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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Overhead fluorescent light not working - fix??

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klm

SIOUX FALLS, SD

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Posted: 11/18/09 05:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

My bedroom overhead fluorescent light is not working, went out yesterday. It is not the 18" tubes (2), they are new, and just to be sure, I put them in a working fixture and they are fine. That is the extent of my DIY knowledge

What is the fix? Is there something in the fixture that needs to be replaced? Or, do I need to replace the entire fixture? Remember, I am NOT a DIYer, please explain in simple detail. Can the repair/replacement be done by someone (me) with no electrical-wiring knowledge? Is the fixture or parts RV specific? Or can I go to HD?

I'd hate to have to take the RV to a repair center for such a minor theing, but we really need that light. Any advice is greatly appreciated,

Kathy


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Ace1001

Heber Springs, AR 72543

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Posted: 11/18/09 05:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Recently had a ballast in a flourescent go out. Googled manufacturer of light, found part number and ordered ballast. About $25 w/shipping, I think. Ballast will be under metal cover between the bulbs. When you get the new one, compare and replace wire for wire. Was really pretty easy.


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JOYDEN

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Posted: 11/18/09 06:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check and make sure the light is not double switched. If that does not do it then you need a tester and go from there.


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barnaclebill

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Posted: 11/18/09 06:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is there power to the fixture? Perhaps a switch, wall or on the fixture in the off position? How about a blown fuse? That would be my first checks.


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Posted: 11/18/09 06:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It could indeed be the starter/ballast. However I'd 1st check out the wiring to be sure it's not a faulty switch, broken wire, etc. To do that you will need to know a bit about wiring troubleshooting. Therefore you will have to trust your DIY level in this area or find someone to help you with it. Find out for sure exactly what is wrong before you go out and buy new parts or a fixture.


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JudoJeff

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Posted: 11/18/09 06:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it's that new and you have power to the fixture, I doubt it's the ballast. Those are like a transformer, and last a long time. Look for a starter, it looks like an 35mm film can. It twists out, and you can bring it to any hardware store to get a new one for about $2.

You can also look at where the tubes connect, and see if the little copper springs are all the same. Disconnect power and push them back with a needle nose pliers. Only one would be out of alignment, not all four.

Hope this helps.


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KOG

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Posted: 11/18/09 07:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The ballast isn't for step down. It's to limit current after the bulb begins to light up. Controls current flow to both the starting filaments in the ends of the bulb and through the gas in the bulb. It's probably also for step up in the 12V fixtures.

SRT

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Posted: 11/18/09 06:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmm, I thought the fluorescent lights in a motor home were 12V and didn't require a ballast to step down the voltage from 120v to 12v. JMT.

SunflyerA

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Posted: 11/18/09 07:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a circuit board in the 18" florescent lights and it is not replaceable. Mine just went out. If you have power to the light (you can test this with a light tester) then you need to replace the fixture. I got mine at camping world. four screws hold it to the ceiling and two wire nuts to connect the 12 volt wires. pay attention as you take it apart....maybe take some digital pictures as you remove it and then replace the same way....it is not difficult.





pcarrell

Carlsbad, NM

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Posted: 11/18/09 06:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like the ballast. Take the bulbs out and take the cover off. Get a volt meter and see if you have 12 volts going into the ballast a black square box about 6-8 inches long. Should be a red and black wire going in or a white and black wire. You should have 12 volts. If so you know you have current going in. Check the other side and see if you have 12 volts going to the bulb fixture if not bad ballast. With 12 volts you will not get a jolt. Just don't touch the 2 wires or probes together. If you don't have a volt meter see if someone near has one and will check it for you.


Phil C
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Carlsbad, NM

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