DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Electrical (
-   -   Installed Fluorescents Not Working (

prowler 13 04-06-2008 10:10 PM

Installed Fluorescents Not Working
I recently installed four double bulb fluorescent lights in series. All were used ones I got from the Habitat Restore.

The problem is that the first one in the series, and what appeared to be the newest one, will come on immediately. The second in the series will come on about half the time and the others are on pull switches. They will not come on most of the time if the switch is on and if I switch them one after the lights are burning, they still have trouble starting. All are connected with 14 gauge romax and are no more than 6 feet apart.

I am wondering if I have bad ballasts or if the first one coming on is pulling too much electricity for the others to start. Do ballasts get weaker? Is there some other problem I should look for?

BTW, they are on a 15AMP circuit and nothing else is on that circuit that is in use when the lights are switched on.

Kingsmurf 04-07-2008 02:16 AM

trying to help . . . . .dont know anymore than what you wrote about
installing wiring your fluorescent lights

* they should be wired in parallel . . .not in series
*go back to the first light wiried to the switch...make sure the wiring is
black to black/white to white AND that the ground in pigtailed
with one ground screwed into the ground hole on the fixture
* THEN before you hook that light up again . .take your meter and make
sure you have 120volts . . .or close . .and that you have hot AND
* PARALLEL....two sets of hot wires / two sets of neutrals / two sets of
grounds . . .both sets are wired nutted together with the hot/nuetral
grounds of that light . . .one set then goes to the light switch . .the
second set goes to the next light . . . .and again two sets of each wire
until you reach the last light.

* you must have an ground for tubular fluorescents to work decent

* at each light you will determine that you have hot/nuetral/ground

* now that you have them wired correctly . .they should come on all

* do make sure that all the wires that go to the light tube holders
are pushed in good

* if this is NOT up to your skill level . .get one of the " COLOR"
residential wiring books at Home Depot

* you can always have a pro do it for you

hope this helps

prowler 13 04-07-2008 05:56 AM

Yes it does help.
  1. The original switch went to an incandescent light and was not grounded. These are not properly grounded. I will have to pull a ground from elsewhere and run the ground.
  2. I was not aware that these should be run in parallel. I will do that when I run the ground wire.
  3. I have run black/black and white/white. I do think the above two factors are the correct items.
I will have to wait until this fall to make the changes as I have to complete the rest of the remodel and move in before I do any more garage work so you may not hear from me on this again but I am confident you have given good advise and I thank you for it.


joed 04-07-2008 07:31 AM

You can't just run a single ground wire from someplace else. It has to be contained in the cable with the other wires.

prowler 13 04-07-2008 09:12 AM

It will be except that I have to pull the initial ground from someplace else since the switch was wired without it in the first place.

J. V. 04-07-2008 11:32 AM

If the lights come on the ballast is good in most cases. Be careful as the tombstones (bulb socket) can be switched around. Since these are used fixtures, it very possible if the tombstones have fallen out they were put back in the wrong holder slot. Check the positioning of the tombstones on the ones that work and make sure it is the same on the ones that don't.

When you say series did you mean you just went light to light? Did you connect the white/black/ground up in each fixture? If so you have a parralel circuit.
Check known good bulbs in fixtures that will not work. Bulbs are notorious problems as you can get bad ones even if they are new.

Kingsmurf 04-08-2008 12:23 AM

I forgot to mention that I am huge on test lighting any fixture on the ground for correct function if it is used . . .BEFORE installing and wiring

I am self -employed so I have the luxury of taking that time for a check

good luck..hope you get all working corectly

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:44 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1