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Servicewiz 07-10-2012 06:33 PM

Troubleshooting Fluorescent lights
 
Does anyone have any good resources or electrical diagrams for checking a 120 volt residential fluorescent light fixture with a meter? I am very well versed in the use of an electrical meter,but am in need of some assistance when it comes to this fixture.Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!

k_buz 07-10-2012 06:35 PM

Check power to the ballast. If yes...

Replace the lamps. If lamps are still not lighting...

Replace ballast.

av-geek 07-10-2012 10:27 PM

Some older florescent lamps also use a small capacitor in them too. The capacitor is replaceable at your local hardware store for a few bucks. If the light continues to flicker and flash after you install a new bulb, check for one of these too.

joed 07-10-2012 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k_buz (Post 962638)
Check power to the ballast. If yes...

Replace the lamps. If lamps are still not lighting...

Replace ballast.

That's my test procedure exactly.

ddawg16 07-11-2012 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k_buz (Post 962638)
Check power to the ballast. If yes...

Replace the lamps. If lamps are still not lighting...

Replace ballast.

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 962855)
That's my test procedure exactly.

You guys are almost right...but missed a few steps....

Fluorescent light does not come on....go grab a beer and look at it for a few minutes. Maybe it just needs a little time....

Still not on? If beer is finished, go get another one. Then go to garage and get a new tube. Because beer is in one hand, you can only carry one tube so it takes two trips.

Time to put in bulb....because it took two trips to the garage, beer is done, time for another beer.

Ok....1st tube is in.....beer is done, go get another beer.

Second tube is in.....time to try it....oh, wait....beer is done...go get another one.

Ok....time to try the lights. Turn on switch....wait for light. If lights do not turn on by the time you finsh the beer....ballast is most likely bad.

Drive to the HW store and try not to get stopped by the police.

Go to the bathroom at least twice while in the hardware store (lot of beer to get rid of).

Drive home....celibrate not getting arrested for DUI by having another beer.

Ok...time to put in ballast......go to garage and get tools. This takes several trips because you only have one hand to carry tools...beer is in the other one.

Beer is done...time for another one.

Ok....time to remove old ballast...climb up on ladder....remove bulbs and cover....disconnect wires....get shocked (forgot to turn off power)....fall off ladder....but not hurt too bad....alcohol dampens the pain....

Have another beer while the pain goes away.

Pain gone (feel no pain...period)...make sure power is iff...climb back up...replace ballast.....install new tubes.....have another beer.

Beer done....time to try it....flip the switch...circuit breaker blows....wife yells....you stumble in the dark because you can't see...and your drunk....fall down...smack you head on the floor.....

You wake up the next morning still on the floor (wife was pissed that you were so drunk)....you go call Sparky to come fix it.....

Now, where was the other case of beer?

ionized 07-11-2012 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by av-geek (Post 962851)
Some older florescent lamps also use a small capacitor....

Capacitor or starter?

OP, if you touch the bulb and the lamp strikes, you need to ground the case of the fixture better.

Otherwise, what buzz or ddwag wrote. Keep in mind that your switch could be shot if one luminaire is on it, but checking power to ballast will cover that. Checking the lamp-ballast leads is tough. The ballasts go through a lot of gymnastics to start the lamp and they are different depending on the ballast type. If you need a replacement ballast, check the wiring diagram on the existing one before you shop. You should really switch to T8 ballast and bulb if this is a 4' T12 fixture and you need a ballast change.


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