Fluorescent Lighting Problem: changed fixture, same problem

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  #1  
Old 10-23-05, 01:34 PM
LHou
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Unhappy Fluorescent Lighting Problem: changed fixture, same problem

I have a pretty old (about 40 years) house, and a lot of the light fixtures are fluorescent lights. Last year the lights in the bathroom started to have a few problems, where they would sometimes turn on and sometimes not. I have two fixtures in the ceiling of bathroom, both only one light fixtures. Recently, the lights wouldn't turn on at all even though the ends were glowing. I tried changing the bulbs and the ballast. Finally I replaced both fixtures, but the lights still only turn on after you flick the switch several times or it takes several minutes for them to light up. Help! What can I do?
 
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Old 10-23-05, 05:27 PM
J
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Not quite sure, but fluorescent fixtures often have trouble if the don't have a good grounding connection, or if the temperature is too low (which is usually only a problem in a garage or basement). Sometimes new bulbs have this problem until they break in. So if this problem is recent, you might just want to wait a couple of weeks to see if it gets any better. Don't flip the switch off and on. Just leave it on and wait.
 
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Old 07-02-08, 11:30 AM
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Question

Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
Sometimes new bulbs have this problem until they break in. So if this problem is recent, you might just want to wait a couple of weeks to see if it gets any better.
Is it really true that new fluorescent tubes need a break-in period? I ask because I just replaced 4 x 48" F40/CWP tubes in a laundry room fixture and was expecting the new tubes to be instant starting. They are fairly fast (< 2 seconds), but my old tubes had been "instant on" until recently.

BTW - the fixture is grounded properly and the temperature is about 77 degrees in the laundty room.

Thanks, Bill
 
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Old 07-02-08, 01:40 PM
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My first choice would be to replace the starters.

The second thing to look for is that the sheet metal 1/2" or so from the tube is grounded; this somehow affects starting, perhaps there is some capacitance effect.

Advance, who makes ballasts, has a whole troubleshooting flow chart on the their website.
 
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Old 07-02-08, 02:15 PM
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Since the fixture were just replaced there would not be any starters in the fixtures, unless old fixtures were installed. Starters were common on older fixtures.
 
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Old 07-02-08, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by WDIBAA View Post
My first choice would be to replace the starters.

Advance, who makes ballasts, has a whole troubleshooting flow chart on the their website.
No starters - this fixture uses a ballast.

I looked on the Advance web page for their troubleshooting flow chart but did not find it. So I searched the page for "troubleshooting flow chart" but found nothing. Do you have a link?

- Bill
 
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Old 07-02-08, 06:54 PM
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a link?

I can't find it either.

I might have e-mailed them at
advance.webmaster@philips.com.
and they directed me to it.

Your problem is kind of baffling.
Maybe we're barking up the wrong tree and this is a power quality problem.
Do you have 120v +/- 10% at the fixture? Can the 120v light a 100w bulb?
 
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Old 07-02-08, 07:28 PM
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Here's my excerpts from Advance, et. al.

FLOURESCENT TROUBLESHOOTING
-blackening on ends, severe: filaments not heated, low ambient temp, poor contact
-blackening within 1 inch of end: normal mercury deposit, should disappear with use
-blinking, shimmering effect or dense blackening at one or both ends of tube extending 2 or 3 inches from base: normal end of lamp life
-blinking or dim: cold drafts hitting lamp
-dark lengthwise streaks: mercury, turn lamp over
-dim: dirty bulb
-EMI: ungrounded electronic ballast for instant start
-ring, brown, at one end or both, 2 inches from base: normal
-short life: high ambient temperature or voltage surge for elex ballast instant start
-slow starting in high humidity: dirty lamps or low supply voltage
-swirling, spiralling, fluttering: cold temps, low input voltage, ballast/lamp compatibility, bad ballast, new lamp.
-short lamp or starter or ballast life, lamp won't start: miswired ballast (for a two lamp fixture, both ends of the same lamp must glow when you short the starter connections).
-blackening at one end, flickering, slimline or instart ballast will eventually fail (because filament is not heated). Electronic slimline ballasts are not affected by lamp failure.
-one lamp bright and the other dark on a two lamp rapid start means a pinched yellow lead.

GROUND THE BALLAST
F40T12, 40 is the watts, T12 means 12/8" diameter.
Lengths available in inches are 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 96.
Watts available are 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 24, 30, 32, 34, 40.
FC8 12 and 16 are circular.
KB is kitchen and bath, WM is watt miser, FA8 is single pin, ECO is low mercury, CVG is shatter resistant.
Instant start/slimline, rapid start, preheat.

For 120 sq ft
fixture with 2 ea 4' tube, use 1 to 2 fixtures
fixture with 4 ea 4' tube, use 1 fixture
fixture with 2 ea U tubes, use 1 to 2 fixtures
for 216 sq ft
fixture with 2 ea 4' tube, use 2 to 4 fixtures
fixture with 4 ea 4' tube, use 1 to 2 fixture
fixture with 2 ea U tubes, use 2 to 4 fixtures
 
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Old 07-03-08, 12:53 AM
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Did you double check the wattage of the flourscent bulb verison to the ballast label for listing for correct bulb ??

Keep in your mind which I allready ran into this more than few time some of the " wattmiser " or reduced wattage bulbs they can wreckhovac on the ballast and they may not have engouh voltage to get it start up.

Did you check the tombstone [ flourscent luminare socket ] for any corrosion or dirt buildup ??

If so then it will be good time to get it clean up.

Is this Ballast is rapid start or instat start ??

Let us know we can go from there.

Merci,Marc
 
 

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