Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Father-in-law had flourecent lights installed in his rec room. Now only after a year or so they don't work. We have replaced the bulbs and nothing. They try to light, but just flicker. There are four lights, I would have to believe they are wired in series since they are operated by one switch. Could the Balasts have gone out on all four lights? If not, what then?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,265 Posts
jesterbgood said:
They try to light, but just flicker..
I've found, on more than one occasion, that I failed to put a tube in "just right" and that's what I got - a lamp that wouldn't quite light. Sometimes those bulbs are tricky to put in

jesterbgood said:
I would have to believe they are wired in series since they are operated by one switch.
I don't think it at all likely that you have any series wired fixtures in your home.

Try re-installing all the tubes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Your cheapest attempt would be to replace the wall switch. It is most likly a 15A contractor grade switch ("contractor grade" is not good in this context). Replace it with a 20A, about $2.00 and see if this corrects the problem.
Flourescent lights run cheaply but the surge to load up 4 ballasts can be significant, same as an inductive motor. Oddly enough both were invented by the same guy, Nikoli Tesla.
 
G

·
Teetorbilt said:
Your cheapest attempt would be to replace the wall switch. It is most likly a 15A contractor grade switch ("contractor grade" is not good in this context). Replace it with a 20A, about $2.00 and see if this corrects the problem.
Flourescent lights run cheaply but the surge to load up 4 ballasts can be significant, same as an inductive motor. Oddly enough both were invented by the same guy, Nikoli Tesla.


Before you go through the effort of changing a switch try testing it first. If you don't know how to test it then you shouldn't be changing a switch. I agree with the bulb positioning or even perhaps loose connectors or even the sockets were damaged.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
It is difficult to load test a wall switch without access to a carbon pile with an amp guage. I have one and they are much more expensive than a wall switch. An Ohm meter will tell you if the switch is off or on but it will not tell you how much amperage the switch is capable of carrying.
The contacts inside the switch arc a little bit everytime it is actuated eventually they become 'craters' and contact only occurs on the tops of these reducing the amperage that the contacts can pass.
 
G

·
Teetorbilt said:
It is difficult to load test a wall switch without access to a carbon pile with an amp guage. I have one and they are much more expensive than a wall switch. An Ohm meter will tell you if the switch is off or on but it will not tell you how much amperage the switch is capable of carrying.
The contacts inside the switch arc a little bit everytime it is actuated eventually they become 'craters' and contact only occurs on the tops of these reducing the amperage that the contacts can pass.

um...wouldn't you just have to test the voltage coming out of the switch while the load is being carried?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Their working!

Thanks all. I got them to work and would you believe that it was the bulbs. My in-laws swore up and down that they had changed them. Once they left I bought a new box and we have light! It was my first thought, but I let my folks change my mind. Anyhow, thanks all. :eek:
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top