Fluorescent lights that often balk

Q. The rapid-start fluorescent lights in my kitchen often fail to light unless I shake them. What's the problem? Gordon Bronson Berkeley, Calif.

A. The likely problem is a loose contact at the tube socket caused by corrosion. Try twisting the tubes several times in and out of their sockets. If the tubes are still balky, check the wire connections between the ballasts and the socket.

If there is no corrosion and the wiring seems sound, then I should imagine the tubes should be replaced.

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