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  • Ceiling light

    In my kitchen I have a ceiling light fixture with 4 fluorescent light tubes in it under a cover. Lately it's only been functioning intermittently; I'd have to flick the switch 3 or 4 times before it would come on; sometimes it would just hum and only emit a dim light from the ends of the tubes, before fully illuminating the next time I hit the switch. Other times only two tubes turn on, and then only halfway. So, is it the switch, the wiring, the tubes, the fixture, or what?
    "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

    "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sea Fury View Post
    In my kitchen I have a ceiling light fixture with 4 fluorescent light tubes in it under a cover. Lately it's only been functioning intermittently; I'd have to flick the switch 3 or 4 times before it would come on; sometimes it would just hum and only emit a dim light from the ends of the tubes, before fully illuminating the next time I hit the switch. Other times only two tubes turn on, and then only halfway. So, is it the switch, the wiring, the tubes, the fixture, or what?
    Could be the ballast. Have you tried replacing any of the bulbs yet? If that doesn't fix it, it's probably the ballast.
    It's a Hoosier thing, you wouldn't understand...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by midtown View Post
      Could be the ballast. Have you tried replacing any of the bulbs yet? If that doesn't fix it, it's probably the ballast.
      What he said.
      ​a bad day at the race track beats a good day at work

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      • #4
        Originally posted by midtown View Post
        Could be the ballast. Have you tried replacing any of the bulbs yet? If that doesn't fix it, it's probably the ballast.
        Kind of want to hold off on buying anything until I have a better idea of what the problem is.

        If it's the ballast, what's the fix?
        "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

        "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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        • #5
          Replacing it as I don't think the can be repaired. Of course, that may depend on the kind of light fixture you have. On industrial ones, like you'd find at office or department store, you can swap the ballast. It's a black box the power goes through before the bulbs. On home ones, you might just have to replace the entire fixture. I've never done it myself, but I swapped enough of those bulbs out at the Greenwood LS Ayres as a teenager that if swapping bulbs didn't work, the electrician would replace the ballast.
          It's a Hoosier thing, you wouldn't understand...

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          • #6
            Might be an old unit with those screw-in starters.

            I found this site. Maybe it will help.

            http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/i.../inffluor.html

            --

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            • #7
              It is either the ballast or the starter, depending on which type of fixture it is. You replace the ballast/starter and it works again.

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              • #8
                Well, at least it is not operator error.
                "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
                ~~Groucho Marx
                I have the hots for Khaleesi...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by comfortably numb View Post
                  Well, at least it is not operator error.
                  You never know. I'm an actor, you know.
                  "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

                  "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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                  • #10
                    You guys are making it too complicated....how old are the tubes? Are both ends of the tube black? Change the tubes! It's the first process in troubleshooting fluorescent fixtures.

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                    • #11
                      Mr. Wizard speaks...
                      "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
                      ~~Groucho Marx
                      I have the hots for Khaleesi...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As long as it's the light and not the switch or wiring, I'm good with it. Thanks folks! Whatever it turns out to be, my kitchen is going to have to remain in the dark for a paycheck or two!
                        "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

                        "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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                        • #13
                          I have the exact same problem in my Kitchen also. Mine seem to correct itself after it's been on a few minutes. Every once in a while it will take 4 or 5 minutes to come on completely. It's on my honey do list.
                          "If you don't do it this year, you'll be another year older when you do"

                          http://davidm.smugmug.com/

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                          • #14
                            If it is the ballast, it is easier and about as cheap to just change the entire fixture.

                            Go to Lowes or HD and they have about a hundred different ballasts and trying to match up your old one with what is available on the shelf is a real pain. Cheap Chinese fixtures are all over the place, get new tubes to match, done.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rrrr View Post
                              You guys are making it too complicated....how old are the tubes? Are both ends of the tube black? Change the tubes! It's the first process in troubleshooting fluorescent fixtures.
                              I agree, and assumed he'd already tried that.

                              Originally posted by Jim Wilke View Post
                              If it is the ballast, it is easier and about as cheap to just change the entire fixture. . . .
                              I agree, unless the fixture is recessed and built into the ceiling, as many kitchen fixtures are. Changing a ballast or starter is not hard. Take the old one out and go to Lowes, Home Depot, or a lighting store, or shop on line once you have the specs of the old ballast or starter.

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