Fluorescent Ceiling fixture question

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Old 09-07-12, 07:22 AM
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Fluorescent Ceiling fixture question

We have one of those rectangular cloud fixtures on our kitchen ceiling which has 4 tubes. When we turn it on, it sometimes is very dim and then comes on in a few moments, or may not come on at all. Sometimes flicking it on and off gets it to turn on. The fixture is about 15 years old.

Does this mean that the fixture has gone bad and must be replaced? Or can it be a bulb? I didn't want to invest in bulbs if the fixture was probably bad.

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-07-12, 07:34 AM
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Sounds like a bulb or bulbs are going bad or are loose.
These fixtures work in pairs (most of the time) so if one bulb goes out, generally so does the other one.

Should be a simple bulb replacement and go.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 07:44 AM
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Any way to tell which bulb? They all seem to behave the same...or should I just buy 4 new ones.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 07:55 AM
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Easiest and cheapest is to simply replace all four bulbs with new. Another possibility is that the ballast may be going bad and need replacing. The modern electronic ballast are lighter, smaller and more energy efficient than the old magnetic ones.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 08:03 AM
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I would start with the bulbs and replace all four at once - assuming they were all installed together they all then have the same number of hours on them and even if only one is bad, the rest can't be far behind.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 09:02 AM
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OK. I just bought and put in 4 new bulbs. So far, it is working. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the advice!
 
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Old 09-07-12, 12:52 PM
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The modern electronic ballast are lighter, smaller and more energy efficient than the old magnetic ones.
They also cost about twice as much. I had to do 2 at the gym. Mag would have been about $22, if they were available, electronic cost $46.
 
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