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Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith, Plumber
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 3767
Experience:  City and Guilds Qualified plumber
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My circular fluorescent bathroom lamp started flickering when

Customer Question

My circular fluorescent bathroom lamp started flickering when it was switched off. I could only see this at night as it was a very gentle flicker. I replaced the tube and starter but it still flickered. I then replaced the ballast with an electronic unit doing away with the starter. No go. I have now replaced the pull-cord switch, again no joy. The damn thing still flickers all night. All day too but I can't see it. I must say there is no problem with using the light. It works well and with the electronic ballast it switches on instantly. Getting it to switch off properly is my problem. Any ideas?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Andrew Smith replied 3 years ago.

Andrew Smith : Can you confirm the wiring is correct and you are switching the live and not the neutral. If it is wired the the way around then the light will be getting a live feed all the time and may have an earth leakage problem
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- :

I used a mains tester to ensure I had live feed to the switch. This is also just a recent problem. Everything worked perfectly for the past 40yrs.

Andrew Smith : Do you have a meter?
Andrew Smith : Set to 400V AC
Andrew Smith : Put one probe on the live and the other to the earth and tell me the reading
Andrew Smith : Try with the light switch on and off
Andrew Smith : Do the same with the neutral also and let me know what you find
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- :

Sorry about the delay. The readings are:

JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- :

Switched off: Live 19.1 Neutral: 22.7

JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- :

Switched on: Live 0.05 Neutral: 22.7

JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- :

I don't understand the readings from a meter, so I have no idea what they mean.

JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- :


JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- :


Andrew Smith : Can you confirm the meter is set to Volts and AC?
Andrew Smith : These are strange readings
Andrew Smith : Perhaps there is a problem with the neutral - do you have mice?
Andrew Smith : They can chew through cables
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- : Hello again
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- : The meter was definitely set on volts/ac and I don't have a mouse problem. It's far too cold in my loft for a mouse. Kitchen maybe but not the loft. I thought the readings were odd too, so I took them three times. Do you give up?
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- : cheers
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- : Mel
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- : PS. Maybe I should buy a new LED lamp.
Andrew Smith : You will need an electrician to sort this
Andrew Smith : you should have no readings on the neutral, it should be zero volts
Andrew Smith : Until you get the neutral fault sorted it will continue to do this
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- : Thanks for your help. I think an electrician is the only way forward.
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- : All the best,
JACUSTOMER-j8hciz2m- : Mel
Andrew Smith : No problem - good luck