Repairing Replacing Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent lights are relatively trouble-free and use less energy than incandescent lights. A typical fluorescent tube lasts about three years and produces two to four times as much light per watt as a standard incandescent light bulb.

The most frequent problem with a fluorescent light fixture is a worn-out tube. If a fluorescent light fixture begins to flicker, or does not light fully, remove and examine the tube. If the tube has bent or broken pins, or black discoloration near the ends, replace it. Light gray discoloration is normal in working fluorescent tubes. When replacing an old tube, read the wattage rating printed on the glass surface, and buy a new tube with a matching rating. Never dispose of old tubes by breaking them. Fluorescent tubes contain a small amount of hazardous mercury. Check with your local environmental control agency or health department for disposal guidelines.

Fluorescent light fixtures also can malfunction if the sockets are cracked or worn. Inexpensive replacement sockets are available at any hardware store and can be installed in a few minutes.

If a fixture does not work even after the tube and sockets have been serviced, the ballast probably is defective. Faulty ballasts may leak a black, oily substance and can cause a fluorescent light

Problem

Repair

^ Hy^SSR Tube flickers, or ^^^ ^Ht/.-i lights partially.

1. Rotate tube to make sure it is seated properly in the sockets.

2. Replace tube (page 92) and the starter (where present) if tube is discolored or if pins are bent or broken.

3. Replace the ballast (page 94) if replacement cost is reasonable. Otherwise, replace the entire fixture (page 95).

■p^^L Tube does not light.

1. Check wall switch, and repair or replace, if needed (pages 42 to 61 ).

2. Rotate the tube to make sure it is seated properly in sockets.

3. Replace tube (page 92) and the starter (where present) if tube is discolored or if pins are bent or broken.

4. Replace sockets if they are chipped or if tube does not seat properly (page 93).

5. Replace the ballast (page 94) or the entire fixture (page 95).

Noticeable black substance 4 around ballast.

Replace ballast (page 94) if replacement cost is reasonable. Otherwise, replace the entire fixture (page 95).

j^^^P^^P^ Fixture

Replace ballast (page 94) if replacement cost is reasonable. Otherwise, replace the entire fixture (page 95).

Older fluorescent lights may have a small cylindrical device, called a starter located near one of the sockets When a tube begins to flicker, replace both the tube and the starter Turn off the power then remove the starter by pushing it slightly and turning counterclockwise Install a replacement that matches the old starter fixture to make a loud humming sound Although ballasts can be replaced, always check prices before buying a new ballast It may be cheaper to purchase and install a new fluorescent fixture rather than to replace the ballast in an old fluorescent light fixture.

Everything You Need

Tools: screwdriver, ratchet wrench, combination tool, neon circuit tester.

Materials: replacement tubes, starters, or ballast (if needed); replacement fluorescent light fixture

See Inspector's Notebook:

• Common Cable Problems (pages 124 to 125).

• Checking Wire Connections (pages 126 to 127).

• Electrical Box Inspection (pages 128 to 129).

RatchetwrenchcomblnatlontoolFluorescent Sockets ReplacementFluorescent Sockets Replacement

3 Inspect the ends of the fluorescent tube tor discoloration Mew tube in good working order (top) shows no discoloration Normal working tube (middle) may have gray color A worn-out tube (bottom) shows black discoloration

2 Remove th rescent tube by rotating m either dir' and sliding the tube out oi sockets Inspect ins a: the end of the tube

Tubes ..'ith ben: roken pins should be reel"

4 Install a new tube with the same wattage rati _ the old tube insert the tube so that pins slide 'uily into sockets then twist tube turn m either direction until it is locked securely Reattach the difluser and turn on the power at the mam service panel

Coverpltfe

ITurn off the power at the main service panel. Remove the diffuser, fluorescent tube, and the coverplate.

2 Test for power by touching one probe of a neon circuit tester to the grounding screw and inserting the other probe into each wire connector Tester should not glow If it does, power is still entering the box. Return to the service panel, and turn off correct circuit.

3 Remove the faulty socket from the fixture housing Some sockets slide out. while others must be unscrewed

Faulty Socket

4 Disconnect wires attached to socket. For push-in fittings (above) remove the wires by inserting a small screwdriver into the release openings. Some sockets have screw terminal connections, while others have preattached wires that must be cut before the socket can be removed.

5 Purchase and install a new socket. If socket has preattached wire leads, connect the leads to the ballast wires using wire connectors. Replace cover-plate, then the fluorescent tube, making sure that it seats properly. Replace the diffuser Restore power to the fixture at the main service panel.

ITurn off the power at the main service panel, then remove the diffuser, fluorescent tube, and cover-plate Test for power, using a neon circuit tester (step 2. page 93).

4 Remove the old ballast, using a ratchet wrench or screwdriver Make sure to support the ballast so it does not fall.

2 Remove the sockets from the fixture housing by sliding them out. or by removing the mounting screws and lifting the sockets out.

3 Disconnect the wires attached to the sockets by pushing a small screwdriver into the release openings (above), by loosening the screw terminals, or by cutting wires to within Z of sockets

5 Install a new ballast that has the same ratings as the old ballast.

6 Attach the ballast wires to the socket wires, using wire connectors. screw terminal connections, or push-in fittings. Reinstall the coverplate, fluorescent tube, and diffuser Turn on power to the light fixture at the main sen/ice panel.

Cable clamp

Cuidados Especiais Gestantes

Cable clamp

Neon Light Diagram

ITurn oft power to the light fixture at the main service panel. Remove the diffuser, tube, and cover-plate Test for power, using a neon circuit tester (step 2. page 93).

4 Position the new fixture, threading the circuit wires through the knockout opening in the back of the fixture. Bolt the fixture in place so it is firmly anchored to framing members.

5 Connect the circuit wires to the fixture wires, using wire connectors. Follow the wiring diagram included with the new fixture. Tighten the cable clamp holding the circuit wires.

6 Attach the fixture coverplate, then install the fluorescent tubes, and attach the diffuser Turn on power to the fixture at the main service panel.

2 Disconnect the insulated circuit wires and the bare copper grounding wire from the light fixture. Loosen the cable clamp holding the circuit wires.

3 Unbolt the fixture from the wall or ceiling, and carefully remove it Make sure to support the fixture so it does not fall.

Wiring Fluorescent Lights Series

Ife ^ Grounded round-cord Round-cord P|u9 plug ~ ^

Flat-cord

Quick-connect

Polarized plug

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Responses

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    How to replace fluorescent pin connectors?
    3 years ago
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