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Old 05-22-2013, 03:46 PM   #1
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House was built in 1994.

Small flourscent light above sink in kitchen. Single switch to operate light and have always had to push the switch up and down, several times, to get the light to come on. Not every time, but enough.

The three switch light plate at the back door operates the garage flourscent light; the laundry room flourscent light; and the kitchen flourscent ceiling light in that order left to right.

Last month the kitchen ceiling light stopped working.?.? Bulb ok.

Yesterday, I tried the ceiling light and NOW it works just fine BUT now the laundry room light and the kitchen sink light have stopped working.?.? These bulbs are OK 'cause I have been using these two lights during the last month while the ceiling kitchen light was not working.

The garage light switch is working just fine, so far.

Checked the the big panel thingy, in the garage, and flipped the black kitchen switch [#8] off, waited, and then flipped it back on. Nothing changed. Really did not think it would, but just in case.

I need help. I do not know where to start. Last month one stops and two work and now one works and two stop. What can possibly be going on and what do I do now? Please talk simple 'cause I am a little 'ole lady. Thanks ever so much for any help that anyone out there could offer.


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Old 05-22-2013, 04:23 PM   #2
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Florescent fixtures have ballasts and it sounds like yours are going bad. The other possibility is that older fixtures had delayed starters. They could be going bad. If it is a circline fixture in the kitchen the starter is in the ballast.

The ballasts look like a long narrow black box with a bunch of wires coming out of them. Starters can take many forms but most common look like little brushed metal cylinders. The starters just twist lock in place. If you replace the ballasts you need to match the specifications of what you have exactly and wire in just as the ones now are.

Anyhow, you can test the ballasts or just replace them. I have not had reason to buy one recently but I am guessing they are still around $8-20 retail? To be honest, you may be able to get new fixtures for almost the same amount of money as some ballasts and starter replacement will cost you. New LED florescent tube replacement arrays can use the same bulb socket configurations but eliminate the need for ballasts so look into the cost of them too.

By the way, rocking a light switch up and down to get a florescent started is not such a great idea.


Last edited by user1007; 05-22-2013 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Added diagram
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
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You could also be looking at a loose connection or a failing switch.
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:34 PM   #4
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Humidity,poor grounding.
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