problem with a fluorescent fixture

A problem with a fluorescent fixture.-- At the end of four 48 there is a 24 fixture that I (a novice) have a problem with. I replaced the 24 with a new fixture because the old one didnt work. Now the new one will sometimes light when turning on the switch and if it doesnt all I have to do is place my hand one or two inches from the bulb and it goes on. It sounds like black magic to me but Im hoping that someone can explain to me why it happens and what I can do about it. TIA
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JerryJ
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printmn1 wrote:

It would appear the fixture is not properly grounded. Your description was very good, in that you said all the magic things. Make sure the metal part of the fixture is truly grounded to the electrical ground (not neutral) and all should be right with the world.
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Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Most likely the fixture is not grounded. Another, less likely possible explanation is hot-neutral reverse. These things affect electric field distribution within a bulb that is trying to start.
Other less likely possibilities - try cleaning the bulbs, make sure the ballast label says it is compatible with your bulbs, make sure the ballast is wired properly.
If the fixture has a starter and you tried everything else, try replacing the starter - preferably with one of a different brand. Some cranky starters need light (photoelectric effect) to start. After that, try a different brand of bulbs, preferably of the "Big 3" brands - Sylvania, Philips or GE.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com, http://www.misty.com/~don/ltrouble.html )
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I'd like to thank the responders to the below message. At least now I know there's no "black magic" involved. My question (remember, I said I was a "novice") is how do I go about "grounding" the fixture. Thanks again.
printmn1 wrote:

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JerryJ
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printmn1 wrote:

If you are not comfortable with this stuff, do hire a professional to do it.
The fixture should have three wires coming to it. One white, one black (or red) and one green or bare copper. That green/copper wire should be firmly secured to the metal parts of the fixture. There is likely a green screw on the fixture where the wires come in to secure the ground to.
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Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Thanks Joe for the info. I checked and found that there is no 3rd wire from the last 48" fixture. Maybe that's why the original 24" didn't work? I'm just going to leave it alone until I can get a pro to look at it. Thanks again.
Joseph Meehan wrote:

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JerryJ
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Do you have an ex-wife handy? They can make excellent grounds.
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