GS> I live in an apartment with a really good maintenance man and management th
GS> will pay for needed repairs.
GS> But none of us can figure out what is wrong with the light in one of theGS> bathrooms.GS> GS> It's flourescent, circular and has two "rings" of bulbs.GS> GS> At times, it can be turned off for a day and will come right back on. AtGS> other times, it can be turned off and it will take up to an hour to come ba
GS> on and that with flipping the switch on-off repeatedly.GS> GS> When it is "in a bad mood" [sigh], and the switch is flipped, sometimes itGS> will barely glow in each of the four "ends". On flipping the switch on-offGS> eight or ten times, the bulbs will "glow" a little bit more. Sometimes, theGS> light will come on, other times I have to go away for an hour or so and comGS> back and flip it again a bunch of times and, usually, it will come on then.
Replacement of the switch and fixture makes troubleshooting really
interesting! Have voltage readings been taken, comparing "good mood"
to "bad mood"? (Use an analog meter, not a digital one.) My guess is
there is a broken neutral (white wire), possibly in the switch box.
Would sort of explain why flipping the switch sometimes fixes the
problem: slight bit of mechanical motion/vibration.
Have you noticed any correlation to the temperature when it
works/doesn't work? (Here a digital thermometer may be helpful.)
Years ago a friend's parents' TV would sometimes had a collapsed
picture -- the whack-to-the-side usually fixed. Ended up being a bad
solder joint. Was only able to track down in the mornings when my
apartment was cooler.
¯ barry.martinþATþthesafebbs.zeppole.com ®
* Radio of the future: "All classic rap, all the time!"
þ RoseReader 2.52á P003186
þ The Safe BBS þ Bettendorf, IA 563-359-1971
Make sure the fixture is properly grounded, and make sure the bulbs are
clean. These can afect the electric field distribution within a bulb that
is trying to start - starting failure may not consistently occur.
Also check that hot and neutral are not reversed (anywhere from the
breaker box to the ballast).
If there are starters, try replacing them. Be aware that bad bulbs are
very rough on starters and bad starters are very rough on bulbs. It is
often recommended to replace bulbs and starters simultaneously.
Another thing: With many starterless but non-electronic 2-bulb
ballasts, one bulb being bad knocks both out, either completely or into
"dim glow", and whichever is brighter is sometimes actually the bad one -
usually the bad one has severe darkening of one end (less frequently both
ends). Dim glow is sometimes bad for a bulb - replace both if they have
been doing "dim glow" for long and nothing else works.
If you are contemplating replacing the fixture or the ballast, use an
electronic ballast and compatible bulbs, preferably 17 watt or 32 watt T8
(1 inch diameter) since these and even more so the ballasts for them tend
to be better.
My favorite color of these is "835" (or GE's "SPX35") - a "semi warm
white" with color rendering index of 82-86, and a majority of the color
distortions slightly in the direction of "more vivid than proper". Look
in an electrical/lighting supply shop.
- Don Klipstein ( email@example.com)
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