Half-Baked Fluorescents...

I recently installed 4, 4', dual-tube shop lights in my basement. The ballasts claim to support 25 watt tubes, so they are loaded with those currently. The fixtures, tubes, and wiring are brand new. Everything is well grounded. The problem is that, without exception, only one side of the fixtures will light - the same side on every fixture. I'm at a loss as to what is going wrong, but perhaps it's something simple right under my nose that I hope you guys can point out. Defective fixtures? Wiring error? For those of who like details, here is the circuit as best I can describe it (follow the bouncing electron):
The fixtures, purchased from Walmart (perhaps that is the problem), are made by "General Fluorescent" in Mansfield, Texas, and are, again, loaded with 25 watt tubes. The circuit is as follows: from a freshly installed 20 amp breaker is a line (all line is 14 gauge Romex 2 conductor w/ground) going to a grounded outlet mounted to a ceiling joist (the basement is unfinished). Another line is run from the hot (black wired side) of the outlet to a wall switch, the white return going back to the outlet box and wire capped to the black side of two extension lines, each running to one of two shop lights. The white returns, of course, go back to the outlet box, connected to the neutrally wired (white) side of the outlet. Within these two fixtures, the black line is capped to the black ballast wire as well as an extension line for a subsequent light. Likewise with the white wire (capped to the white ballast wire and to this extension). Within the subsequent extension lights, the black and white lines are, again, capped to the associated ballast wires. Throughout, the bare copper ground wires are affixed to the proper screws, and there is continuity from the breaker box to the very last fixture. The sides that do not light do not appear to glow that the ends either, so I assume they are powerless. What to do? A one evening project has turned into a two week nightmare.
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2003 03:29:19 -0700, Todd Jarrett wrote:

Just to eliminate an odd situation, check the pair of pins on each end of each bulb for continuity. Can't remember what they're called (exciters maybe?), but if one end works, and one don't, the light won't operate correctly. Fix with new bulbs.
I just ran through that test on my shop lights, and ended up replacing 8 bulbs! The place looks *much* better now.
--
The Gnerd


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Sounds like. I assume there's only 1 ballast per fixture, right?
Wiring error? For those of who like details, here is the

Uh Oh. Though it's not related to this problem, 14 guage belongs on a 15, not 20 ampere breaker.

You're sure the "extra" black & white coming out of the ballast, which is capped off, is supposed to feed the next succeeding ficture? (And not some kind of whacky dual-feed ballast?)
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Long shot since the problem is on all the fixtures, but it is possible that the contacts have become slightly corroded in storage [more common in high humidity areas]. Try rotating/twisting the tubes to get a better contact and see if they power up.
-- Remove -NOSPAM- to contact me.
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Take a look at http://nemesis.lonestar.org/reference/electricity/fluorescent/instant.html and http://nemesis.lonestar.org/reference/electricity/fluorescent/rapid.html
(depending on the type of light you have) and see if the wiring diagrams shown there helps you.
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