I'm having garage fluorescent lighting trouble. There are two surface
mount fluorescent tube pairs in my garage controlled by two three-way
switches. When I turn one switch on, the ends of both fixtures glow
for awhile, then sometimes eventually light. Sometimes only one (of
the four tubes) light. Today I tried running my hand across the tubes
and that made them light up. Fixtures, tubes and all are 13 years
old. They have had problems when tempertures drop to 10 degrees in the
winter, but this is first during the hot summers. The temperature in
the garage is about 90 to 100 degrees, high humidity. Any
ideas/comments? Or troubleshooting steps to take?
Good advice... I would add that if you are changing the tubes, change
them in pairs. Used tubes are characterized by a blackening of the
cathodes (at the ends) but a bad tube doesn't always make itself
Help me here. To test the ground. Would I test continuity between
the metal housing and the ground from an electrical outlet? If this
tests okay, I'm thinking about replacing the tubes or the entire
Washing and drying tubes has helped me. A new tube has a coating of
silicone or something to repel moisture, but humidity affects older
tubes. Washing seems to get rid of contaminants that hold moisture.
Sometimes a nonstarting tube will feel moist when everything else in the
room feels dry.
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