Our kitchen has three under-the-cabinet flourescent lights. Suddenly two out
of the three tubes won't come on.
The one nearest the switch still comes on, but not the next two.
It's not the tubes, because I tested all three in the one that works, and
they all come on.
Sometime ago I noticed a very slight, intermittent popping noise -- almost
like a water-drip -- in the area of the second on the line.
I notice that when I take the tubes out of the non-functioning holders, the
ends of the tubes are quite warm.
I've tested all circuit-breakers.
Any guidance appreciated.
First check the power and ground connections. Next try new lamps, as they
get older they're more dificult to light.The fact that they work in the one
fixture means little. Next, you could replaced the ballast transformers,
but I'd sooner replace the fixtures, preferably with Xenon
Are these fixtures the old fashioned type (I still see them for sale) that
use a "starter" can, this is a small aluminum can shaped item that twists
into a socket on the side of the fixture or under the bulb. The clue is the
warm ends of the tubes. A starter can that has failed, will keep the ends
glowing but will fail to light the tubes. If this fixture uses starter cans,
buy replacement starters rated for the bulb wattage and replace the
defective ones. They just remove with quarter turn to the left and a pull.
Alternatively is to replace the fixtures with something different.
Xenon undercabinet fixtures are merely improved incandescent ones.
(Actually the light sources ahve this improvement.) Energy efficiency of
xenon incandescent is a couple notches above that of conventional
incandescent of same voltage, wattage and life expectancy - still a
fraction of that of good fluorescent fixtures.
- Don Klipstein ( email@example.com)
Don, what do you recommend as "good" undercabinet fluorescents? Years ago
when they were all T-12, they were fine, but ugly,then when they went to T-8
magnetic, I had nothing but trouble with them until Alko came out with the
"little inch" with the Radionics ballast. They were great for a number of
years, and now everyone's cloned them with varying degrees of quality. In
the past few years if I'm doing an undercabinet fluorescent job, even with
Alko brand,about 20% of the things don't work, right out of the box
Ive used about 26 of the HDepot T8 18" [GE brand I think] in the last
year with no issues, the units have bulbs and wall plugs, but are
offered in different styles. I have had these cheap T8 units lasting
20 years. 20 years ago they were cheaper than Cfls and the least
expensive way to get a low watt flourescent. I used to use them in apt
buildings for hall lights before I found Cfls for a 1$.
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