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I have a Hampton Bay CVT-54 ceiling fan and I'm seeing a very strange issue with the fluorescent ring light. When I flip light switch the light will flash momentarily then go dark. Flipping the light switch after that does not cause a flash, nor does pressing the light button on the fan's remote control. The behavior is the same regardless if the switch is flipped while the remote has the light "on" or off.

The strange part is that I can make the light flash again if I lightly touch the fan housing or even the light bulb. When I touch the fan housing I get a slight static shock, though that might be because of how dry it is in my house this winter. This makes me think that there is a grounding problem going on but I can't find any issues with how the fan is wired up, it appears to be fine according to the manual.

  • Is there electricity at the light socket with the switch on? It sounds like the remote receiver in the fan's gone kablooie. – ThreePhaseEel Feb 4 '17 at 22:28
  • I can still use the remote to turn the fan on so I'm hesitant to point to that, but its certainly possible. The light is a circular fluorescent so there isn't really a socket, just a ballast assembly mounted to the fan housing. I've replaced the light and the ballast with the trouble remaining the same between them. – Andrew S Feb 4 '17 at 22:40
  • The receiver has a light-circuit and a fan-circuit -- can you try interchanging them with the power off, then turn the power on and see if the fault moves? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 4 '17 at 22:41
  • Just tried this out, connecting the light wire to the motor wire on the remote receiver. When I flip the light switch the light gets a slow, dim pulse, but will turn on when I cycle through the fan speeds, getting dimmer for lower speeds. The pulse happens with the fan off. – Andrew S Feb 4 '17 at 23:01
  • Sounds like a dead receiver channel then – ThreePhaseEel Feb 4 '17 at 23:33
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ThreePhaseEel had it right in the comments on my original question, a new wireless receiver fixed the problem easily.

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Honestly it sounds like a problem with either the fluorescent bulb or ballast.

The giveaway is how it fires up when you touch it. As a bulb ages, it will require more and more voltage to strike, and eventually it will reach a point where the ballast cannot muster enough voltage to start it. when it's on that wobbly edge, any sort of jostling or electrostatic activity may "give it that extra volt" to start up.

Hampton Bay is also famous for saving consumers money by using value priced ballasts. But it seems more like a bulb.

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