
2. (The Exit Store recommends having a licensed electrician assist in this type of procedure as there is risk of electrical shock.)  Check the AC electrical connection from the junction box/wall to the unit.  There should be 3 wires, two of which will be connected and one which should be capped off.  In most combination exit sign models the wires will be black (120v), red (277v), and white (common).  It is important to know what voltage electricity your facility operates on, 120v or 277v.  Make sure that the correct voltage connection is made between the unit and the AC power in your facility.  If these connections are correct along with the male/female connections to the circuit board, emergency lamps, and battery inside, and the unit is still not illuminating, this means it is time to purchase a new unit as the LED strips, transformers, and circuit boards in most combination exit signs are not replaceable.  The Exit Store offers a number of combo exit signs beginning at less than $40.

View our most affordable Combo Exit Sign models.

3. The Push-To-Test button cuts off AC electrical power to the unit and switches it over to the internal battery backup system, which is relied upon in emergency situations when power to your facility is lost.  Having a properly operating battery backup system is one of the most important functions of combo exit signs as this is how they provide EXIT and egress illumination during an life threatening emergency such as a fire.  What happens when the Push-To-Test button, located on the side/bottom of the unit is pressed and held for 90 seconds?
  • Both the EXIT sign and emergency lamps illuminate; proceed to #4.
  • The emergency lamp portion of the combo model illuminates, but the EXIT sign does not; proceed to #5.
  • The EXIT sign portion of the combo model illuminates, but the emergency lamps not; proceed to #6.
  • Neither the EXIT sign nor emergency lamp portion of the unit illuminate; proceed to #7.
4. Your unit is functional and you will want to perform this same test procedure once a month, and once a year you will want to test the unit for an full 90 minutes.  90 minutes is the length of time that exit signs and emergency lights are required to illuminate when in emergency mode (powered by the battery backup system). Testing your combo unit is required by OSHA standards and insures the functionality of the unit during an emergency.  If your unit cannot sustain a 90 minute test you will want to purchase a replacement battery.

View our entire line of Replacement Exit Sign Batteries.

5.  Check the connections inside the sign for the LED strip that illuminates the word EXIT; there should be a male connector from the LED strip to a female connector on the circuit board.  If the connection is loose or not made the EXIT portion will not illuminate, so make sure this is connected.  If these connections are correct and the unit is still not illuminating, then most likely your unit has a burned out, old, or defective circuit board.  This means it is time to replace the unit as circuit boards are usually not replaceable in combo units.

6.  Check the connections inside the sign for the emergency lamps; there should be a male connector from the emergency lamps to a female connector on the circuit board.  If the connection is loose or not made the emergency lamps will not illuminate, so make sure this is connected.  If these connections are correct and the lamps are still not illuminating, then most likely your unit has a burned out, old, or defective circuit board.  This means it is time to replace the unit as circuit boards are usually not replaceable in combo units.

7.  Check the connections inside for the emergency lamps and the exit sign portion; there should be male connectors from the emergency lamps and exit sign to female connectors on the circuit board.  If the connection is loose or not made the emergency lamps and exit sign will not illuminate, so make sure these are securely connected.  If these connections are correct and the lamps are still not illuminating, it is time to purchase a replacement battery.

View our entire line of Replacement Exit Sign Batteries.

All of our combo exit signs with lights are UL 924 Listed and code compliant for the United States.  For more information on combination exit sign units, exit sign, emergency lights, and other safety lighting and emergency fixture equipment please call us today at 866.471.2849.