Shattered case fluorescent light starters

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mouses
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Shattered case fluorescent light starters

Post by mouses » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:38 am

I have a linear bulb fluorescent plant light. It is decades old, but I would like to keep it in working order since the modern ones seem very clunky and industrial looking to me.

There are a couple of little cylindrical things in it. I think these are called starters, as far as I can tell from the web. In both of them, their plastic surface has started to crack and is very fragile.

I think that if I pulled them out, the model numbers, which are currently almost entirely hidden on the part that probably plugs in, would likely be lost due to the plastic disintegrating.

One works currently and one only works if I poke it.

I am clueless about starters. Are they custom? Is there only one type of starter in the universe, so anything I would buy would work?

Thanks.
Last edited by mouses on Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

ljb1234
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Re: fluorescent light starters

Post by ljb1234 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:05 am

mouses wrote:

I am clueless about starters. Are they custom? Is there only one type of starter in the universe, so anything I would buy would work?

Thanks.
There are many types of starters. Usually to get them out (a "can" starter), you push slightly and make a quarter-turn. Then they pop out. Yours may be different depending on how old it is. If you can get it out, take it to HomeDepot/Lowes and ask for help. They might just have one in stock, otherwise you would have to order one.

regards,

mouses
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Re: fluorescent light starters

Post by mouses » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:47 am

Thanks, my concern is, assuming the model number disintegrates, can they tell enough from the remains of the starter to know what is an appropriate replacement?

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flossy21
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Re: fluorescent light starters

Post by flossy21 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:00 am

mouses wrote:Thanks, my concern is, assuming the model number disintegrates, can they tell enough from the remains of the starter to know what is an appropriate replacement?
Take a photo of it with your phone so you have an idea of what the thing looks like before it disintegrates.

livesoft
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Re: fluorescent light starters

Post by livesoft » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:16 am

Replacing fluorescent light starter videos are all over youtube.
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vkfu
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Re: fluorescent light starters

Post by vkfu » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:47 am

You should be able to find a matching starter based on the number and wattage of tubes it needs to start.

mouses
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Re: fluorescent light starters

Post by mouses » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:48 am

livesoft wrote:Replacing fluorescent light starter videos are all over youtube.
The problem is the plastic cases have shattered. Videos for that are nowhere.

I have poked at both of the starters enough so that I think they say FS-2. I can't quite see the part after the FS-2, so I am hoping it is not FS-2something. For sure that part of the case will disintegrate as I try to remove it further, so I have my fingers crossed that this is right. Also, vkfu's post may help.

I have successfully removed light bulbs that have shattered, but in that case the base of the bulb is accessible. I used something, I forget if it was a pliers or what, on the metal base of the broken bulb to twist it. But the starters disappear up into the body of the light fixture and I can't see what I'm dealing with up there. Just touching one of them causes more plastic to disintegrate, so there is no hope of grabbing them and twisting.

ofckrupke
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Re: fluorescent light starters

Post by ofckrupke » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:02 pm

mouses wrote: I have poked at both of the starters enough so that I think they say FS-2. I can't quite see the part after the FS-2, so I am hoping it is not FS-2something.
Google FS-25 starter.

(You could try the other FS-2n, n=0,1,2...9. Seems that 22 and 25 are the winners; disambiguate by matching to bulb wattage, apparently...)

livesoft
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Re: Shattered case fluorescent light starters

Post by livesoft » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:08 pm

If it is not yet obvious, one doesn't need a starter with a plastic case. Indeed, I will guess that heat damaged the plastic over the long term and one would not want a starter with plastic at all.
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mouses
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Re: Shattered case fluorescent light starters

Post by mouses » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:18 pm

Right. I have no interest in the cases except that they are a problem - I can't be sure of the model number and I can't see how to remove the starters. I do now have some clues as to how to solve the model number problem.

I don't seem to be making myself clear here.

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Re: Shattered case fluorescent light starters

Post by livesoft » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:38 pm

If these lights are like my fluorescent light fixture for growing plants, then this should have been fixed already if you have Lowe's, HomeDepot, or hardware store near you. I can put my fixture in the back of my car, take it to one of these places and have them sell me a starter that works and is tested before leaving the store.
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Shattered case fluorescent light starters

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:39 pm

mouses wrote:Right. I have no interest in the cases except that they are a problem - I can't be sure of the model number and I can't see how to remove the starters. I do now have some clues as to how to solve the model number problem.

I don't seem to be making myself clear here.
http://home.howstuffworks.com/question337.htm

Here's a chart that may help.

https://sizes.com/home/fluor_starters.htm

Based on your post and the chart, your starter is likely an FS-2. The only other option that starts with the characters "FS-2" is the FS-25, which the chart states is for Circline (circular) bulbs. Look at the silkscreening on the end of one of your bulbs, then ask the guy at the hardware store to help you find an FS-2 starter that matches that power rating.

To remove the starter, rotate in (I believe) a counter-clockwise direction not quite a quarter turn, then lift out. Make sure the power is off first.
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mouses
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Re: Shattered case fluorescent light starters

Post by mouses » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:25 pm

smartinwate wrote:
To remove the starter, rotate in (I believe) a counter-clockwise direction not quite a quarter turn, then lift out. Make sure the power is off first.
This is not possible to do because the plastic case has fragmented off. This is not possible to do because the plastic case has fragmented off. Does anyone know what the now visible gizmos are in the center of the starter? Maybe I could grab those with a pliers and try to twist them. I don't want to make things worse.

mouses
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Re: Shattered case fluorescent light starters

Post by mouses » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:01 pm

That assumes some random person on the floor at Home Depot knows how to remove the broken pieces of the starters that are not visible, and won't instead break the assembly.

Update: I got the broken pieces out with a needle nose pliers, popped in new FS-2s, and good to go. Thanks.

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