Fluorescent light buzzes


In my garage, I have a fluorescent fixture with two 40W "bulbs". It worked OK for quite a while, then began that awful buzzing. I noticed that one of the bulbs had burned out, so I removed it, but the remaining one continues to buzz.
Any clues? Does that mean the demise of the remaining bulb is at hand? Or? Your input appreciated.
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On 06/19/2010 12:01 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Probably needs two tubes to operate properly, but also likely has a magnetic ballast which is either loose in its mount and vibrating or is just old, and if replaced will likely be much quieter (use an electronic ballast if you like silence)
nate
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Thanks for suggestions. I can't see why a fixture only 3 years old max would have a loose ballast. Nobody goes near the fixture; it just hangs up there. I don't know how to replace a ballast, (a), and (b) the cost might exceed just getting a new fixture.
Feedback?
TIA
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On 06/19/2010 06:51 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Ballasts are cheap, and not hard to replace. You might need some orange wire nuts. What are the tubes? someone (I'll let someone else do it, because I have no experience with any particular new ballasts) could probably recommend a specific model knowing what tubes you have and what voltage they're being fed.
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On 6/19/10 7:11 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

I'm curious-- why would you specify the color of the wire nuts? The color is cosmetic.
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wrote:

Some companies code their wire nuts by color to the size and number of wires to be used. I don't know if there is a standard color or not. At work I have used thousands of them from 2 or 3 makers. They seem to be the same size for the same color.
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On 06/20/2010 10:54 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Yeah, what he said. Orange are typically used for fixture pigtails or splicing small gauge wires. Yellow for typical splicing of 2 or 3 #14 or #12 conductors. Red for bigger splices. Don't have the actual ratings handy, but they're printed on the container. I think at least Ideal and Buchanan both use roughly those color codes, and there are also some other sizes available, and those three cover 95% of what you need to have around for around the house repairs.
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Higgs Boson wrote:

If your hand fits a screwdriver, it's a simple enough job to tighten the screws and see if the hum goes away.
If a new bulb won't light, you may have a defective ground.
To replace a ballast, take the old one to a box store and tell the clerk you want to replace it. Five out of seven times he'll give you the right one. Wiring instructions come with the ballast.
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It is not usually the ballast that is loose from the mounting bracket, but the inside of the ballast is loose. No way to tighten it up as a general rule.
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On 06/19/2010 11:02 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

I've experienced both... sometimes tightening the mounting screw(s) does in fact yield the desired results. Sometimes not.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

A good whack with a hammer might tighten it up.
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