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Mercury units burning dim in cold weather

Posted By: Eve Hoyt
Date: Wednesday, 7 January 2015, at 8:41 a.m.

Hi everyone. I searched the archives and surprisingly could not find a thread regarding units burning dim in cold weather. Anyway, I made a window sign (white, 10mm, 3 units) a few weeks ago and it was installed in the customers's window. It has been on 24/7 and looked great up until a few days ago. The customer called and said the middle unit has "3 letters that aren't lit up". It has been cold here in Philly the past several days (below freezing) so I assumed that the issue is the cold weather. But now I'm not so sure. The sign is in a window but enclosed in a small space, so he put a space heather in that area to see if warming it up would bring the sign back up to brightness. It did not. I am going to pick the sign up this weekend to bring it back to my shop, but before I do I just wanted to get some thoughts about the nature of units burning dim in cold weather. Does it need to warmed up for a longer period of time? (maybe he didn't leave the heather on long enough) At this point, I'm thinking I just need to roll the mercury around and get some more on that one electrode. Although, I've been reading a bit about it and apparently it shouldn't matter if there is mercury on both electrodes as long as the tube is warm enough. I have never had this happen, so I'm not sure the best way to go about fixing it without wasting a lot of time. I want to make sure I solve the problem the first time. Can any of you share your experiences with mercury tubes in cold weather? Oh, also, the fill gas I used was just EGL Blue, not a cold weather mix. TIA for your help. Sorry for the long winded message.

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