Having trouble with floresent lights

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  #1  
Old 03-07-07, 06:54 PM
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Angry Having trouble with floresent lights

I am getting frustrated with my floresent lights.

I have units with three lamps. One day, a year ago, all three bulbs went out. I figured it was the ballast. While I had never changed one, I felt competent that I could do that. I took the old one to the store and got a replacement balast. Cut the three blue wires and attached each to one of the three blue wires in the fixture. Put the white wire to the white. Red to red. Black to Black. Put in three new bulbs. Turned circut back on. Only one bulb lit. Weird.

Next time another fixture lost three bulbs at the same time, I again replaced the ballast, just the same as I had done before. This time, everything worked as expected. All the bulbs lit.

Just the other day, another fixture lost all three bulbs, and I replaced the ballast. No bulbs lit. I touched the metal cover that hides the wiring thinking I would re-check the wiring, and all of a sudden, all three bulbs lit up. However, the next day when I flipped the switch, again the bulbs did not light.

What gives? Is there some secret incantation I need to say?

Am I correct that the three blue wires are in parallel, so it does not matter which blue wire from the ballast attaches to which blue wire of the fixture and as long as it is one-to-one things "should" work?

Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-07-07, 07:09 PM
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The wires do not matter , as long as your colors match. The metal cover acts is involved in how they work, i belive it is a grounder outer cover, or somehting to that effect, I'll let someone more versed in FLs chime in.
 
  #3  
Old 03-07-07, 07:25 PM
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Ground

The blues' are the lamps--- the red is common to the three--- you need a good ground for the ballast,make sure the mounting screws are tight.

And/or shut off the power and check the ends. (sockets) These are mass produced (opinion/comment withheld) and attention may have been lacking.
 
  #4  
Old 03-07-07, 07:26 PM
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Good point ! The cheap crappy plastic ends are known to fail miserably.
 
  #5  
Old 03-07-07, 07:28 PM
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what are the "sockets"?

Not sure what the sockets are.
 
  #6  
Old 03-07-07, 07:29 PM
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The plastic ends were the bulb terminals slide in. basically they are the things holding your bulbs.
 
  #7  
Old 03-07-07, 07:32 PM
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I would think it would be too strange for all three sets of two to go bad at the same time. Wouldn't it?
 
  #8  
Old 03-07-07, 07:38 PM
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Yes, but it's not unheard of for someone to hook the ballast up incorrectly either! Are you sure you have a steady power supply? Are all your connections tight? Are all covers in place?
 
  #9  
Old 03-07-07, 07:48 PM
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All you need is 1 red not connected corectly. This is the "common" for all these lamps (bulbs). check the end with the red wires. POWER OFF-- You can get quite a memborable bit from the ballast. Push the wires into the socket to ensure a good connection.
 
  #10  
Old 03-08-07, 10:08 PM
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also strip more wire back than what the factory does on the new ballasts, makes for a loose connection sometimes.
 
  #11  
Old 03-10-07, 05:40 PM
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Also make sure you have each of these fixtures well grounded. Wierd stuff happens with FL's when not well grounded. When you said that the lamps lit when you touched the side of the fixture it makes me wonder if you became the ground conductor. At any rate, check the grounds.
 
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