Weird Fluorescent

A friend had a fluorescent light do something strange. Here's his email:
Had to take the kitchen fluorescent light apart as one pair of the lamps started flickering and then went out. Had a hell of a time getting them out, as the socket was corroded and the lamps did NOT want to come out. Put the new ones in and found the one lamp would light about 8 inches in from each end and the rest was just a shadow. Never saw a symptom like that before. I figured that it was the ballast, as another new lamp did the same thing. When I got it apart, I discovered the wires just push in to the socket and seemed loose, but there was no release . The harder I pulled, the looser they got, but would not come out. Then I put the sockets on the lamps with the whole mess hanging by the wires. Everything worked fine, so I twisted the wires together to put some strain on the socket connection and put it back together. It is working OK now. The ends of the lamps get VERY hot. I don’t remember that happening on the older fixtures, do you?
Strange .... any ideas?
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On 05/04/2015 07:40 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

The sockets of course need to be replaced, just cut the wires to remove.
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On 05/04/2015 07:02 AM, philo wrote:

With many of the sockets if you push something like an awl or thin icepick in beside the wire it holds the spring back so the wire can be pulled out. However after the attempt to pull them out be brute force, cutting them close to the socket and stripping them may be best.
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On 05/04/2015 08:32 AM, rbowman wrote:

Yep, the wire should be cut back far enough so that nothing tarnished is used.
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On 5/4/2015 9:32 AM, rbowman wrote:

Paperclip always does the trick.
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On 05/04/2015 09:13 AM, Meanie wrote:

A paperclip can also be used to open a DVD drive when it isn't powered up. I was going to use that approach a couple of weeks ago and realized not only am I paperless these days I am paperclipless too. It may not be too many more years before school kids ask "A what?" They'll miss all the fun of making a chain long enough to reach down a five store open stairwell.
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If the lamps are getting very hot on the ends it means that the heaters are not turning off when the lamp lights, and will burn out and blacken the tube ends. If you have starter cans, common on old fixtures, they have failed. The starter cans have a bi-metallic strip in a glass tube that opens when it heats up and a capacitor to reduce radio interference. Either could be shorted or fused. Replace the starter cans.
If there are no starter cans, then there is only the ballast at fault and needs replacing.
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