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Old 06-22-2009, 04:44 PM   #1
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Light Stopped working

My friend gave me this 46g bowfront tank and I've had it up and running for 8 months now ... the bulb in it finally went out, so I replaced the bulbs.

All Glass Flourescent Twin Tube 36" light

I bought (2) 36" Zoo med lights (25w) to replace the ones in it. It worked for one day and then refused to turn back on.

So, my question is ... is the light dead? It can't be the bulbs since they are brand new right? Is this something I can fix? I'm mad cuz I just spent $30+ for the bulbs and now its dead??? The cheapest I've seen these same lights for sale is $95 (not incl tax/shipping) ... which is ridiculous because for $100 I bought a 48" Current USA PC light setup for my 55g tank.

Does anyone have any advice, insight?
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:52 PM   #2
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It might be the ballast. You can buy a replacement at HD or Lowes.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:55 PM   #3
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Is that something easy to install?
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:15 PM   #4
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First, are you under 18 yrs old?
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #5
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If it has a starter on it, that is most likely what it is. Here's a link to what it looks like and its located most of the time somewhere along where the bulbs are at where you can plainly see it. All-Glass Aquarium Fluorescent Starter at PETCO

there is no real way to see if its burnt out or not besides replacing it. They are sold at walmart and most home supply stores. If you do have this starter, you may want to take it out and take it with you to be sure you get the correct one.
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thincat View Post
First, are you under 18 yrs old?
No, I'm double that ... but what difference does age have to do with knowing whether or not my light can be fixed?
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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The over 18 is just a precaution, because we are going to tell you to take the thing apart to fix it ... and you need to be an adult to be responsible for your own actions ... in case you electrocute yourself!

So, if you are handy around electrical devices, you can give the fix a try.

1. Before doing anything else, unplug the light!

2. Remove the bulbs, check that there is no corrosion in the endcaps. This is the most likely failure point. If there is any water deposits, rusts, etc. on the endcaps, the bulbs won't make contact & won't light. If you see any corrosion, try cleaning it off with sandpaper. <Also, clean off anything that got stuck in the prongs of the bulbs.> Try wriggling the bulbs in the socket to see if you get good contact & get it to light. You will have to replace the endcaps if they are corroded & cleaning does not do the trick.

2a. Just to double check, your new bulbs are the same watts as the old, right?

3. next step is to take the fixture apart. Check for any loose wires. With an ohmmeter, check that your on-off switch is still working. <Check for continuity between power plug & ballast supply leads, & ballast output & endcaps.>

4. If you have a starter (old style fixtures only .... almost all lights within the last 10 or 20 years use self start ballasts), try replacing that.

5. If all else fails, try replacing the ballast.

If you are unsure of how to work safely with electrical devices, please don't try the dis-assembly fix. A short in a fixture over water is a disaster waiting to happen!
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsoong View Post
The over 18 is just a precaution, because we are going to tell you to take the thing apart to fix it ... and you need to be an adult to be responsible for your own actions ... in case you electrocute yourself!

So, if you are handy around electrical devices, you can give the fix a try.

1. Before doing anything else, unplug the light!

2. Remove the bulbs, check that there is no corrosion in the endcaps. This is the most likely failure point. If there is any water deposits, rusts, etc. on the endcaps, the bulbs won't make contact & won't light. If you see any corrosion, try cleaning it off with sandpaper. <Also, clean off anything that got stuck in the prongs of the bulbs.> Try wriggling the bulbs in the socket to see if you get good contact & get it to light. You will have to replace the endcaps if they are corroded & cleaning does not do the trick.

2a. Just to double check, your new bulbs are the same watts as the old, right?

3. next step is to take the fixture apart. Check for any loose wires. With an ohmmeter, check that your on-off switch is still working. <Check for continuity between power plug & ballast supply leads, & ballast output & endcaps.>

4. If you have a starter (old style fixtures only .... almost all lights within the last 10 or 20 years use self start ballasts), try replacing that.

5. If all else fails, try replacing the ballast.

If you are unsure of how to work safely with electrical devices, please don't try the dis-assembly fix. A short in a fixture over water is a disaster waiting to happen!

I disagree with the statement that I just bolded. The last tank that I purchased, about a year ago, had a starter in it.

To the poster, before you take your light strip apart, check to see if you have a starter, and if you did, put a new one in it to see if that works.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:42 PM   #9
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RE: old starters-if the light is blinking, replace the bulb. if the bulb is not lighting or at both ends, replace the starter.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:31 PM   #10
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The easiest way to see if you have a starter or not is to tell us what type of fixture you have and the brand name.
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