Fluorescent Lighting Problem and Repair Checklist
How to Identify and Repair a Fluorescent Light Fixture: Troubleshooting Checklist for Repairing a Fluorescent Light Fixture
How to Identify and Repair Problems with Fluorescent Light Fixtures
Electrical Question: I have fluorescent lighting in my kitchen and I have been having issues getting the lights to turn on when it is humid out.
This fluorescent light fixture is very frustrating!
- The bulbs are OK, in fact, I’m pretty sure they’re brand new.
- Do you have any suggestions on what this could be and how I can fix it?
- Anything you have to tell me would be a great help!
I look forward to your response. Have a great night!
Additional Comments: Tons of information available for different things.
Background: Nicole, from Lehighton, Pennsylvania.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Nicole.
Troubleshooting Checklist for Repairing a Fluorescent Light Fixture
- Lamp Pins and Sockets
Make sure both pins of the lamps are in all the way in the sockets and the lamps have been rotated so the pins make connection with the socket contacts. At the base of each end of the lamp there are marks 180 degrees apart from each other which are indicators where one will point downward when the lamp is rotated into the correct position to make connection with the contacts in the sockets.
- Ring Around Lamp Base
Make sure both lamps are in good condition and do not have dark rings around one end. One bad lamp can prevent the other lamp from starting.
- Damaged Sockets
Check the lamp sockets. Lamp sockets can be damaged when a lamp is forced into place. If a lamp socket is cracked or broken then it will need to be replaced.
- Ground Wire
The fluorescent fixture enclosure must be grounded. If the ground wire has not been attached to the fixture housing this can cause the lamps to lighten up very dimly.
- Fluorescent Light Ballast
Never let fluorescent lamps burn out in the socket. This is a sure way of damaging the internal ballast which will require a new ballast and lamps, and a fixture ballast is the most expensive part which can cost around $20.00 dollars.
- Lamp Starter
Some older fluorescent fixtures require starters that can go bad. A starter has the appearance of a small round silver can which is usually found at one end of the fixture. Starters can burn out and require replacing. They require a slight twist to remove or install them.
- Light Switch
Every once and a while the wall switch may stop working and need replacing. Make sure to replace the wall switch with the same voltage and amperage as indicated on the original switch.
More about Wiring Light Fixtures
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This wiring diagram and pictures explain the basic kitchen electrical code wiring requirements required for most new or remodel projects.
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The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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