I had a bunch of flourescent lights with the tubes went bad in my garage.
Some are 48" long ones and some are the U shaped tubes. Since I had seven
sets of lights I have been lazy and waited till now to replace them after
about six of the tubes burned out and 2 that are immiment (doing the
flickering thing and if I turn it off and back on again it will come up).
Now I bought 10 new tubes and replaced them. But out of eight tubes only
two came on the other six remain dead. It is a little tricky to get them in
and I had to push and twist them into place. I tried removing them and
reseating them again, no luck.
I must be doing something wrong? Are these tubes polarized? or can it
either end go in either socket? Even the U shaped tubes do not lit up and
there were working fine (flickering) before I installed the new ones. I was
pretty careful when I removed them so I don't think it is likely that I
damaged the sockets when I removed the old tubes.
Thanks in advance.
Lots of humidity in Miami so clean the fixture contacts with a bit of
sand paper. You seem to describe having a working fixture so test all of the
bulbs (or as many as will fit). Check to be sure you bought the right
fixtures. Test the ground and the ballasts.
Another thing that occaisionally works: Clean the tubes.
Sometimes they get a little film of dirst including salt from sweat of
people handling them, or from salty air in coastal areas. In high
humidity, this little film of salty dirt will become hygroscopic and
become conductive. That can screw up the electric field distribution
within a tube that is trying to start.
Also look for:
1) Proper grounding of fixtures and ballast cases and make
sure you have no hot-neutral reverses anywhere. That can also affect
electric field distribution within tubes that are trying to start and
sometimes interferes with them starting.
2) Tube/ballast mismatch. Those newer T8 (1 inch diameter) tubes will
often not work at all if the ballasts are for T12 (such as F40), and will
usually be overpowered and/or have unstable operation if they do. Also
there are different kinds of 1.5 inch diameter (T12) 4-footers. Most
but not all are F40 and should work on ballasts for F40 - check the
ballast labels to see if they are rated for F40 and that the tubes are
3) Some F40's are the "energy saver" or the like ones, which are 34 watt
ones. Because they have a different gas in them, they can be crankier and
more difficult to start than "true F40".
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
As you say, they can be tricky to install -- especially the long ones.
Look carefully at each end of the ones that didn't come on and make sure
both pins are inside the socket. The proper way to install them
involves lining up the pins just off of vertical, sliding both ends into
their respective sockets, and then twisting 1/4 turn so the pins make
contact. I hope that makes sense -- it's a bit hard to describe in
words. It might help to study an empty socket to understand what must
There's also a possibility the ballasts are shot, but I'd suspect the
The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
minimize spam. Our true address is of the form email@example.com.
Walmart has now gone electronic with their shop lights. Buy them and
rob the parts for yours - if you don't like the looks. The parts
alone are worth double the cost of the lamps.
On Sat, 30 Dec 2006 12:19:10 -0500, "MiamiCuse"
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