My 2 bulb fluorescent light (one of three fixtures) in the kitchen was working. Then it would light and shut off, then light up again, then shut off. Now when I turn on my kitchen lights that fixture does not light at all. The bulbs have power to them, but are not lighting. I have tried to replace the bulbs. No luck. The fixture is almost 20 years old. Do I need a whole new fixture? Is this the same as replacing a ballast? Thank you for your help.
Karen from Orlando, FL
First check the plastic or porcelain tube holders. If they are cracked or if the wires going into them, are loose, replace them. They are cheap. Also tighten the little top-hat connectors.
If none of that helps, draw a diagram of how the wires from the ballast are connected. You can draw it with a felt pen on the inside of the enclosure that holds the ballast. Then get a new ballast. If you can't get the old one out without taking the fixture down, see if you have room to put the new one in beside it. Mark where the screw holes need to be, then drill a 1/8 inch pilot hole and run a self tapping sheet metal screw or a wood screw into the holes. Use the square socket (Robertson) screws like the electricians use. They are much safer.
Cut the wires from the old ballast about an inch from the ballast, so that you can still see the colors.
Once you have prepared the mounting holes, attach the new ballast, and connect the wires according to your diagram.
Webby, I have replaced the ballast, the bulb (twice) and got three new starters - the bulb still will not work - when I switch it on it starts to work (flicker) and you can hear and see the starter working but the bulb will not light. Please help.
Answer: If the bulb, ballast and starter have been replaced, the only thing left is a mismatch between Rapid Start and Instant Start. All three have to be of the same type.
If Rapid Start tubes are no longer available locally, it will be easier to just replace the whole fixture. (04/08/2008)
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