Flourescent Light Help, Please

I live in an apartment with a really good maintenance man and management that will pay for needed repairs.
But none of us can figure out what is wrong with the light in one of the bathrooms.
It's flourescent, circular and has two "rings" of bulbs.
At times, it can be turned off for a day and will come right back on. At other times, it can be turned off and it will take up to an hour to come back on and that with flipping the switch on-off repeatedly.
When it is "in a bad mood" [sigh], and the switch is flipped, sometimes it will barely glow in each of the four "ends". On flipping the switch on-off eight or ten times, the bulbs will "glow" a little bit more. Sometimes, the light will come on, other times I have to go away for an hour or so and come back and flip it again a bunch of times and, usually, it will come on then.
Now here's the rub: I watched the maint man take out the old switch and put in a new one. And I watched the maint man take out the old fixture and install the new one. Complete: new fixture, new starters and new bulbs.
And the problem is less often now but it still occurs.
Gray Shockley -------------------------------------------------------- Actually I know how this happened. I spent twenty years in the service as an electronics tech and, probably, said something, sometime, about "electricity" being easier to troubleshoot than "electronics".
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Gray Shockley wrote:

It sounds like a classic case of a bad ground connection, somewhere. The metal parts of the fixture must have a good ground. Usually the problem is at the fixture, but it may also be many other places.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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That's almost always a problem with the ground for the fixture. Flourescent lights require: 1. A reliable ground (not neutral wire) connection 2. The proper orientatation/location of the ballast and the bulbs and the ground. If the product is UL/CSA or CE listed, approved, etc. as the case may be, then that won't be an issue as long as the fixture is mounted as detailed in its install instructions. If it's sort of a diy install though, those things become more important to proper operation. 3. It's also possible it is a line voltage issue. Low line voltage can impact the firing of the tubes. Flicking the switch sometimes will create a spike of sufficient duration and strength to fire the bulb; once fired, it will stay on at lower voltages. In certain older structures it's not unusual to find a specific wire with low line voltage but not on the other wiring. It's a result of connections which go resistive due to aging, oxidation, etc.. 4. Dumb question: Is there a starter in the fixture? If so, was it also changed out? New fixtures are unlikely to have a "starter". They're little aluminum tube shapes that twist-insert into a socket somewhere on the light fixture. 5. Are the ground/neutral/hot polarities correct?
HTH
Pop

and management that

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right back on. At

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the switch on-off

more. Sometimes, the

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will come on then.

old switch and put

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and new bulbs.

the service as an

about "electricity"

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On Sat, 24 Apr 2004 01:09:09 -0500, Gray Shockley wrote:

--------------------------------------------------------
Thank y'all very much for the help with the light problem.
If it ever goes off again, I'll check return and ground lines (specifically).
You, of course, know what /had/ to happen.
Since writing the orginal message, the problem has not occured once so, apparently, y'all scared the problem off!
Many thanks, Gray
Gray Shockley -------------------------- Entropy Maintenance Technician Tao Chemical Company -------------------------- snipped-for-privacy@cybercoffee.org http://www.compcomm.com / Vicksburg, Mississippi US
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