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  1. #1
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default I Need Electrical Help!

    My 21' x 25' shop building has 8 light fixtures in the ceiling. Each one has two 48" florescent tubes (see first attachment). Half of them are on one switch and half on another switch. All are on the same 20 amp breaker, but nothing else on that circuit (as far as I can tell). They all had two 34 watt Damon tubes when I bought the place and all worked. One tube burned out, and the others all were getting black on the ends, so I replaced all 16 of them with 40 watt Philips daylight tubes on 2-17-07. Everything worked fine for a couple of months, until 4/24/07, when the 2 tubes in one fixture didn't come on. Later in the day, they came on. For several days, everything was working again. And then weird things have been happening the last several days. Different ones will fail to come on at times. Sometimes if I leave the switch turned on, ones that didn't come on will later come on; sometimes they don't. And sometimes one of the two tubes in a fixture comes on while the other does not.

    So this morning, I opened up a couple of them. Everything looks OK, and the ballasts are labelled "Advance Mark III Energy Saver, Class P Type I Outdoor, for two F40 tubes, 120 volt, 60 hertz, .73 amp standard bulbs, .63 amp energy saver bulb, etc. (see second attachment).

    I'm completely baffled; any ideas???
    Bird

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Need Electrical Help!

    Oops, I forgot the attachments.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bird

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    Default Re: I Need Electrical Help!

    Id say high humidity and dust on the tubes - but looks too clean. I dont know. My similar symptoms were due to such moisture situation.
    luck, larry

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Need Electrical Help!

    All I can tell you is that yo are using about 6amps.. so you are not overlaoding anything.

    Usually when i have flourescent fixtures going out.. i check if it has replaceable starter.. if not.. it is usually the ballast.

    Also.. some ballast and lamp types are not compatable.. like fast start types.. etc..

    soundguy

  5. #5
    Super Member kenmac's Avatar
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    yanmar 3110D

    Default Re: I Need Electrical Help!

    If they are hard wired , check for a loose netural hot wire. I had that happen in my shop same type lights. somehow my netural wire in a couple of lights got loose.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota L3130HST w/LA723 loader

    Default Re: I Need Electrical Help!

    Also be sure that there is a good attachment of the equipment (green) ground to the shell.

    Vernon
    Kubota L3130HST, BL4690B backhoe, LA723 Loader w/QA, 6' BB, 6' Bush Hog, 5' RB, PHD, ATI grapple, Hy-Reach Tree Shear, toothbar, pallet forks, grubbin bucket.

  7. #7
    Elite Member schmism's Avatar
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    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: I Need Electrical Help!

    sounds like the ballast is starting to go.
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

  8. #8
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: I Need Electrical Help!

    One thing I have noticed about the florescents in my garage is that as the tubes get older, they become more sensitive to temprature and take longer to start when cold. Also if the last set of tubes had been going bad, the start circuits may have been getting a workout so they may be worn out. the following links may be of some use.

    Home Problem Solver: Troubleshooting and Repairing Fluorescent Lights
    Fluorescent Lamps, Ballasts, and Fixtures
    Ron

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: I Need Electrical Help!

    I can't help, only sympathize. My fluorescent fixture in my garage also acts up. On occasion, it will not come on. I turn it off and on a couple times and it MAY come on and may not. I may try again a short time later and it works fine. Sometimes it will go for months and work fine. Right now, I can't remember the last time it acted up, but it has been months. I have checked my connections, replaced bulbs, and finally just learned to live with it.
    Bill
    "Whatever you are, be a good one." Abe Lincoln

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Need Electrical Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird
    They all had two 34 watt Damon tubes when I bought the place and all worked. One tube burned out, and the others all were getting black on the ends, so I replaced all 16 of them with 40 watt Philips daylight tubes on 2-17-07. Everything worked fine for a couple of months, until 4/24/07, when the 2 tubes in one fixture didn't come on....
    I'm completely baffled; any ideas???
    Bird, I can't say for sure, but since you replaced all the bulbs at the same time and you are having intermittent failures in random places all at the same time, I'd sure suspect those tubes you put in. It seems like as soon as they get a little age, they become faulty. Since you bought them all at the same time, you probably got all the tubes from the same manufacturing lot. Just for grins, I think I'd try to find a GE bulb or one of the original bulbs and see if the problem won't go away.
    Jim


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