UV Sterilizer Bulb Output???

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Merv49

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I recently bought a used Aqua UV Sterilizer 57 Watt. Just setting up a new tank I thought I would possibly install a second sterilizer so I would have one low flow for protozoa and one high flow for algae. Having come across this 57 watt UV for a reasonable price I figured I would give it a try. Being a bit lazy I didn't get around to installing the additional plumbing for the split system but instead thought I would just put the 57 watt Aqua UV in the place of the 40 watt Pentair. Much to my surprise when I plugged in the Aqua the wattage reading on my Apex said only 27 watts. I thought it was because it was an older unit (2009) so I installed the brand new bulb I got with the deal and plugged that in. It read only 30 watts. At that point I called Aqua and talked to their tech assist person and was told that I should send in my bulb for them to test. I assured them that my Apex was probably spot on because my 40 watt Pentair bulb runs at 42 watts. They insisted that I should not worry about the watts and be concerned it the unit was working and doing what UV's do. I asked if a 57 watt bulb should only be pulling 30 watts and again they insisted that I should only be concerned about the unit working or not. Just why would I want to buy a 57 watt sterilizer that only put out 30 watts I ask?
At any rate I did order a new bulb and when installed I got the same 30 watts and consequently I was sent several bulbs by mistake so I tested them. I got from 30 watts to 48 watts over six bulbs. I even used a second watt meter I have here to check the Apex and found the readings to be the same. I then plugged the Aqua bulbs into my Pentair unit and there was no change in the output, eliminating the possibility that it was a transformer issue.
So now I'm asking myself if I bought a $600, 57 Watt Aqua UV Sterilizer am I really just getting a 30 to 48 watt UV? What do you think?
 
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Merv49

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57 is start up wattage of the bulb. Should be about 44 watts running. Supposedly. My apex shows watts at 44 and most say the same with that unit.
I had six bulbs and none ever hit anywhere near 57 watts. Best was 48 and most in the 30’s. My Pentair 40 watt UV operates at 42 Watts always. If I wanted a 32 watt UV’s that’s what I would buy.
 
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