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Home Improvment Contactor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 4' 40/34w aquarium light that flickers nonstop when it's turned on. I have replaced the bulb with a F32T8/5500k daylight bulb. I have replaced the starter with a FS-4 13-30-40w starter the same as what was in there. It continues to have the same problem. What next? Not the ballast I hope. If it is then what size do I get as there are no marks or labels of any kind on it? Please help my fish out of their eternal darkness.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Did you have a T-8 tube in there before? It sounds like you may need to either put a T-12 tube in there or change the ballast for the T-8 tube.

Never done it but I'm not sure what effect it would have mixing T-8's and T-12's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a 4' 40/34w aquarium light that flickers nonstop when it's turned on. I have replaced the bulb with a F32T8/5500k daylight bulb. I have replaced the starter with a FS-4 13-30-40w starter the same as what was in there. It continues to have the same problem. What next? Not the ballast I hope. If it is then what size do I get as there are no marks or labels of any kind on it? Please help my fish out of their eternal darkness.
I'm not sure if the old bulb was a T8 or 12. The bulb started blinking for a min. or 2 after turning it on, then became a steady blink. So, I went to get a starter because that's what I thought it needed. The back of the package says to replace bulb if it blinks and the starter if the ends glow. So I then went and purchased the bulb from a pet store and installed the starter and bulb. Still the same problem.
 

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How to fix a flourecenst light
1. Change the bulb
2. Change the starter if present
3. Change the ballast, there is nothing else left.
 

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How to fix a flourecenst light
1. Change the bulb
2. Change the starter if present
3. Change the ballast, there is nothing else left.
You also usually need a metal Ground Plane close to the tube for it to start and work properly.
 

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4 foot fluorescent problem

Actually, there is one more thing left - the fluorescent tube connectors. In older fixtures the "spring connections" become weak and sometimes make a poor contact or no contact with the electrical terminals of the tube. The problem is that once new tubes are installed and the the ballast is replaced, it's likely cheaper to replace the fixture and to spend the extra money for the fluorescent tube connectors.
 

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I have no idea what you are talking about and I am an electrician. What do you think the OP would be able to do with your suggestion?
 

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I could make a fixture out of wood and it would still work. The frame is there for only one reason. To hold the ballast, tombstones and tubes.
If I find a reference for this besides my own experience I'll post it.

Here's one that hints at what I'm saying. . .

"Lack of ground. For fluorescent fixtures using rapid start or instant start ballasts, it is often necessary for the metal reflector to be connected to the electrical system's safety ground. If this is not done, starting may be erratic or may require you to run your hand over the tube to get it to light."
 
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