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Old 08-28-2012, 09:58 PM   #1
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Door jamb switch problem/questions


I have a door jamb switch for a pantry, wired to a fluorescent 24 inch 120 volt single bulb light. The light is brand new. The old light was intermittent - slow coming on and sometimes not at all, so I switched it out tonight - new light and bulb. I did notice the ballast on the old light looked melted on the edge.

Unfortunately, I have the same problem with intermittent light up with the new light. When it doesn't light, I get a faint glow at each end of the bulb, but it doesn't light completely. Again, the light fixture itself is brand new.

So, I started fiddling with the switch. It is a Leviton 3 amp, 125 v.a.c. metal switch. It seems to have some play. It is wired correctly. But is it appropriate for this application?

I went over to Home Depot and they have replacement switch components - the plunger/switch - one a 10 amp, and one a 20 amp, that look like they should drop right in. Would either of these work?

Thanks for any and all advice.

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Last edited by dhartlein; 08-28-2012 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:26 PM   #2
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Door jamb switch problem/questions


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Originally Posted by dhartlein View Post
I have a door jamb switch for a pantry, wired to a fluorescent 24 inch 120 volt single bulb light. The light is brand new. The old light was intermittent - slow coming on and sometimes not at all, so I switched it out tonight - new light and bulb. I did notice the ballast on the old light looked melted on the edge.

Unfortunately, I have the same problem with intermittent light up with the new light. When it doesn't light, I get a faint glow at each end of the bulb, but it doesn't light completely. Again, the light fixture itself is brand new.

So, I started fiddling with the switch. It is a Leviton 3 amp, 125 v.a.c. metal switch. It seems to have some play. It is wired correctly. But is it appropriate for this application?

I went over to Home Depot and they have replacement switch components - the plunger/switch - one a 10 amp, and one a 20 amp, that look like they should drop right in. Would either of these work?

Thanks for any and all advice.
Do you have the lamp properly seated in the fixture?

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Old 08-28-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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Door jamb switch problem/questions


Just check the switch with a volt ohm meter for continuaty with the power off and one wire disconected.
It should be on or off.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:43 PM   #4
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Door jamb switch problem/questions


"Do you have the lamp properly seated in the fixture?"


I think so, slid it in horizontally, rotated the pegs to vertical until it clicked in place, and it is snug. It can't be pulled forward horizontally.

When I get the glow on both ends, fiddling with the switch seems to get it to light most consistently (pushing it in and out rapidly, or even rotating the plunger), but so does a light tap on the bulb. The switch will work, and sometimes it won't work and needs persuasion.

Would either of the replacement switches be better choices? Love to find out it was the bulb, is there anything else I should be doing?

Thanks for the fast response!

Last edited by dhartlein; 08-28-2012 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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Door jamb switch problem/questions


Is the fixture grounded? Flourescent fixtures except for those "bright sticks" need a ground to work properly. If the switch tests out off and on it's fine.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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Door jamb switch problem/questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by dhartlein View Post
"Do you have the lamp properly seated in the fixture?"


I think so, slid it in horizontally, rotated the pegs to vertical until it clicked in place, and it is snug. It can't be pulled forward horizontally.

When I get the glow on both ends, fiddling with the switch seems to get it to light most consistently (pushing it in and out rapidly, or even rotating the plunger), but so does a light tap on the bulb. The switch will work, and sometimes it won't work and needs persuasion.

Would either of the replacement switches be better choices? Love to find out it was the bulb, is there anything else I should be doing?

Thanks for the fast response!
Id use which ever fits better
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:06 PM   #7
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Door jamb switch problem/questions


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Is the fixture grounded? Flourescent fixtures except for those "bright sticks" need a ground to work properly. If the switch tests out off and on it's fine.
Bingo!!!!

Nope - I wired it exactly like the original. Just added a ground wire and it lights up perfectly.

You guys are the best - this is the second bad wiring piece you all have helped me fix in the last week - both apparently wired by the electrical contractor when the house was built 10 years ago.

I love this forum!!!!
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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Glad you got it fixed.

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