06:03AM | 10/08/06
Member Since: 09/09/06
3 lifetime posts
Hi everyone,

I have a bizarre problem. I have 4 flourescent light fixtures wire in parallel and being controlled by 2 3way switches. The power feeds to one switch before the fixtures.

The problem is this: until last night, everything worked properly. After turning off one switch, the system went dead. I could not get any lights back on. I replaced that switch with no results.

The WEIRD part is, I can get the lights to fire up if I make a small arc across the white wires that are supposed to be connected with the wire nut. (From the Feed, and the 3way cable between switches). As soon as I connect the wires firmly, they will stay on, but if EITHER switch is turned off, the lights will not work until the whites are re arced.

This will fire up the lights in a totally random way, some will work but in no predictable pattern. Sometimes all will light, so I think the ballasts are good.

Does anyone have ANY idea what could cause this? Everything else on that circuit is working normally.

Any help would be appreciated


06:12AM | 10/08/06
Member Since: 09/09/06
3 lifetime posts
This is the diagram of how the system is wired.

I hope it helps. The wires that arc are where they are supposed to be connected at the first switch.

6389 added the diagram


06:49AM | 10/08/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
You have a bad connection some place.

Start with the other end of the cable that feeds this circuit. Then continue through the switches to the lights.

Check all connections and tug on them to make sure that they are secure.

And don't forget the Ground wire. That is important for flourscent fixtures.


01:32PM | 10/08/06
Member Since: 09/09/06
3 lifetime posts
I'm still confused. If it is a bad connection, wouldn't the system either fail to work at all, or all the lights would come off and on at the same time?

What is happening is that sometimes one,two, three or sometimes all, will come on. But never in the same pattern and in the same way. I can arc the white wires in the system repeatedly and get totally different lighting patterns.

All of the lights previously worked together perfectly.

I hope I'm being clear, and I certainly appreciate the help


03:58PM | 10/08/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
A bad ground can cause problems like that.

But check ALL of the connects while you are at it.

If you want to do some verification you can temporarly connect an incandenscene light where to the first flourscent fixture.

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