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Fluorescent Fixture / Bulb Problem

I have 2 48" overhead fluorescent fixtures that have stopped working. One stopped working, so I took the bulbs out and put one in a second fixture that was working. Both that bulb, and the originally-working bulbs in the second fixture, now don't work. I don't know if it is all bulbs or bad fixtures.

These are inexpensive fluorescent fixtures that stay outside in my unheated (but dry) pole barn. It was not cold today, so the starting should not have been an issue. Identical fixtures in the barn worked fine today.

Is there a way to test the bulbs before I buy replacements (I thought putting a bulb in the second fixture would do that) with a voltmeter? I obviously don't want to put new bulbs in an old fixture that might ruin them.

Alternatively, are the fixtures just probably bad and can they be tested with a voltmeter?


Re: Fluorescent Fixture / Bulb Problem

You didn't say what kind of bulbs they were but assuming the're rapid start or instant start I don't know of any check you could make with a voltmeter to test a bulb.

If the're the 1 1/2" diameter (T12) lamps with a magnetic ballast you might want to just scrap the entire fixture and lamps.

The new T8 fixtures w/ electronic ballast only cost about $22 and the bulbs are the same cost as T12's.

That way there is no risk, you won't have starting problems in cold weather and if the ballast was to go out in the T12 fixture you might have a hard finding a new one.

Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

Re: Fluorescent Fixture / Bulb Problem

If you have old fixtures, "inexpensive fixtures" as you referred to, these are being phased out.

It would be economically more sensible to replace the whole thing. The new fixtures are sold everywhere.

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