Very strange Fluorescent fixture problem

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  #1  
Old 09-03-12, 05:46 AM
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Very strange Fluorescent fixture problem

I have a very perplexing phenomenon regarding a fluorescent fixture in my kitchen (2 40W tubes, rapid start).

The fixture was working fine. I took it down to try another fixture in its place, and eventually replaced the original fixture.

When I did, the tubes would not light fully. When I replaced it, the wiring was the same as when I'd removed it--white to white, black to black, ground connected.

In desperation, I did some experimenting, and wired white to black. Again the tubes would not light up fully. But I discovered that if I did not connect the ground wire, and instead touched it briefly to ground, it sparked, and the tubes became fully it!

What is going on here? And how do I make thix fixture operate correctly, as it did before I removed it? Thanks.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 06:19 AM
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Fixture

Sounds the like the fixture is not grounded. Remove paint from under the grounding screw so that the ground wire makes a good connection to the fixture housing.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 06:54 AM
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Another idea, add a 2nd pigtail ground wire to the screw/nut that is holding the ballast in place.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 07:51 AM
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I discovered that if I did not connect the ground wire, and instead touched it briefly to ground, it sparked, and the tubes became fully it!
The ground should never have current on it except in cases of a fault. I suspect you have a short in the fixture or possibly a bad ballast. A replacement ballast will cost over half the price of a new fixture, I'd replace it with a new fixture with an electronic ballast and T8 lamps.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 09:09 AM
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CasualJoe: difference between T8s and T12s?

I know that of course they are different diameters, but other than that, is there any advantage of T8 bulbs (and the fixtures that use them, of course) over T12s?
 
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Old 09-03-12, 09:37 AM
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More light output, less electricity use.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 02:31 PM
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CasualJoe: difference between T8s and T12s?



I know that of course they are different diameters, but other than that, is there any advantage of T8 bulbs (and the fixtures that use them, of course) over T12s?
You got it, 8/8" versus 12/8" diameter tube. After that ray is right, more light and less electricity use. T8s also give you mutiple choices in color compared to the standard warm white and cool white choices and when selecting the correct lamp can also give you much better color rendition. Almost all T8 lamps operate from an electronic ballast. The biggest advantage of T8s is they will still be around when the T12s are no longer manufactured.
 
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Old 09-04-12, 10:17 AM
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T12 fluorescents come in a variety of colors. FYI.

Or anyway, they used to. I was not aware that T12s were being phased out.
 
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Old 09-04-12, 04:52 PM
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T12 fluorescents come in a variety of colors. FYI.
Yea, a few colors such as warm white, cool white, and I think daylight; could even be one or two more. T8s are available in color temperatures ranging from 2700 degerees Kelvin through at least 7500 degrees Kelvin, that I am aware of, and provide many more choices.

I was not aware that T12s were being phased out.
FYI, yes, they are FYI. This isn't news, it's been talked about for at least 8 to 10 years.

QUOTE]The U.S. Department of Energy has announced energy-efficiency legislation that will impact the manufacture of several types of bulbs and lamps. The legislation goes into effect on July 14, 2012 for fluorescent and PAR lamps. After this date, most T12 and many PAR lamps will no longer be manufactured. The legislation will not affect T8 lamps until 2014.[/QUOTE]

2012 Lighting Legislation - Grainger Industrial Supply

The legislation has been stalled several times, I am not sure if it has finally happened or not and don't really care except for the fact I'll have to change several ballasts in my basement and garage.
 
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