how to replace broken fluorescent lampholders

Old 06-16-09, 07:40 PM
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how to replace broken fluorescent lampholders

we have two fluorescent light boxes in our finished basement.... (they look like they belong in a office - nothing fancy - each has four tubes and the "cheap" plastic cover that swings down - not sure what this whole fixture is called, light box maybe) we like them as the produce a bunch of light and doesn't look too bad.

Now on both "boxes" the two inside tubes are not used as the "lampholders" are broken. (see below for a 2nd question related to this...) So how do you replace the holders or don't you? I saw them availble at Lowes so I assume you can but i'm lost.

Off topic - when we bought our house many years ago these boxes had all the tubes used but the holders were broken and if you touched the lights they would drop down on to the plastic shade so I removed them to be safe. The odd thing is we have three switches on the wall for this room, 1 switch is for a fan, 1 switch is for the flights and the third switch does nothing (not even the outlets) so would someone have wired half of each box to one switch and the other half to an other switch; maybe to control how bright they are?)

thanks again for any help
Old 06-17-09, 05:18 AM
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There should be a flat metal bracket that the lampholders are held in by. Gently pry this out of the fixture housing. The tombstones slide in from the end. Cut the wires and install the new tomstones. I don't remember if the wire needs to be stripped or not, check the instructions.

It is possible to switch the inner and outer pairs of tubes if two ballasts are in the fixture.
Old 06-17-09, 05:39 AM
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Take one of the old tombstones to the store to be sure you get the correct design. There is more than one configuration.
Old 06-17-09, 07:18 PM
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They are called a few different things. We call them 2x4 prismatic. 2x4 for the size (2' x 4') and prismatic for the type of lens (cheap plastic thingy). They are also called lay in troffers.

As mentioned, many times you pry out the bracket holding the lamp holders out with a sharp flat screwdriver after removing the ballast cover. Some fixtures will have some 1/4" screws holding the bracket in as well. You will need to strip the wire going to the lamp holder and you may have to put in a small jumper between each side of the lamp holder unless you get shunted lamp holders. It will say "shunted" or have an "S" on them.

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