Fluorescent light fixtures give you enormous problems. With a few general tools at hand, including basic hand tools, a voltage tester and safe ladder and of course with the basic precautions at hand, you can repair them singlehandedly. You might not have any idea about different types of fluorescent light problems and how to fix them. For example, it is normal for a new fluorescent bulb to flicker and it will go away automatically after a while. In such situations, you do not need to depend on an electrician. We shall overlook here those common problems with a fluorescent light that homeowners have to deal with. Let us have a look at them-
A cheap quality ballast or starter
Sometimes you need to upgrade a ballast especially if you have that old pattern of magnetic ballast installed on your electric fixture. In this circumstance, you will need to install a solid-state ballast and the fluorescent light problem will disappear.
The sockets remain operational in most of the cases, and will not need to be replaced, however at the same time you must check that the fluorescent bulb should match the ballast. The reason for choosing solid-state ballasts is that they cost less energy and produce less heat and not ultra sensitive to cool temperature.
Defective fluorescent bulb
You can quickly identify a bad fluorescent light from the dark circles at the end of it.
This is an indication that the light is of inferior quality. To fix this, you must replace the fluorescent bulb in an interval of two years. It all depends upon how much the light is used. If you don’t replace it at regular intervals, then it will burn out in the sockets and this eventually burns out the ballast. When you are going to replace the fluorescent lamp, then you must replace the all the lamps. This you can do to avoid unnecessary cost, as lamps are inexpensive compared to the ballast.
Ground Wire is missing
A fluorescent bulb is connected through a wire attached to the electrical circuit to the metal frame of the fixture. It should be mounted within 1/2 inch of the lamps. When these wires are absent or not connected correctly, then the fluorescent lamp will fail to light up, or will light dimly and eventually, in extreme cases, the fluorescent light bulb will burn out.
Single Pinned Lamps
This problem arises when one of the fluorescent light lamp pins is missing in the socket or poorly connected to the socket. This is an easy fix and does not require calling a professional. You just need to remove the lamp from the socket and reinstall it. Be careful when you install it. You must ensure that the lining up the pins with the lamp socket is properly done. After that, slightly twist the fluorescent bulb lamp to enable the pins to sit in its place. If necessary, by slightly pressing the lamp pins you can directly put them into place.
Cold temperatures affect the fluorescent bulb
If you are using an old style of magnetic types of ballasts, then they will naturally tend to start slowly in cold temperature. Therefore, some cold fluorescent bulb also does flicker.They will keep flickering till they warm up after a while. So upgrade your light fixture to an electronic ballast and installing new lamps is the best solution here.
After a prolonged use, a fluorescent light, for example, a tube light starts blinking on and off and one day it will completely stop working. A simple replacement is what needed here. However, sometimes the fault may be in the poor connection between the pins and the tube holders. When you see the pins are bent, then use a nose plier to correct them. The black bands at the end of the fluorescent light tubes are an indication that its life has finished. When you see only one end is dark, then turn the fluorescent bulb end for end. If it is a new fluorescent tube and these tricks fixes don’t work, then the starter might need a replacement.
Employ precaution in all electrical work
While doing all these fixes of the fluorescent light, if you smell that electrical burning then immediately switch off the power.
In most of these cases, the starter is either not properly installed or the starter might be the wrong type. This is when you need to call an electrician.
As you have seen repairing a fluorescent bulb is not a big deal. You first locate the fixture circuit and switch it off properly. If you are working on a replacement, then make sure the parts of the light fixture are compatible with the type of bulbs you have. Having prior knowledge about fluorescent light problems and how to fix them will definitely help you in a certain point of your life when you are unable to get a professional on time.