I have a three foot fluorescent light above my sink. The bulb just burnt
out after ten years. I bought I new bulb turn the light on and it worked
fine. Next day my wife turned it on and the bulb just blinked. I then
replaced the starter again light worked once then does not work anymore.
Any suggestions. Do fixtures with starters instead of ballast require
special tubes. The tube is a rapid start if that matters.
Fixtures with starters also have ballast.
As the others have suggested, It may be the ballast or poor contacts. I
will add that it may also be a bad ground.
I suggest you check the contacts (where the lamp fits) and then the
ground. After that I would suggest replacing the whole fixture.
Two things that I can think of:
1. A bad bulb is really hard on starters, and a bad starter is really
hard on bulbs. Try replacing both simultaneously if there is a starter.
(NOTE - even if there are no starters, you still have a ballast.)
2. 30 watt 3-foot bulbs come in two widths (T8, "1 inch" and T12, "1.5
inch"). Many ballasts for 30-watters will only let through the proper
amount of current for one width, and often either overpower or underpower
(also bad) the other width. Also, many 30 watt fluorescent bulbs are made
for only one starting method (preheat [usually uses starters] or rapid
start [does not use starters]).
(Also note - 15 watters also come in both widths, but unlike the 30
watters, the two widths of 15 watters are electrically interchangeable
with each other.)
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
There are two widths of bulbs for three foot fixtures. A fixture with a
starter requires a bulb that is skinnier in width than a usual "fat"
fluorescent bulb, it is about 1 inch wide.
The code printed on the bulb will be as follows.
F30T8 - 30 watts 1 inch wide. - for fixtures that have a starter.
Any letters or numers after the code designates color. Just to add, the
WRONG bulbs have the following codes you'll likely encounter at the store.
F30T12 - 1 1/2 inch "fat" bulb for "rapid start" starterless ballasts.
F25T12 OR F30T12 (energy saving version of F30T12 above) 25 watts 1 1/2 inch
"fat" bulb for "rapid start" starterless ballasts.
F25T8 - 25 watts, 1 inch wide "skinny" bulb, for modern electronic ballasts.
Again, Any letters or numers after the code designates color.
CW - Cool White, your standard, "bright white" fluorescent bulbs have been
long known for over the years. For example, if someone says "I hate
fluoescent light", this is the color they mean.
Philips "Home light warm"
Sylvania "Designer Warm White"
GE "Kitchen and Bath Ultra" - These three give a nice warm colored light,
it is very similar to regular light bulbs. People that hate traditional Cool
White "fluoresnt light" will like these. "cool" versions of these are also
available that are similar to Cool White, but are somewhat color corrected.
Another thing to check - are you using the correct starter? A three foot
fixture requires a starter that is marked "FS-4". And other things like bad
contacts, like others have suggested.
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