Flourescent Light sparking

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  #1  
Old 03-17-06, 06:18 AM
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Unhappy Flourescent Light sparking

I just had a minor water leak from a bathroom pipe. It came down through the kitchen fluorescent and dripped out of the end of light fixture. The light seemed unaffected. However, now the leak is fixed and I think things have dried out, the fluorescent is producing a spark when switched on. The lights still come on but I am keeping it switched off for safety.

I do not know the names of the component parts inside the fixture but with the cover off, besides the two fluorescent strips (about 2 metres long) I can see there are two small oblong units about 100mm x 30mm on either end of the fixture and a single round unit about 80mm x 20mm in the middle of the fixture which has just one brown and one blue wire connected to it. It is this last round component which is producing the spark. The spark does not appear to be coming from the wiring itself but from a few mms inside the round unit.

Is this completely ruined? Will it dry out and improve? Can I replace just this component and what would I ask for?

Thanks for any kind advice and many blessings to all the helpful souls who man forums like these.
 
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Old 03-17-06, 06:34 AM
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Have you got another similar fixture that did not get wet? If so, see if it sparks in the same manner. Some low level of sparking is unavoidable in electrical wiring, which is why the code mandates that all splices be contained in boxes.

My guess is that this has sparked all along, and you're just particularly sensitive now.
 
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Old 03-17-06, 07:08 AM
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There are no other fluorescent ceiling lights in the kitchen (or elsewhere in the house). I didn't mention that the sparking is making a very audible (quite loud) crackling sound as it sparks and even a minute puff of smoke. Definitely was not doing that before.

I don't know if this unit is similar to the starter that I am familiar with from some other flurescents.
 
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Old 03-17-06, 08:28 AM
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Okay, crackling sounds and smoke are not good.

How long has it been since the leak occurred? I'd give it two weeks to thoroughly dry out. If the problem remains, replace the fixture.
 
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Old 03-17-06, 09:03 AM
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Thanks. I assume you mean replace the entire fixture - or can I get away with switching just the small round (starter?) unit?

PS. I just realised this forum is US based and I am in London, UK (!) so things are a bit different here (though I guess smoke and sparks are pretty universal).
 
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Old 03-17-06, 09:45 AM
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If you can find replacement parts for whatever is sparking, then you could just replace that. Sometimes the replacement parts are as much as the fixture.
 
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