I've got this fluorescent fixture in my kitchen which has two round
12" 32 watt tubes inside... they are each connected to their own
ballast. The fixture is probably only a couple of years old (haven't
had the house that long, but it looks fairly new)
90% of the time the fixture works fine, once in a while though the
tube on the right goes out, it eventually comes back on it's own.
Turning the lights on and off won't restart it, it just eventually
comes back on...
At first I thought it was a bad tube, so I swapped the left tube with
the right tube to see if it was the tube or something else.. The tube
on the right continues to go out, so it doesn't sound like it's the
tube. The one on the left side remains unaffected.
If it was a wiring problem I'm thinking it would probably impact both
tubes at the same time, also if it was wiring it should probably have
shown up before now, or be more consistent (IE just stay off all of
Does this sound like the ballast is going... I would think that if the
ballast was going, that it would just die, and not work 90% of the
time, then die, then come back...
I'll bet that the ballast on the "bad side" has a thermal intermittant
problem which causes it to develop an open circuit when it warms up
enough and then goes away when it cools down.
You *could* go to the trouble of swapping the ballasts like you did the
tubes, but if it was me I'd pick up a new ballast, install it and see
What you have is essentially two fixtures built into one housing. Each
operates independently, they're called "Circleline". The only connections
you have, other than power are the four prong jacks that plug into the
bulbs,so there is not much you can check.Your description does indicate an
overheating ballast, as Jeff described. All fluorescent ballasts since the
70's are "T" rated and will turn off when they overheat, then turn back on
after they cool. My suggestion would be to scrap the fixture and replace it
with a straight tube fixture that uses electronic ballasts, which are much
So I've taken the cover off the fixture, and noticed that the ends on
one of the tubes was kind of dark, so I decided to swap out both tubes
with new circlite tubes...
I've also taken a look at the ballasts and they are electronic
ballasts, as I said the fixture is not that old (maybe a couple of
After replacing both tubes I left the lights on for 2 hours to see if
the ballast on the right would overheat, and shut off... no problems,
lights stayed on, so I figured maybe it was just a bad tube...
Unfortunately I wasn't that lucky... a couple of hours later I turned
the lights back on, and the one on the problem side came on, then went
off, then came back on again... so I guess it wasn't the tubes...
Upon closer inspection I noticed that the ground wire on the fixture
is not connected at all... and I think for these types of fixtures
that they are supposed to be grounded aren't they? (The ballast
actually has a note on it that says it must be grounded)
So now I'm thinking that maybe the cause of the problem is that the
ficture is not grounded... kind of odd that this type of problem would
show up after over a year of trouble free operation..
Does this now sound like a grounding problem?
I really like the fixture so I'd like to fix it if possible.... on the
bright side the replacement cost for the fixture is $110. Might be
worth replacing the whole thing, and keeping the old one for parts.
On Sun, 05 Mar 2006 15:02:16 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"
Not having a good ground causes problems for fluorescent lamps. It
makes them difficult to start. It also tends to create a safety hazard. I
am not sure it exactly fits your described problems, but it certainly should
be corrected, even if you are planning to replace the fixture, you should
have a good ground.
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