Fluorescent Light Problem


I have two 2 40 watt-bulb fixtures in my kitchen. The fixtures are probably about 12-15 years old.
Recently I changed the bulbs in one fixture because they were getting pretty dim. The new bulbs that I put in had a flicker (rotating gas type stuff) at one end.
I took those bulbs out and put in two more. These worked fine for a few times on and off. Now when the light is turned on, it takes 5-10 seconds to light completely. We are never sure that it is going to light. Just very low flickering before finally lighting up.
Up until my changing the bulbs this time, the fixture never had a problem. The other light fixture works just fine.
Any suggestions as to what I can look at.
Thanks.
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Joe Beda wrote:

Look at the cost of new ballasts for those olde fixtures.
Oh, and make sure the fixtures themselves are in fact grounded.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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On 9/1/2010 7:57 AM, Joe Beda wrote:

You might want to replace those magnetic ballasts with new technology. The fixture will use less energy and run cooler and the lamps will last longer.
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Joe Beda wrote:

I think, but am not sure, that florescent bulbs have changed a bit in the past few years. There are now more varieties.
Aside from reworking the ground wires, the suggestion by others to upgrade the ballast is about your best bet.
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So the consensus is change the ballast. I suspected that was the problem, but did not want to go through the effort if that was not the problem.
Thanks to all.
On Wed, 01 Sep 2010 06:57:48 -0500, Joe Beda

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>Recently I changed the bulbs in one fixture because they were getting >pretty dim. The new bulbs that I put in had a flicker (rotating gas >type stuff) at one end.
I think the fixture is old enough to be unable to use the mostly green bulbs on the market today, especially by the description you gave. If you look around, you might still be able to find bulbs that are meant for older fixtures that will work just fine. I have the same problem with a very hard to reach unit. Won't take green-ended bulbs - have to use a much more expensive type designed for older fixtures. When the ballast fails, I'll go green but until then, I use the full 40 watt bulbs and not the 34 or 35 watt greenies.
I alway thought it ironic that in the quest for a green earth, they'd make a slipstream change in technology that would cause people to waste so much time, money and effort. My neighbor went through a contractor pack of green bulbs before I noticed them in the trash, week after week and asked her what the problem was. She was *trying* to do the right thing by buying green bulbs, but was doing quite the opposite. I am sure adding 24 bulbs to the trash pile was NOT the intent of the new green fixtures and bulbs, but it certainly was the result. Repeat 10,000 times and you've got a lot of bulbs going into landfills that never should have gone there. The markings on the fixtures and packages are often little help in figuring out this problem.
Eventually, when all old fixtures are worn out or replaced, it will be a good thing, but the way it was handled was certainly not. It *was* however, a great (but lost) opportunity to re-engineer the stupid two-pin twist-lock connector that isn't worth the greased jack pin to ram it into hell, IMHO. That way, only green bulbs would fit green fixtures. What do you expect from lamp companies that are still marketing bulbs that aren't much different from the ones that were first invented over 100 years ago?
What sort of bulbs did you buy for replacement? Do you still have the old bulbs and the old product numbers to compare? I'll bet you'll see the difference in an instant.
-- Bobby G.
wrote:

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On Thu, 2 Sep 2010 05:20:45 -0400, "Robert Green"

The bulbs I have are the 40-watt bulbs, not the green 34-watt.
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On 9/1/2010 7:57 AM, Joe Beda wrote:

Does it have starters? If so I always replace them along with a new bulb. If it uses them it takes 2 FS-4 starters.
If you don't know what they look like, either google it or try using this mile long link.
http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jPvodw4DsukgXGWG185a2S8tA7IPJZS1V20isUKbA5NQW_kKbq9PGcD2p6UNUlTJbjIaIhVCIdW0HXEkm9hXsXJxXrKz1Ma284Sk4QKoaqNfnHK4s9p4QxDH8mULnzUWAqP2pUsS1Uqc8mocxw6xBVsGHCo
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wrote:

Nope, no starters.
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Common problems with these fixtures are:
Ballast/Lamp mismatch... You need to open the ballast compartment and see what type of lamps it is designed to power...
Loose connections to lamp holders...
Corrosion in the lamp holders which impedes the current flow...
Ballast nearing the end of its service life...
I add my concurrence to the majority opinion of a ballast and lamp refresh on these older fixtures...
~~ Evan
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THE FLICKER FROM THE FIRST BULB EXCHANGE WAS NOTHING THE FLOURESCENT DUST DURING STORAGE SOMETIMES ACCUMULATES ON ONE SIDE SHAKING THE TUBES BACK AND FORTH A FEW TIMES VIGORESSLY AND REINSTALLING THEM WILL HAVE FIXED THAT PROBLEM
AS PREVIOUSLY SUGGESTED YOU WILL BE BETTER OFF CHANGING THE BALLAST PREFERABLY TO AN ELECTRONIC ONE IF YOU WANT THE MOST EFFICIENCY OUT OF THE FIXTURE ALSO CHANGE THE TUBES TO SIZE T8
YOU WILL HAVE CHEAP MONEY SAVING TROUBLE FREE GREAT KITCHEN LIGHTING FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER 15 YEARS OR SO
IAP
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HAD YOU LEFT THE FIXTURE LIT LONG ENOUGH THE ELECTRICAL FLUX AND ACTIVITY INSIDE THE TUNES WOULD HAVE DISTRIBUTED THE DUST EVENLY YOU HAVE TO LET THEM WARM UP WELL
BEST PRACTICE UPGRADE ALL OLD & FAULTY INTERNAL COMPONENTS AS SOON AS YOU GET A CHANCE IAP
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Joe Beda wrote:

Rip them out and put in CFL track lighting.
--
LSMFT

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On Wed, 01 Sep 2010 06:57:48 -0500, Joe Beda

I changed the ballast and now everything is great!
Thanks to all.
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