Fluorescent Light Troubleshooting: Steps & Items Needed For Troubleshooting Fluorescent Light

Steps & Items Needed For Troubleshooting Fluorescent Light

The fluorescent lights are not common in today's homes when compared to many years ago, but still, few homes do have at least 1 fixture that will feature the familiar long & tubular bulbs. This might be in your garage or basement workshop, or perhaps underneath the upper kitchen cabinets, but the fluorescent lights still fill their best role. These lights are efficient & also making them very inexpensive to operate & even though they have also become largely relegated to task lighting. If you also have a fluorescent light but not working properly & you want to troubleshoot it then you just need to gather all the useful items and follow some easy steps. Here is the list of items and steps for this process:

Things You Will Need

  • Voltage Detector
  • Screwdriver
  • Ratchet Wrench/Nut Driver
  • Wire Connectors
  • Replacement Ballast

Steps For Troubleshooting A Fluorescent Light

  • The Fixture Does Not Light: You need to check for the power & test to see if your bulb is seated properly in all the sockets. Next, you need to replace the tube/tubes. If your new tubes do not light properly, then use a multimeter or voltage detector at the switch & the sockets to confirm that your fixture is getting power. If the power is confirmed then try replacing the starter if your fixture has one. After that, try replacing the ballast.
  • Tube Flickers: First, you need to check to make sure that the tube is firmly seated in the sockets. The next thing is to inspect your tube to make sure that it is not burned out. If a multimeter tool is available then check it for continuity. If replacing your tube does not correct your flickering issue, then replace your starter. If flickering still persists, then replace your ballast. As a last resort, simply replace your fixture.
  • Fixture Hums Or Buzzes: Replace the ballast (read the replacement process below).

Steps To Replace A Ballast

After troubleshooting your fluorescent light, if the problem is not solved properly then you just need to replace a ballast, to perform this task you need to follow the steps given below. Follow carefully to get the best result of your hard work:
  • Shut Off Power To The Fixture: You can easily do this by turning off the power at your main circuit breaker. Once you have removed your power diffuser in order to gain access to your bulb sockets, simply test with the help of a touchless voltage detector to confirm that the power has been shut off.
  • Remove The Diffuser And Cover Plate: In order to access the parts of your fixture, remove the diffuser, normally done by pressing gently on the sides of your power diffuser. Also, remove all the tubes by simply twisting the pins out of your sockets because this will allow you to access & remove all the metal cover plate, also fitted into your fixture with the compression tabs, not screws.
  • Disconnect The Sockets: The end of each tube is connected to the socket that is attached to your fixture with screws or, in some rare cases, snap-in hardware. Detach the sockets in order to access the wires that are attached to them. You now need to disconnect these wires if they come precisely from the ballast. If the wires are connected to wires from your ballast with the help of wire connectors then you do not need to disconnect them from the sockets.
  • Remove The Old Ballast: You will see that the old ballast will be attached to the body of your fixture by using screws or nuts. Simply remove all these screws or nuts & withdraw your ballast. You need to bring it to your nearby local hardware store & find a replacement unit.
  • Replace The New Ballast: You need to attach your new ballast to your fixture by using the same way and fasteners as your old one employed. When you see that it is secured then you need to attach your ballast wires to your sockets in the same fashion as your old ballast/socket connections.
  • Reassemble The Fixture: Finally, reinstall your sockets very securely and then simply replace the cover plate. Now install your fluorescent tubes (inspect the tubes-if there is darkness near either end then you need to replace them now). Restore the power & then test your fixture & if it is functioning properly now, then reattach the diffuser panel.


Because you are going to work on a part of the home wiring system therefore it is very important for you to follow all electrical safety practices while repairing your fluorescent light fixture.
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