Removing Remains of a Broken Light Bulb

Submitted By
KimTheTenant
Filed Under
Electric
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1 expert, 2 community
Q:

This weekend I tried to remove a dead lightbulb from my ceiling fan and it was so brittle, it shattered in my hand.  Now the base of the light bulb is basically stuck in the socket and I don't know how to get it out.  I thought about using pliers, but what part of the bulb am I supposed to grab onto?  The filament (?) is glass and too delicate.

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I'd skip the wet potato idea -- electricity and water never work out well!

There are two things to do. FIRST, turn off the power to the circuit that the light is on, NOT just the switch. Then you can take a newspaper and twist the end into a shape that will fit in the bottom of the base of the bulb and just keep turning. This will usually cause enough friction to remove the broken base.

Second, and AGAIN, making sure the power is off, you can use a needle nose pliers to grab the edge of the broken base and twist it to the left to unscrew it. Do not grab to remaining glass as it will very likely crack in your hand. Also be sure to wear eye protection of this bulb is overhead as shards of glass may fall down in the process.

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I read once in a Heloise column to shove half of a raw potato onto the broken end and then twist that to get the bulb out.

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Can you grip the edge of the bulb right where the glass was? They also sell a tool to remove broken bulbs, here's alink to the one they sell at amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Unger-92133-Broken-Light-Changer/dp/B001735UB8.
I'm sure they'd have it at Home Depot or Lowes.

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