ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
ShoutChat Box
Recent Posts
Any Woodworkers here?
by Bill Addiss - 05/16/21 12:27 AM
Your favourite food?
by Bill Addiss - 05/12/21 05:23 PM
Lock-down Thread
by gfretwell - 05/11/21 12:30 PM
Do You Travel?
by gfretwell - 05/11/21 12:16 PM
Just be aware of this...
by gfretwell - 05/10/21 07:30 PM
New in the Gallery:
2020 - 2021 Winter Project
Garden 2021
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 20 guests, and 17 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
flourescent light fixture #59914 12/18/05 09:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 273
circuit man Offline OP
here's a good one that has me stumped, about the above. bought a brand new fixture a couple of months ago,the rapid start type belive it's 20 watt ,two bulb. the problem is sometimes it comes on by itself sometimes not.i have changed ballasts, grounded it properly,& it still takes a notion not to work it doesn't.both ends of each bulb glow but want seem to start.but as soon as i touch the fixture it comes on.the bulbs are as close to the frame as possible.i had those $8 shoplights to work with only two wires before i got my shop wired. they never give a bit of a problem.even the ballast maker couldn't answer my problem.they even sent free replacements.but sometimes ya flip the switch & it comes right i wonder what the problem coud be?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: flourescent light fixture #59915 12/18/05 10:03 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 806
mxslick Offline
Try changing the bulbs. Since the big environmental crusade, F-lamps contain a lot less mercury than before. (The mercury vaporizes and aids in starting.)

And avoid the ones with green end caps, they're the worst!!

Even with name brands, defective bulbs seem common these days.

Stupid should be painful.
Re: flourescent light fixture #59916 12/19/05 02:22 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
hbiss Offline
Agreed. I have solved this same problem by using another manufacturer's lamps. U tube fixtures are notorious for this. I have had good luck with GE bad luck with Phillips. Also, as said try to stay away from the energy saving reduced wattage low mercury ones. The full wattage energy hogs usually work best. Maybe the energy saving lamps save energy because they don't work half the time. [Linked Image]


Re: flourescent light fixture #59917 12/19/05 08:18 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 197
LearJet9 Offline
Change to T8 lamps with an electronic ballast, your problem will be solved.

Re: flourescent light fixture #59918 12/19/05 08:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
Dnkldorf Offline
+1 for the T-8....


Re: flourescent light fixture #59919 12/19/05 11:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Just for grins & giggles, look closely at the wiring diagram on the ballast. It sometimes matters which bulb (or bulb end) gets fed first.

Re: flourescent light fixture #59920 12/19/05 06:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 273
circuit man Offline OP
THANKS GUYS! i'll check on the parents are about to drive me nuts abot this. especially my mom!LOL!why would touching the fixture cause the to come on though?i'm lost on that one. but it seems to work every time.

Re: flourescent light fixture #59921 12/19/05 07:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 64
jwhite Offline
when you touch the bulb you get the little molicules of phospores (sowwy spelling) excited.

Re: flourescent light fixture #59922 12/19/05 08:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 308
Edward Offline
Do you have to wait for a while then touch the fixture for it to come on?

Could there be a loose connection or a bad/corroded connection in the line somewhere that you do not get the full supply voltage when you turn the switch on?

Re: flourescent light fixture #59923 12/20/05 07:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 273
circuit man Offline OP
hi ed, no paticular time involved. was down there tonight & it came right on twice. the third time it didn't. touched it ,then it came on. sometimes you would turn it off & it would come right on.i know flourescent lamps are tempature senstive.but this doesn't seem to be the case.all connections are ok too. i may try some different bulbs.then i may attach a wire to the fixture so they can touch it.LOL!

Page 1 of 2 1 2


2020 National Electrical Code
2020 National Electrical
Code (NEC)

* * * * * * *

2020 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2020 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Sebago, ME, USA
Posts: 109
Joined: January 2005
Show All Member Profiles 
Top Posters(30 Days)
Admin 10
Trumpy 7
Popular Topics(Views)
279,176 Are you busy
212,237 Re: Forum
199,252 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3