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Replacing fluorescent light tube

(5 Posts)
Cheadle Mon 02-Jan-17 16:01:36

Really could use some advice regarding the above, please.

Up in the loft there are two fluorescent lights. The first fluorescent tube died a few weeks ago, leaving only one working light in the other fitting. What with Christmas and everything I stupidly decided not to attempt replacing it until now.

Fast forward to today and I go to B and Q to buy 2 replacement tubes and 2 starters (thought it would be wise to have a spare as well in case the other fluorescent light went at some stage in the future). When I switched on the light switch in the loft the remaining working light started flickering and then died. Great, so now I'm left with either replacing them both in the pitch black or trying to find some other light source so I can see what I'm doing. This is the first time in the 15 years I have lived here that I have needed to replace these. Anyway, I get an extension lead and put a lamp up in the loft, not great light but better than nothing.

I manage to replace the first tube (just lining up the pins and pushing both ends in), and the starter. Great, this light works ok now. I move further down the loft to the second light, replace the starter and then attempt to replace the fluorescent tube. It's at this point I realise the actual light fitting is different to the first one. What the hell! .

From the limited amount I can see and feel there is a groove (like a line) either end where the fluorescent tube pins must slot into. I'm really not sure what I'm talking about. I certainly don't recall when I removed the dead fluorescent bulb using this groove to get it out! I just sort of pushed, pulled and yanked the dead tube out.

Anyhow, have been in the loft for nearly an hour now trying to get this second light tube into the groove and my back is killing me cos there isn't enough head height in the loft to stand up straight. The pins go into the groove okay but just keep going up into it and don't stop! By some miracle, the light tube is somehow sitting in the fitting but is very loose and doesn't feel like it's in properly. I tried switching it on but it's not working.

I have now given up for the time being because I'm really not in a very good mood. Anybody got any clue what I should do?

Additionally, both lights run off the same light switch in the loft. Can I turn this switch on and have the first working light on to give me more light up there while I work on the second light or will I electrocute myself?

Thanks and happy New Year.

MrCreosote Mon 02-Jan-17 16:44:39

For safety, leave the light off whilst replacing any bulb.
You might have moved the fittings out abit too wide when removing the tube. Just gently pull them back towards each other so the tube will sit tightly.
Just give it a try and see how you go.

wowfudge Mon 02-Jan-17 17:02:52

You can buy a powerful, battery operated LED torch/lamp for under £10 at Screwfix. You can prop that up to work on the light fitting. Also worth considering getting a head torch. Useful for all sorts of jobs, not just changing tubes in a loft. Did you try just replacing the starters first? We had tubes in our old cellar and garage and over the years of the three which stopped working, only one needed a new tube.

Cheadle Mon 02-Jan-17 17:30:06

wowfudge, I changed both starters, one on each light. To be honest, it didn't even occur to me to change just the starters and not the tube. Too late now, I definitely won't try and replace the old tube in the light I have managed to get working or at this rate I'll be back to square one, with no working lights!

Funnily enough, I was thinking about one of those head torches but there wasn't anywhere local to get one and I was too impatient to wait for something to be delivered if I ordered online.

wowfudge Mon 02-Jan-17 19:44:51

Ah - I seem to remember on the tube we had to replace, getting it in the correct place to slot in properly was trickier than we had expected.

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