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Remove a Broken Bulb

Remove a Broken Light Bulb TIPS

Lori Ohaco, who lives in stormy Lincoln, Nebraska, has a challenge.

A light bulb broke in an outdoor fixture and she needs to, well how about she tell you:

"I have an outdoor yard light with 40-watt bulb in it. It has started blowing bulbs every two days.

Some of the glass got broken in a storm. How do I clean out the light socket without killing myself?

I don't know which fuse shuts off the power to this light."

Turn Off The Switch

For starters, you want to turn off the switch that operates this outdoor light. If this light is operated by a 3 or 4-way switch that's problematic because the orientation of the switch - up or down - tells you nothing.

Turn Off All Power

Lori, the safest way to do this is to turn off all the power to your home. There should be a huge master breaker at the top of your electrical panel.

Some homes have the main disconnect in another part of the house or garage. My main disconnect is in my garage on the other side of the wall from the outdoor electrical meter, while my electrical panels are in my basement.

Free & Fast Bids

CLICK HERE right now to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local electricians if you terrified of getting ZAPPED doing any of this.

Needle-Nose Pliers

You then have to use a needle-nose pliers to remove the aluminum bulb socket from the lamp base. Watch the following video to see what the aluminum threaded base looks like on a bulb. You'll see me point to it at 1:07 in this video:

You may have to break some glass with the pliers and then bend the aluminum bulb base a little bit to get a good purchase on the base with the plier tips.

Needle-Nose Pliers

Here are the pliers I'd use for this job:

These are fantastic needle nose pliers. I own this exact one. They're also amazing wire strippers too. Well worth the price. CLICK THE PLIERS NOW TO HAVE THEM DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME IN DAYS.


Pull Up Brass Tab

Once you have the bulb base out of the socket, you need to pull up the brass tab at the base of the socket.

If the brass tab gets depressed by screwing in the bulb too tightly, it can lead to arcing that eats a hole in the bottom of the bulb. This could be why you're burning through so many bulbs.

Once you have all this work done and a new bulb in the socket, turn back on the electricity, locate the fuse or circuit breaker to this outdoor lamp and LABEL it.

CLICK HERE right now to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local electricians if you terrified of getting ZAPPED doing any of this.


4 Responses to Remove a Broken Bulb

  1. addendum to bulb removal,,,qtip and vaseline inside socket makes installation and removal much more pleasant ,,and safer too

  2. I remember my mom's method. She would take an old wine cork and press it into the socket and simply twist the cork. The cork is non-conductive and the texture provides positive friction.

  3. How about a very old remedy: turn off power; push the end of potato into the broken bulb base and turn the potato and bulb base counter clockwise. Use a paper towel to wipe off any moisture left on top of the socket.

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