Flourescent tubes - what did I do wrong?


I had a bunch of flourescent lights with the tubes went bad in my garage. Some are 48" long ones and some are the U shaped tubes. Since I had seven sets of lights I have been lazy and waited till now to replace them after about six of the tubes burned out and 2 that are immiment (doing the flickering thing and if I turn it off and back on again it will come up).
Now I bought 10 new tubes and replaced them. But out of eight tubes only two came on the other six remain dead. It is a little tricky to get them in and I had to push and twist them into place. I tried removing them and reseating them again, no luck.
I must be doing something wrong? Are these tubes polarized? or can it either end go in either socket? Even the U shaped tubes do not lit up and there were working fine (flickering) before I installed the new ones. I was pretty careful when I removed them so I don't think it is likely that I damaged the sockets when I removed the old tubes.
Any idea?
Thanks in advance.
MC
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Miami.
Lots of humidity in Miami so clean the fixture contacts with a bit of sand paper. You seem to describe having a working fixture so test all of the bulbs (or as many as will fit). Check to be sure you bought the right fixtures. Test the ground and the ballasts.
Dave M.
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Martel wrote:

Another thing that occaisionally works: Clean the tubes. Sometimes they get a little film of dirst including salt from sweat of people handling them, or from salty air in coastal areas. In high humidity, this little film of salty dirt will become hygroscopic and become conductive. That can screw up the electric field distribution within a tube that is trying to start.
Also look for:
1) Proper grounding of fixtures and ballast cases and make sure you have no hot-neutral reverses anywhere. That can also affect electric field distribution within tubes that are trying to start and sometimes interferes with them starting.
2) Tube/ballast mismatch. Those newer T8 (1 inch diameter) tubes will often not work at all if the ballasts are for T12 (such as F40), and will usually be overpowered and/or have unstable operation if they do. Also there are different kinds of 1.5 inch diameter (T12) 4-footers. Most but not all are F40 and should work on ballasts for F40 - check the ballast labels to see if they are rated for F40 and that the tubes are F40.
3) Some F40's are the "energy saver" or the like ones, which are 34 watt ones. Because they have a different gas in them, they can be crankier and more difficult to start than "true F40".
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MiamiCuse wrote:

Look carefully at each end of the ones that didn't come on and make sure both pins are inside the socket. The proper way to install them involves lining up the pins just off of vertical, sliding both ends into their respective sockets, and then twisting 1/4 turn so the pins make contact. I hope that makes sense -- it's a bit hard to describe in words. It might help to study an empty socket to understand what must happen.
There's also a possibility the ballasts are shot, but I'd suspect the bulbs first.
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Try putting known good tubes in different fixtures. Maybe it's the ballast that's bad?
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MiamiCuse wrote:

Poor contacts are a regular problem. Cheap fixtures are a big problem. The "shop lamp" fixtures should be considered throw-a-ways.
Good Luck
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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Walmart has now gone electronic with their shop lights. Buy them and rob the parts for yours - if you don't like the looks. The parts alone are worth double the cost of the lamps.
On Sat, 30 Dec 2006 12:19:10 -0500, "MiamiCuse"

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DK spake thus:

The ones I got at Home Despot ("Lights of America") back in 1997 or so had electronic ballasts, so they're nothing new. Still working fine.
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