Flourescent light help


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Old 04-03-15, 06:23 AM
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Flourescent light help

The house we moved into has a large basement with 3 sections of fluorescent lights. 2x6 lights and 1x3 lights. I've heard of things like ballasts and starters, but I know about nothing otherwise.

The first issue I have is humming. One of the panels, which contains 2 U shaped bulbs, <img src="https://i.imgur.com/Be9TxmQ.png" width="768" height="1024"/>, has humming bulbs. I opened it up and didn't see a starter, just what I assume to be a ballast under a panel under one of the bulbs. <img src="https://i.imgur.com/cV7Scvn.png" width="161" height="81"/>. Do I have to replace the bulbs, the ballast, the whole thing? I didn't see what I believe to be a starter.

My second issue is that when I turn on the lights in 1 section, 1 of the panels doesn't always start up. It may start up minutes later. I was actually checking the bulbs and it suddenly lit up. Ballast? Bulbs?

My third question is that in my third section, which contains 3 double U bulbs, (like all the others), not all the lights come on. Sometimes 1 panel will come on, sometimes none, then a different one, then sometimes all of them. Usually, it's 1 or none. This section usually doesn't get turned on until the other 2 sections have been lit up.

I have 15 of these in a drop ceiling, so I imagine switching to different lighting system would be pricey. So that's not an option at the moment.
 
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Old 04-03-15, 06:56 AM
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Starters look like little metal cans and are found these days only in really old fixtures. Anything from the past 20 years likely does not have a starter.

I would start by trying new bulbs as old or bad bulbs can cause starting problems. If that doesn't work then I'd look at replacing the ballast. You will probably have the choice of staying with magnetic ballasts which you have now. They are big, heavy and less energy efficient but may be less expensive. Electronic ballasts are smaller and lighter which can be a help when working overhead and they are more energy efficient and generally provide better starting especially at colder temperatures. Unfortunately they tend to be more expensive at most home centers. In some cases you may find it cheaper to buy new fixtures than just get ballasts. If you need just one the big box home center is an option but if you're going to do a lot I'd search online or check with a electrical supply company that's more geared to contractors to get a better price for a large number of them.
 
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Old 04-03-15, 09:02 AM
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I would buy one fixture worth of lamps,for the fixture you have the most of and see how that fixture behaves,then move them to another and see,electronic ballasts are the way to go and should help the humming issue.
Geo
 
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Old 04-06-15, 03:11 AM
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It seems these bulbs are discontinued. Ill look for a replacement
 
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Old 04-06-15, 05:05 AM
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Are you talking about the U lamps? They are still available,you may need to go to an electrical supply store,they are not cheap.
Geo
 
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Old 04-06-15, 07:06 AM
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Yes, they are U bulbs. I have had a tough time finding them on the usual places like Amazon. I saw some where that the model is no longer available. I have to find a replacement.
 
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Old 04-06-15, 09:04 AM
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Check these out,just beware they come in 6" which yours are and 12".

(12 Pack) Sylvania 24004 - FB40/CWX/6 U Shaped T12 Fluorescent Tube Light Bulb - - Amazon.com
Geo
 
 

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