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shovelshort 04-08-2007 08:51 PM

flourescent static electricity
I replaced the light fixture over my bathroom sink with a flourescent. The problem I am having is sometimes when I flick the switch the bulbs start to energize and then stops. I have to run my hands over the fixture to remove the built up static electricity (or so I think), wait a few seconds and then flick the switch. The light will then come on. I know I grounded the fixture the right way. What can I do to fix this problem? It's more of a pain then anything.

shovelshort 04-19-2007 06:49 AM

Come on, someone has to have an idea.

bethany14 04-19-2007 09:54 AM

You can actually fire up a fluorescent light with static electricity (careful!), so I don't think that's slowing it down. If you flip the switch and leave it on, does it eventually come on? If so, then I don't think you have a problem, as fluorescents are slow to start by nature.

glennjanie 04-19-2007 10:34 AM

Hello Shovelshort:
Flourescent lights have a starter or transformer (usually called a ballast). On a new fixtrue the ballast should be good but stranger things have happened. If the ballast is bad it will usually have a paper label on it that appears to have been scorched.
If they are long tube bulbs (as opposed to the curlly ones), look at the end of them. Is there a lot of black area inside the tube? That would indicate a bad bulb and a need for a change. They are cantancerous to work with but they save a lot of energy. Check the ground one more time.

shovelshort 04-22-2007 08:08 PM

The light will not eventually come on if I leave the switch on. Like I said, I turn the switch back off, rub my hand over the body of the fixture, wait a second, flick the switch, and the light comes on.

This did this since day one of installation. It is actually a direct replacement because the first one did the same.

Bulbs are fine. Ballast is fine. I have a lot of experience with those being a firefighter and always going on "smoke in the building" runs that end up being a failed ballast.

Square Eye 04-22-2007 11:21 PM

Electronic rapid start ballasts and t-8 tubes.
In my opinion, they're the best thing that ever happened in Flourescent fixtures.

Make sure the fixture is grounded properly, flourescents perform much better when the body of the fixture is grounded properly and the fixture body is parallel to the tubes.

A lot of time can be wasted on flourescent fixtures. Check the mounting between the ballast body and the housing. Sand the paint off at the mount point on the ballast and on the fixture. Make sure the ground has a good connection, not wire to paint.

Good luck!

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