Fluorescent light problem

Hi,
I have two 48" fluorescent fixtures in my kitchen, each with four bulbs. They're old fixtures (maybe 25 years old), and I replaced the ballasts in both fixtures a couple years ago.
Recently, one of the fixtures stopped working completely. Actually, not quite completely: one of the four bulbs flickers dimly. I replaced all four bulbs and there was no change. The new bulb in the same slot still flickers dimly, and the other three new bulbs are effectively dead.
What could be happening? Bad ballast? Grounding problem? Any guesses, based on the symptoms?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
With each pair of bulbs working in series you've got a lot of socket connections that can be loose, as well as a possible bad ballast. I'd suggest replacing the ballasts and lamps with electronic ones, if not the entire fixture. The electronic ones will wire completely differently, work reliably and be brighter

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agre with RBM, the new ones are so much better than anything over 15 years old. I wouldn't spend the time or money on this. Gerry

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rbm, a question for you. my fluorescent fixture, about 10 yrs old, works intermittently and seems to be worse when humidity is high. would you suggest replacing the fixture?
what are the 'electronic' fixtures? are they available at lowes, HD?
thanks

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
To make your garden variety magnetic ballasted fluorescent fixture work , requires a pile of connections, good lamps, good ballast, and to often good atmospheric conditions. The current crop of electronic ballasts are really reliable, don't blink, and the lamps give more light. I don't know if Depot and Lowes sells decent fluorescent fixtures, I have seen some with a really cheap integral ballast. Any lighting store or electrical supply will have them

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Before you do anything drastic, try working all the bulbs back and forth in the fixture to clean the contacts. I struggled with a bad fixture for months until I decided to do that and the fix has lasted a year so far.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

...................................................................................
Suggestion: Before anything really drastic, try swapping tubes around. Usually one ballast supplies two 48" tubes. So if the tubes work in on 'set' of positions and not when moved over to another 'set' of positions it may be a bad/dirty contact or a bad ballast.
I have an almost three lifetimes supply of used ballasts (and also used fixtures fairly easy to fix up at least for workshop/garage use), obtained free of course, and replace, maybe one ballast every two/three years in some six fixtures; the most used of which is in our kitchen! Also some 60 used fluorescent tubes; at least 50%+ of them turn out to be 'good' .
A question if I may: I have one, appears new but may have been faulty? electronic ballast among the lot. If I were to use an electronic ballast, reputed to be "much better" either that one or by buying new ones would I have to buy 'different' type tubes; or can I just use my stock of conventional 40 or 34 watt ones?
Appreciate advice. TIA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.