I have two 2 40 watt-bulb fixtures in my kitchen. The fixtures are
probably about 12-15 years old.
Recently I changed the bulbs in one fixture because they were getting
pretty dim. The new bulbs that I put in had a flicker (rotating gas
type stuff) at one end.
I took those bulbs out and put in two more. These worked fine for a
few times on and off. Now when the light is turned on, it takes 5-10
seconds to light completely. We are never sure that it is going to
light. Just very low flickering before finally lighting up.
Up until my changing the bulbs this time, the fixture never had a
problem. The other light fixture works just fine.
Any suggestions as to what I can look at.
I think, but am not sure, that florescent bulbs have changed a bit in the
past few years. There are now more varieties.
Aside from reworking the ground wires, the suggestion by others to upgrade
the ballast is about your best bet.
So the consensus is change the ballast. I suspected that was the
problem, but did not want to go through the effort if that was not the
Thanks to all.
On Wed, 01 Sep 2010 06:57:48 -0500, Joe Beda
>Recently I changed the bulbs in one fixture because they were getting
>pretty dim. The new bulbs that I put in had a flicker (rotating gas
>type stuff) at one end.
I think the fixture is old enough to be unable to use the mostly green bulbs
on the market today, especially by the description you gave. If you look
around, you might still be able to find bulbs that are meant for older
fixtures that will work just fine. I have the same problem with a very hard
to reach unit. Won't take green-ended bulbs - have to use a much more
expensive type designed for older fixtures. When the ballast fails, I'll go
green but until then, I use the full 40 watt bulbs and not the 34 or 35 watt
I alway thought it ironic that in the quest for a green earth, they'd make a
slipstream change in technology that would cause people to waste so much
time, money and effort. My neighbor went through a contractor pack of green
bulbs before I noticed them in the trash, week after week and asked her what
the problem was. She was *trying* to do the right thing by buying green
bulbs, but was doing quite the opposite. I am sure adding 24 bulbs to the
trash pile was NOT the intent of the new green fixtures and bulbs, but it
certainly was the result. Repeat 10,000 times and you've got a lot of bulbs
going into landfills that never should have gone there. The markings on the
fixtures and packages are often little help in figuring out this problem.
Eventually, when all old fixtures are worn out or replaced, it will be a
good thing, but the way it was handled was certainly not. It *was* however,
a great (but lost) opportunity to re-engineer the stupid two-pin twist-lock
connector that isn't worth the greased jack pin to ram it into hell, IMHO.
That way, only green bulbs would fit green fixtures. What do you expect
from lamp companies that are still marketing bulbs that aren't much
different from the ones that were first invented over 100 years ago?
What sort of bulbs did you buy for replacement? Do you still have the old
bulbs and the old product numbers to compare? I'll bet you'll see the
difference in an instant.
Does it have starters? If so I always replace them along with a new
bulb. If it uses them it takes 2 FS-4 starters.
If you don't know what they look like, either google it or try using
this mile long link.
Common problems with these fixtures are:
Ballast/Lamp mismatch... You need to open the ballast compartment
and see what type of lamps it is designed to power...
Loose connections to lamp holders...
Corrosion in the lamp holders which impedes the current flow...
Ballast nearing the end of its service life...
I add my concurrence to the majority opinion of a ballast and lamp
refresh on these older fixtures...
THE FLICKER FROM THE FIRST BULB EXCHANGE WAS NOTHING
THE FLOURESCENT DUST DURING STORAGE SOMETIMES ACCUMULATES ON ONE SIDE
SHAKING THE TUBES BACK AND FORTH A FEW TIMES VIGORESSLY AND
REINSTALLING THEM WILL HAVE FIXED THAT PROBLEM
AS PREVIOUSLY SUGGESTED
YOU WILL BE BETTER OFF CHANGING THE BALLAST
PREFERABLY TO AN ELECTRONIC ONE
IF YOU WANT THE MOST EFFICIENCY OUT OF THE FIXTURE
ALSO CHANGE THE TUBES TO SIZE T8
YOU WILL HAVE CHEAP MONEY SAVING TROUBLE FREE GREAT KITCHEN LIGHTING
FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER 15 YEARS OR SO
HAD YOU LEFT THE FIXTURE LIT LONG ENOUGH
THE ELECTRICAL FLUX AND ACTIVITY INSIDE THE TUNES WOULD HAVE
DISTRIBUTED THE DUST EVENLY
YOU HAVE TO LET THEM WARM UP WELL
UPGRADE ALL OLD & FAULTY INTERNAL COMPONENTS AS SOON AS YOU GET A
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