Florecent lights keep burning out?!

I have older florescent lights in my kitchen. The one fixture keeps eating light bulbs, but only one bulb of the two (always on the same side) keeps going out.. Any idea what might be going on?
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Can I just replace the ballast transformer?

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The ballast transformer is bad, its overpowering the lamps causing them to burn out. I'd recommend scraping the fixture for a new one with electronic ballast, they're much more reliable

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absolutely!!!

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wrote:

The real problem is that this device was not installed by a professional electrician. If you knew what you were doing, it would work. Obviously you are incapable of doing this yourself, and the average homeowner should never touch any electrical wiring. Leave it to the professionals to insure your safety. Besides that, tampering with electrical things will void your homeowners insurance.
A general rule of thumb is this: A homeowner should only flip light switches, and plug UL Approved electrical things into outlets. That's ALL you should do, except to turn off a circuit breaker in an emergency. You should hire a Union Electrician for all wiring. Hire an electrician to change light bulbs, and hire an electrician to turn ON or OFF all circuit breakers in non-emergency situations. Also, if you have the old fuses instead of breakers, DO NOT touch them even during an emergency. They are extremely dangerous and can explode if handled by an inexperienced home owner. Even light bulbs are capable of exploding and killing people. Thousands of persons die every day as a result of electricution and fire caused by non-certified people tampering with electricity. Just last week an entire family consisting of three adults and seven children died as a result of an inexperienced homeowner attempting to change a light bulb, which exploded and released toxic gasses, killing the entire family, and causing one of the worst fires in U.S. history
Learn not to burn.
John Walters Professional Electrical Consultant and Union Certified Electrician 1030 Market St. Los Angeles, California snipped-for-privacy@EccElectricalServices.net
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Along that line of thought, one should call a plumber to flush the toilet and to turn on and set the water's tempature.
Along those stupid lines of thougth is this.... If a person has a Certified Nursing Assistant giving them care, the CNA, because it is outside of their scope of practice, cannot give the person medication. However, a family member, or a friend of the person can give them medication.
I hope your message was a satire, else I'd have to agree with the others.
On Wed, 20 Apr 2005 23:35:21 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@EccElectricalServices.net wrote:

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clevere1 wrote:

Yes, but you may want to replace the whole thing with a fixture designed for the newer higher efficiency T-8 lamps. They are really a lot nicer.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Obviously you have no clue as to what you are talking about. Obvious your simple minded and jump to conclusions. This fixture was installed into the home, by the manufacturer in the 80's. Don't like it? Tough shit, go back to your hole.

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Hmm .. I've never smelled anything burning, and the lights don't go out after a short time. Just one side of the lamp tends to burn out bulbs in a quick fashion (like a week after the bulb is installed). Nope, I don't think it uses starters, the bulb simply goes up into the fixture, and I twist it into place. 48" bulbs.

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It is very rare for a fluorescent lamp ballast to fail such that the lamps are "overpowered". The ballast is much more liable to show symptoms of failure by overheating (strong smell of something burning) or the lights going off after a short operating period as the built-in thermal protector operates.
Short lamp life could also be due to poor connections at the sockets, a faulty wiring connection or the wrong tube used for replacement.
You didn't say whether or not the fixture uses starters (little metal cans that fit into holes in the fixture). If so, there could be other reasons for tube failure. What length are the tubes?
TKM
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John, This is the internet! You assume that there are union electricians where he lives. What makes you think he lives in Los Angeles, Much less California or even the United States? Getting an electrician to replace light bulbs is ludicrous. I can just imagine the response if I told my customers that they had to hire me to replace air filters! If you need that kind of scare tactics to keep your job safe, you are already in deep s--t! He MAY need an electrician to replace the fixture or the malast, but NOT to change light bulbs! Get a life!!
Stretch
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Agree,
Check the connections between the ballast and the sockets. Likely you'll find that one of the the pins that service the "grounded" side is faulty. Both pins on power side as well as the ground side need to be connected.
Djay

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I have nothing against electricians, but trying to scare people is not a way to get business. And electricians are not GODs, no matter what you may think. For every good licensed electrician who is honest, does everything by code, and doesn't cut corners, there are 3 of them that only care to get the money and run, regardless of the consequences after they are gone. Their work is marginal at best. Those are also the ones which will try to convince you that it is a small job, and you don't need a permit, no need to spend extra money.. Permit is there, to assure it gets inspected, and it protects BOTH parties.
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Hmm .. Yup, that is beyond me. I'll give my electrican a call and have him come out and look at it. (Me and live wires don't get along).
Thanks all for your advice.

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snipped-for-privacy@EccElectricalServices.net wrote: ....

I hope that was posted by a troll, I would hate to think that any union would accept this "John" into their profession.
--
Joseph Meehan

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.. . .
The trouble with sarcasm and irony on the internet is that it's impossible to say anything so off the wall but what, someone, somewhere, really means.
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SNIP...

O.K. that helps. It sounds like you have a rapid start ballast (no starters) operating 2 F40T12 tubes. That's an old, but very common, arrangement.
I'll guess your problem is lack of preheat. There is about 3.5 volts between the pins at each end of your tubes. If that voltage is not there, the tube can do what's called "instant start" and that can force a tube to end-of-life in short order, but the process usually takes months, not weeks. But if the preheat is missing, it may also be that the tube just won't start with the available voltage after a short time. The tube hasn't failed completely and might even work in another socket. Have you tried putting "failed" tubes into other sockets that appear to work properly?
Lack of preheat can be due to a bad socket, faulty wiring or an internal fault in the ballast. You can check all those things easily, but don't try it unless you know what you're doing around electricity since the power has to be on. There are fairly high voltages involved. The other choice is to replace the ballast, wiring and lamp sockets. You can do that yourself since the power will be off, but it may be time to arrange for professional help. You can still find T12 lamps and ballasts, but it would be more energy efficient to use T8 lamps powered by an electronic ballast for the replacement. The T8 parts fit into your present fixture and they are readily available at HD and many hardware stores.
TKM
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