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?
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.
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
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
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