Flourescent fixture question

westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,136 ✭✭✭✭
A bit off the PV topic but...

I had/have a noisy 4 foot 2 tube fixture in the Kitchen.

one tube burnt out so I replaced with 2 new GE Ecolux F40SP65 eco tubes with the hope that the old dieing tube may have been the problem...

Nope, with the new tubes in it is just as noisy...

So I replaced the ballast with a Sylvannnia ballast MB 2x 30.40 120RS from the local Rona store (Can. version of Lowes)

Still noisy but a bit less, but hotter as the first ballast was .74 a 280 Voc and the new one is .64 a 340 Voc.

Have tried to find a loose piece / part but not able to locate the source of the BUZZZZZZ other than it emanates from the ballast..:confused:

Comments?

thanks

Eric
 
KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
West Chilcotin, BC, Canada

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Flourescent fixture question

    wow, that's a good one as there's not much to them. check starter? wiring/connections? voltages? grounds?
    did it always do this or when did it start? what's different now?
    if this all fails buy a new fixture and play with the old one to determine the cause.
    on a lighter note turn it upsidedown to see if it is able to phone home.:p
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 632 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Flourescent fixture question

    Is it a 12vdc unit or 120vac? If it's 120 vac are you running a modified sine wave inverter (that will usually make things buzz)? If it is 120 vac does it buzz the same on grid power or your genset?

    If you can try putting an incandescent load on the same circuit as close to the fluorescent as you can, does that change it at all?
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,136 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Flourescent fixture question

    Sorry guys ...more info.... this is at home, 120 v mains.

    Nope the fixture did not always buzzz, came with the house, built in 1979, replaced the ballast once, about 10 years ago, after the OEM ballast dripped that black tar like substance. The noise started about a couple of years ago, very slight noise and seemed to get louder over time. Had noticed the tell tale blackening of degrading tubes, at the end of one tube so attributed the sound increase to that.

    Naturally, it stopped buzzing when one tube went out (Like going to the doctor...it stops hurting) that is why I tried the 2 new tubes.

    Also have tried:
    removing one of the new tubes, and there is no noise. No light either...
    and have placed one old tube with one new one, same noise

    Brock, this fixture is in line with a second, identical unit, which does not make a sound... what does an incandescent light do to the AC power? act like a filter?

    HTH

    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 632 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Flourescent fixture question

    I honestly don't know why adding an incandescent light sometimes quiets them down but I have seen this happen, I think it has something to do with inductance and capacitance.

    Since it is 120 vac mains on sine wave I would think it has to be the ballast. You might try a different brand or an electronic version; they are usually more efficient anyway. I have two different brands and both are very quiet. In my parents house they had some loud ones (they had always been that way) I just bought the zero start shop lights I usually use and pulled the guts out and put that in the fixture and bingo, nice and quiet. It was also brighter on the same lamps and my parents say the tubes last about the same.
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Flourescent fixture question

    With the fixture from the early 80's. Many from that time had a ballast and a starter cap. This will be a silver tubular 2 pin thing about 1" long. The one at my parents house is plugged/twisted in at one end between the two bulbs.
  • rickeolisrickeolis Solar Expert Posts: 110 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Flourescent fixture question

    You should consider putting a Kill-a-Watt meter on that old tube style fixture. You might be very unhappy with the results!
    I'd vote for replacing it with a module that take 3 or 4 of the new CF lights.

    -Rick-
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