stuck light bulb


Old 10-05-02, 06:17 AM
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stuck light bulb

I can screw the light bulb tighter but it won't unscrew. I'm afriad to grap any tighter and have it break. Is there any trick for unscrewing a stuck light bulb?
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Old 10-05-02, 06:58 AM
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((Not with just the switch off, but with the breaker/fuse off)) use a very small amount of WD40, or something of a like. spray the threads. then after you get it out wipe it clean.
Old 10-05-02, 07:19 AM
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Also, use a rag or maybe a potholder or leather work gloves when unscrewing it just in case the bulbs breaks. This will protect your hands.

If the bulb breaks, make sure that the power is off to the fixture, use one of the above items to protect your hands, and use half a raw potato to remove the remaining part in the fixture. You simply press it into the fixture, and it grabs it while you're turning it. Make sure to clean the potato 'dust' off the fixture, and you're ready for a new bulb.

Probably would be a good idea at this point to check the fixture to find out why the bulb was binding so that you don't run into this problem again. Could be the bulb screw itself had a burr or dent, or the fixture threads may be damaged or dirty.


right is tight, left is loose.
Old 10-05-02, 10:20 AM
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Here's another idea. Shut off the breaker, break the bulb intentionally, and use needle-nose pliers on the base. I would not recommend WD40, because it conducts electricity and it might cause future problems.
Old 10-05-02, 12:23 PM
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I would agree that a large amount of WD40 would cause problems, but what happens over time with the heat of the bulb or electricity in general the natural oils in the base is evaporated, this replenishes the oils in the base. That would be there anyhow when it was new. And when there is two metals of the same material in contact with each other they tend to stick, or weld them self together. In industrial setting I will install a very small amount of a antioxidant compound on HID threads of the bulb, this usually helps to get the bulb set, and help to remove the bulb when needed. I also suggested cleaning the base after the bulb is out, to remove any extra oils, and this could be done with just a clean rag.
Old 10-05-02, 08:51 PM
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believe it or not Try using your other hand to unscrew the bulb. An old timer told me this years ago and it works 75% of the time.

Let us know if it works for you
Old 10-08-02, 10:53 PM
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hope this helps.

This may sound kind of wierd, but it works. With the power off, break the bulb, and use a potato to unscrew it, (an apple works too in a pinch.) Ive used this trick a handful of times and it hasnt failed me yet.
Old 10-10-02, 08:32 AM
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Lightbulb Just adding my two cents

I have always been told by reps of the lighting manufacturers, that they recommend using a very small amount of vaseline on the threads of the lamp before threading it in.

Apparently the petroleum jelly is not a very good conductor so there is no worry of an electrical problem and the heat wont degrade the vaseline to the point where it won't provide a friction barrier.I have used this method for years and not had any problems as of yet.

One other thing to remember is that you shouldn't screw the lamp into the base really tight. Since there is heat involved here, you have to allow for expansion and contraction. If you screw the lamp in until it meets resistance and then about another 1/8th of a turn you will be able to remove the lamp with relative ease when it's time.

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