Fluorescent light fixtures and breaker-box humming


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Old 03-24-15, 04:49 PM
J
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Fluorescent light fixtures and breaker-box humming

I have 14, 2-bulb (T8 - 35w each w/.65 amp ballast) fixtures that I'm installing on a dedicated 20-amp breaker. After I've installed each one, I turn the breaker on to make sure the unit's working before I proceed to wiring up the next one. After the latest one went up (#11), I noticed a hum coming from the breaker box when I flip the breaker on.

My next step would be to disconnect #11 and see if the hum still occurs, and if not, replacing #11 with another unit to see if it happens then.

My questions are:

1) Is 14 simply too many fixtures to have on a single 20-amp breaker? They don't seem like they'd draw too much, but do issues develop from having so many connections wired along the way?

2) Can something like a loose ground cause humming? Perhaps something came undone on #11 (or where it comes from #10).

3) If I need to put in another breaker, is there a single wall-switch that can activate two separate circuits or will I need a second wall-switch?

Thank you! - Jay
 
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Old 03-24-15, 05:04 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

14 fixtures would only require 9.1 amps. That would even be fine on a 15A circuit.

Some ballasts hum..... that's pretty much normal.
A brief hum when turning on that circuit is normal too.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 05:16 PM
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Thank you, PJmax!

I thought I was good with the draw...

It's not the ballast that's humming, but the circuit breaker (D-Square) itself and it keeps going until I flip it off. As I didn't notice it before now, I'm thinking something changed. The breaker is brand new like everything else.

If it's not the draw, I guess it would either be that the breaker went bad (quickly!), the ballast is at fault, or the wiring is shoddy. With the circuit not being the problem, it's one less thing to have to test!
 
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Old 03-24-15, 05:19 PM
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Shift the circuit to another breaker and see what happens, could be a flakey breaker, your gone on a 20 amp breaker and a single pole standard switch will be fine.
Geo
 
 

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