How to change fluorescent starters

Written by kurt schanaman
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Fluorescent lighting fixtures offer tremendous energy savings at a minimal up-front cost. These fixtures do require occasional maintenance to keep them operating in a flicker-free manner. The assemblies contain two particular parts which have a tendency to develop electrical problems over long-term use: the ballast and the starter. The starter is the simpler of the two to replace and requires replacement far more often than the ballast. When the fluorescent light begins to flicker, the starter is most likely the part that needs replacement.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • New fluorescent starter

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  1. 1

    Turn the light switch supplying your fixture to the "Off" position. Faulty starters become quite hot, requiring a cool-down period of about 20 to 30 minutes. Allow this cool-down period before touching the starter.

  2. 2

    Locate the starter on your fluorescent fixture, looking for a small, round silver-coloured canister which is about the diameter of a nickel. The starter will generally be located along one of the edges of your fixture or at one end of the underside of the fixture.

  3. 3

    Gently push the starter inward and twist it counter-clockwise (to your left when looking at it) until you feel it rotate a quarter turn. When you cannot rotate it any further, slowly pull the starter from its socket.

  4. 4

    Look into the starter socket and familiarise yourself with the alignment of the socket so you know how to position the blades of your new starter. Insert your new starter into the socket so its blades are lined up with the groves in the socket, pressing firmly into the socket, and twist the starter clockwise (to the right) until you feel it pull itself into place.

  5. 5

    Turn the light fixture's switch to the "On" position and permit several minutes for the new starter to warm up and to activate your fluorescent bulb.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure to purchase a starter with the same voltage and amperage ratings as your old one. The voltage and amperage ratings are printed on the visible end of fluorescent starters.

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