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Electrical Wire and Cable

Fluorescent Lighting Problem and Repair Checklist

How to Identify and Repair a Fluorescent Light Fixture: Troubleshooting Checklist for Repairing a Fluorescent Light Fixture

Home Electrical Wiring Video

Hooking Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
for Backup Power

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Will Display at the End of This Video
So Keep Watching So I Can Help You Wire it Right!

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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!

I look forward to your response. Have a great night!

Additional Comments: Tons of information available for different things.
Background: Nicole, from Lehighton, Pennsylvania.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Nicole.

Troubleshooting Checklist  for Repairing a Fluorescent Light Fixture

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See More about Wiring Light Fixtures

recessed lighting
Home Lighting Articles
Home Lighting Articles covering recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, lighting terminology and more.

Kitchen Electrical
Kitchen Electrical Wiring Requirements
This wiring diagram and pictures explain the basic kitchen electrical code wiring requirements required for most new or remodel projects.

The following may also be helpful for you:

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book
Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

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 that I use to easily Detect 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.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

More articles about Fluorescent, Lighting and Home Electrical Wiring:
« Previous Next »
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

5 Responses to “Fluorescent Lighting Problem and Repair Checklist”
  1. shawn says:

    I have a question. I have a 110 florescent fixture in my kitchen. I can’t keep bulbs in it. I took the blown bulbs out and checked the voltage coming in with a simple little tester that indicates 110 or 220. The voltage coming in was 110. Well when I checked eacch receptical where the bulb slips into they were shgowing 220 except for one of the outlets. Confused. How can this be. Would appreciate some advice

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    What type of ballast is in the fixture, magnetic or electronic?
    Next, are the lamps that you are buying matched to the type of ballast that you have?
    Then – check to make sure the frame of the fixture is grounded using the incoming circuit ground wire.
    Lastly, make sure your lamps are being inserted correctly, and that both pins are entering each socket and twist the lamps about 90 degrees.

  3. nicole says:

    What are the troubles found in the fluorescent lamp?

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    The trouble could be any one of the seven in the list.

  5. neil whittaker says:

    Hey, just another “easy” obvious one (I missed it) Just check the combined tube wattage does not exceed the ballast capacity. It also makes the tubes light for 3-5 seconds then go off.