How to change a starter in a fluorescent light

how to change a starter in a fluorescent light

Fluorescent Starter Replacement

Dec 04,  · If the tube is flickering or only lighting at the ends the starter needs to be renewed. If the tube is dim or shimmering it needs to be more info. Apr 24,  · The fluorescent starter that you removed can be discarded. Install the new starter by reversing the removal method, slotting the prongs in the sockets and twisting it into place. Make sure it is secure by lightly twisting it without removing Time: 1 hr.

If you discover that an older model fluorescent light activated with a starter or starters is not working properly even though a new bulb has been installed, the problem is likely with the fluorescent starter. By following a few steps, you will find it fairly easy to repair or replace the component. Determine whether the starter needs to be replaced by considering the manner in which the light works. If the light fails to work at all, the problem is likely a broken or blown bulb and it will need to be replaced.

However, if the light flickers, works intermittently or takes a long time to illuminate, then the issue is caused by the fluorescent starter and it will need to be replaced. In addition, this should provide details of the required wattage of the fluorescent starter. If it is not available, you should be able to determine the wattage by examining the existing starter. After switching off the light, position the step ladder slightly to one side of the light. If necessary, get someone to hold the ladder steady as you climb it to remove the light cover.

This should be easily done by unhooking it from the top edge. Descend the ladder to store the cover safely before proceeding. You will then be in a position to check the wattage required. Once you have the correct replacement fluorescent starter, you will need to start by removing the bulb to replace it.

The bulb will usually need to be removed because the starter is located directly above it. If your light has what does cumul mean on tax code than one bulb, you will find that each one has its own starter to make it work. Withdraw the bulb by twisting it out of the sockets at either end and descend the ladder to carefully lay it in a safe place where it cannot be stepped on or roll onto the floor.

The cylinder-shaped starter will be positioned at one end of the light fixture. If necessary, adjust the position of the ladder to enable you to reach it how to take apart a mouse. The starter can be twisted to remove it from its socket, which should be to the right, so twist and pull the starter to withdraw it completely.

The fluorescent starter that you removed can be discarded. Install the new starter by reversing the removal method, slotting the prongs in the sockets and twisting it into place. Make sure it is secure by lightly twisting it without removing it.

Before replacing the bulb, take the opportunity to wipe it free of any dust that may have accumulated on the surface. Do the same with the inside of the cover. Replace the bulb and the cover before testing the light to ensure that it works.

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View our Privacy Policy here. Toggle navigation subscribe. Fluorescent Starter Replacement. Written by Shermaine Williams. To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.

Charles Ouellet. What You'll Need. Step ladder. New starter. Step 1 - Assess Light Determine whether the starter needs to be replaced by considering the manner in which the light works. Troubleshooting Motion Sensor Lights. So, we have a fluorescent light over the bench in our pantry that stopped w Read More. Wiring a fluorescent light starter. Thought I already posted this, but I must have screwed something up since I Question on converting from T12 to T8 flourescent.

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Replace a Fluorescent Lamp Starter

How to Replace the Starter for a Fluorescent Light. Step 1. Turn off the power to the fluorescent light by turning off the circuit breaker or the light switch. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Step 5. Jan 08,  · If you have a fluorescent lamp, then you need the light starter, which is the most common failure of the lamp. Learn what it is made of and how to change it. To install a new starter, Select the right starter for your fluorescent light fixture - see the FS- starter guide we give below in table form. Usually you will simply match the number of the old starter, or use an FS-U universal replacement starter. Press the starter down into the base, aligning its pins with the entry openings in the base, then.

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. When one or more fluorescent light fixtures are humming or flickering or if the light simply won't turn on, the problem may be something as simple as a bad fluorescent bulb. But there are other causes of flickering lights: some are also trivially easy to repair while others require more expertise and cost.

Here we sort out the causes and cures for flickering fluorescent lights, and we give details for wiring connections when replacing the ballast or transformer for the fluorescent light fixture shown.

This article series explains how to diagnose the causes of flickering or dimming lights at or in buildings. Watch out : flickering or dimming lights might indicate a dangerous condition risking a building fire or an electrical shock.

If the simple bulb or starter repairs we describe here don't cure the flickering, switch off the bad-acting light fixture, leave it off, circuit and ask for help from a licensed electrician. The fluorescent lamp starter is a simple switch activated when the light fixture is first turned-on.

The starter is essentially a tiny switch whose contacts,heated by current flowing through it when first turned-on, sends high current through the main tube filaments to initiate the ionization of the mercury vapor in the lamp. The switch heats and closes briefly when power is applied - that is, when the lamp is first switched on - to start the gas ionizing process.

Then as the starter's internal arc and lamp heat up, one of the contacts, a bi-metallic strip, bends to open the switch. When the starter's internal switch opens that causes a collapse of the magnetic field in the ballast. When the ballast's magnetic field collapses it induces a large current at high voltage that is fed to the electrodes in the fluorescent tube itself, providing the initial voltage needed to start an electrical current a gas plasma flowing through the tube, creating a passage through which current then continues to flow, exciting the gases in the tube and causing it in turn to excite the phosphorescent coating in the tub, causing, then, the emission of visible light.

The starter switch remains off until the next time the fluorescent light fixture is turned-on. This basic design has been improved in modern fluorescent fixtures to create a rapid-start or nearly-instantantaneously-starting fluorescent light tube. Our photo below shows where you can find the starter for your light fixture - if one is present at all. You'll see the round canister located behind and near one end of the light fixtures. Well not always. Depending on the ballast type and design, your fluorescent light may not use a starter at all, so don't be stymied if you cannot find the part.

The following and nicely-detailed explanation of exactly what's going on in the traditional fluorescent lamp starter is a dapted from Vitanza The starter triggers the tube when it is first turned on. It consists of two contact strips, one normal and one bimetallic, which are normally open, enclosed in a glass envelope filled with inert gas. When mains is applied to the circuit, the voltage is not sufficient to cause spontaneous ionisation of the gas in the main tube, and the lamp remains in a high impedance state i.

However, the electric field which the mains creates in the small gap between the contacts in the starter is sufficient to ionise the gas there. This allows a current to flow in the metal strips and through the gas and also through the filaments of the main tube, which heats them and facilitates the subsequent ionisation.

T he heat generated by the current flow through the gas causes the bimetallic strip to bend towards the other. When the contacts finally touch, two things occur: firstly the gas in the starter de-ionises, and so the bimetallic strip begins to cool. Secondly, as the impedance of the circuit falls, the current through the ballast inductor and the filaments of the main tube increases. A few tenths of a second later, the bimetallic strip has cooled sufficiently to bend back slightly, reopening the gap.

The sudden increase in impedance and consequent sharp reduction in inductor current causes a large overvoltage across the inductor. Given the correct conditions At this point the impedance of the fluorescent tube falls to a minimum, and the voltage drop across it falls to a level below that required to ionise the gas in the starter contact gap.

The contacts thus remain open until the lamp is next turned on. When repairing a flickering fluorescent light by replacing a ballast or by repairing damaged wiring, it makes sense to also install a new starter. The starter is very inexpensive.

Our photo shows a new white GE FS-4 fluorescent starter in the original package with an older silver FS-4 next to it for comparison. The white GE FS-4 starter was so fragile as to be useless - it could not be safely installed, as I explain below. Watch out : however the brand new GE - General Electric - brand starter disintegrated under even the most-gentle rotating force of inserting it into the starter socket which requires twisting the starter into place.

The current GE-brand fluorescent light starter, made in China, was so flimsy as to be completely worthless in my opinion. The force needed to rotate the starter to lock into its base was more than the force that would cause the starter cap to separate from the starter base - held in place by mere compression nubs on the white GE starter case.

Ultimately I got the light working again by re-installing the original starter that was made far more durably. Above I show the two devices side-by-side. The new white GE fixture made in China is at left. The decades old and still-working starter is the silver can shown at right in the photos. My photo below shows how the base of the GE starter simply popped out of the white canister during installation - an unsafe condition.

This GE fluorescent light fixture starter was a disappointment that went into the trash. I re-installed the old one that actually was working fine. Thank you for asking about FS-U starters for fluorescent lights, Susan as it tells me where we need to be more clear.

FSU starters are widely sold in electrical supply stores, building supply stores, and even from online vendors. However if you have a failed FS-U starter and happen to have an FS on hand, you can use the FS as long as the fluorescent bulb or lamp is 20W or less.

Watch out : there are many manufacturers and suppliers of fluorescent lamp starters in the FS- series. Some of these, possibly made in China, are in our experience and opinion poorly made and may fall apart during installation, as we illustrate above on this page.

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Apologies for the delay. Just ask us! Search the InspectApedia website. Comment Form is loading comments Tel: Email: info carsondunlop. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.

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