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  1. #1
    Jeff Eastman's Avatar
    Jeff Eastman Guest

    Default Floresence Lights

    Last edited by Jeff Eastman; 12-03-2007 at 12:01 PM.
    Certified Master Inspector CMI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    1,217

    Default Re: Floresence Lights

    Probably the ballast going out.

    Last edited by Bruce Breedlove; 09-28-2007 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Corrected word
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    25,314

    Default Re: Fluorescent Lights

    Yes and no, or, if you prefer, "it depends".

    The humming noise is the laminations in the ballast rattling (vibrating) back and forth, the really noisy one you can here the rattling.

    This is due to what are know as eddy currents, but which is a long drawn out explanation - the short of it is that the magnetic fields are not only expanding and collapsing in their intended direction, but there are magnetic currents flowing sideways through the laminations in the transformer/ballast core. When these come loose or are not made tightly enough, you get that hum.

    Cheaper ballasts, as a rule of thumb, are more noisy. More expensive ballasts are typically quieter. This is because, like every thing else, it cost more to make a better product.

    If they are very loud, have someone remove the lens cover, remove the ballast cover, and you will likely find that there is 'tar' dripping out of the ballast, and that the ballast is sometimes very hot - both cause the other, and are indications that the ballast *as seen better days*.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Jeff Eastman's Avatar
    Jeff Eastman Guest

    Default Re: Floresence Lights

    Fascinating....so is this a defect to report in the report?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI
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    645

    Default Re: Floresence Lights

    Also keep in mind that older ballasts may contain PCBs which must be disposed of properly. Read This


  6. #6
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
    Chad Fabry Guest

    Default Re: Floresence Lights

    To be accurate:

    It's fluorescent lights


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
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    4,517

    Default Re: Floresence Lights

    I heard one humming once. It had a wasp inside the lens cover.


  8. #8
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Floresence Lights

    Drift Warning !!!


    Rick,

    What 'tune' was it humming?



    ... I just couldn't resist


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Floresence Lights

    Nolan,

    Since you asked,

    I think it was.. BEE My Little Baby by The Ronettes



    Rick


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Fluorescent Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Fabry View Post
    To be accurate:

    It's fluorescent lights
    Chad,

    You noticed, I am sure, that I made the correction in my post?

    Jeff,

    If it's rattling pretty loudly, I'd just write it up and needing to be replaced, if it's not too bad, I'd tell my client about it and advise him that if the noise is bothersome, there are one or more fluorescent lights which may need to be replaced, or maybe just need new ballasts (with those lay-in type lights, you replace the ballast, not the light, not unless something else is dreadfully wrong with the light itself, with cheap work shop type lights, you can by the lights cheaper than you can buy a replacement ballast).

    Is it a defect? Depends. If it really noisy, at the very least *tell* them about it and have them listen to it, only they will know if it's too loud for them. Then note in your report that you had the client listen to several fluorescent lights because of their noise and the client said they were okay. That covers your butt in case they move in and the teachers in the day care center start complaining about it.

    In reality, I never had clients worry about things like that during a commercial inspection, but it's all up to how you managed, or did not manage, their expectations of what you would be doing. Some clients might, if that's what they believe they hired you for. Next thing you know, one of the fluorescent lamps will not come on and they will call you expecting you to replace it 'because you did not tell me it was not working'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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