Flickering Fluorescent

In a rental house I take care of, theres a fluorescent light fixture on the ceiling of the kitchen. The fluorescent lights in the fixture are flickering on and off, even though the wall switch is turned off. What's likely to be the problem there?
Thanks! Scott
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Definately a vampire !!!!
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A cheap-ass landlord?
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Most likely, the earth ground is missing or has opened up somewhere. Was it worked on lately? Maybe it's miswired inside the fixture. Not much else can cause one to flicker with the switch off.
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| In a rental house I take care of, theres a fluorescent light | fixture on the ceiling of the kitchen. The fluorescent lights | in the fixture are flickering on and off, even though the wall | switch is turned off. What's likely to be the problem there? | | Thanks! | Scott |
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Please stop top-posting.
A defective switch would be my first thought. A kitchen is a high use area and a cheap switch may have worn out. I've used "industrial" grade switches and sockets whereever I have to replace anything in my own home. It's $0.39 for a homeowner grade unit, $3.90 for commercial and probably $5.95 for industrial grade ( at home depot ).
I don't particularly enjoy simple electrical repairs; I want to do the job one time and have it last until after I die of old age. Spend the six bucks and forget about it.
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HUH????

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My Dad had a fluo that flickered. I can't remember the wiring, but he ended up wiring a double pole double throw switch to the unit. The fluo was in the darkroom, under the edge of the film and paper trimmer. So the light was double definitely not welcome at that location.
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Maybe the switch needs replacement. Maybe most likely the switch needs replacement. But any of a few other things may be happening:
1. The switch is on a piece of Romex branched out of the fixture or a junction box, so that the Romex going to the switch has an "unswitched hot" and a "switched hot" and no neutral. The capacitance in such a cable passes a very small amount of current, and some fluorescent fixtures could possibly very dimly glow or do a "dim strobe" sort of thing as a result. If the grounding conductor is not grounded, then ground it - that will shunt to ground most of this current. If the cable lacks a grounding conductor, I don't know what to do then except replace the cable with one having a grounding conductor or replace the ballast with a different type of ballast, or put an incandescent lamp (or some other load - it can be a light load) in parallel with the fluorescent fixture. Or move the switch (or run new wiring) so that the switch is connected to Romex that has its white wire working as a "neutral".
2. The fixture needs to be grounded, although this is not the usual reason. Slight chance current is conducting capacitively from a nearby unswitched hot conductor, although I do not beleive this usually makes fluorescent bulbs glow in the dark. (The usual reason for grounding a fluorescent fixture: The electric field distribution within a fluorescent bulb that is trying to start is more favorable if the bulb is within half an inch of grounded sheet metal.)
3. The switch is not a simple switch but some electronic type, maybe with extra features, and lets through a trickle of current when it is off. One example is Radio Shack's "Plug 'N Power" system - the switching modules pass a small trickle of current to determine presence of a load. They do this so that they can turn on if a conventional switch is used in addition, in order to make the additional conventional switch usable.
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This should be fixed. Fluorescent bulbs may suffer excessive wear from making light while having their filaments at a temperature other than their normal working temperature - whether too hot or too cool. (Rather technical details on this are in http://www.misty.com/~don/dschtech.html )
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com, http://www.misty.com/~don/index.html )
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Two things come to mind.
1. Be sure there is not a bad connection in the neutral feeding that fixture. Is there some other light or outlet that when used triggers the problem? If YES, trace back from there.
2. Is there a high voltage device in use near the fixture, or on that same circuit? For example, I am a farmer. If I take any florescent bulb, and hold it near my electric livestock fence, it will light up. Its not connected to anything. I am just holding the bulb in my hand, and when I get it a few inches from the electric fence, it lights. This is a great trick to test an electric fence without touching it, or buying a fence tester.
Mark

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When turning the kitchen light switch on, another fluorescent light on the kitchen ceiling comes on properly.
Scott
snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

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Is this light fixture on a dimmer? Not that it would be "dimmable".

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Joe,
No dimmer at all. Just a plain, simple light switch.
Scott
Joe Fabeitz wrote:

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Okay, I found the solution! Or, rather, my wife, did. We visited the rental house today, and my wife discovered the obvious. There's a second wall switch on the other side of the kitchen. That's the swtich that turns on the fluroescent light in question. In short, I was switching the wrong wall switch on and off. Gosh, I feel so dumb (as I should)...and now I feel very humble. Thanks for the great suggestions, though, and for your efforts to help me out.
If anyone wants to post a compliment for my wife, please do. I'll be happy to print it out and give it to her.
Scott
Scott wrote:

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