How do I test a florescent light/fixture?

jerry_njOctober 11, 2011

I have a GE electric kitchen range with a florescent light across its width above the control panel. The range is at least 10 years old, but the light has not been used much.

The blub is F26T8-CW4 10 Watt and it is operated by a three position switch. The switch is a rocker style with an Off position in which it can rest, and an On position in which it can switched to and is the center rest position, and it has a Start position that is momentary, is in that position only as long at the switch is held there. My recollection is I had to hold the switch in the Start position until the light flickered, and then I'd release. Now there is not even a flicker.

I was going to replace the bulb as that's the only way I know to test a florescent bulb. But, I was not able to find the subject bulb at either Walmart or Lowes.

I would like to make some test to see if the bulb is getting a Start and On signals. I have a volt-ohm-meter and know how to use it to check a socket for an incandescent bulb. Can I make some tests to assure that the florescent fixture is providing electrical power to the florescent bulb?

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My crossreference says an F18T8CW is the replacement for the F26T8

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 11:03PM
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Sorry about my poor spelling, Fluorescent is the correct spelling (I think).

Amazon shows a starter FS25 as corresponding to the F26T8-CW/4 bulb. A starter is fixture dependent, as I recall some "ballast" designs include the starter (built in).

Thanks Randy, but I doubt the correctness of the swap bulb. The F26... is indeed 26" long and is a bulb built specifically for appliances, I have learned. It is on a 30" wide range (standard size) and just about covers the whole width, i.e., just enclosure of a couple of inches on each side.

I will see if I can easily open the cover further to check for ballast and starter.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 7:56AM
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