Lubricating a light bulb stem

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Old 02-13-06, 09:15 AM
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Lubricating a light bulb stem

There are a couple of fixtures in my house that are difficult to remove an old light bulb. Is there a way to lubricate the stem of a new bulb to make it easier to remove?

So far my own experiments have failed: WD-40 evaporates and a "heat resistent" grease for automobiles dries and hardens making the problem worse.
 
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Old 02-13-06, 09:21 AM
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I wouldn't try to lubricate a light bulb stem for a couple of reasons. First off, I don't know any fixtures that require lubrication just to remove a bulb. They just aren't designed that way. Of more concern though is whether or not the lubricant you are using is a conductor of electricity.
If the bulbs are difficult to remove, there is probably a problem with the socket in the fixture.
 
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Old 02-15-06, 08:06 PM
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I use Noalox - the compound made for aluminum wires. It works perfectly.

Just a dab - it makes a mess if you use too much.
 
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Old 02-16-06, 07:15 AM
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WD-40 is flammable. I would never use it in any electrical project.
 
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Old 02-16-06, 08:21 AM
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"Tuner cleaner", if you can find it, is very effective and made for electrical components. The "Shack" used to sell it. It comes in a spray can similar to WD-40. Spray the base of the bulb, not the light socket and wipe off excess with a rag.

This problem occurs more with lower cost light bulbs and it sometimes helps just to wipe off the base of the bulb with a dry cloth before screwing it in. Some sockets are more troublesome than others as well and I've had good luck disconnecting the light from power (or turning off the breaker) and wiping out the socket itself with a dry rag.

Doug M.
 
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Old 02-20-06, 11:49 PM
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Tuner cleaner . . . cleans, it doesnt lubricate. WD40 is NOT safe. I wonder if vasoline is. I know I've used it for running wires through conduit.
 
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Old 02-21-06, 07:36 AM
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Tuner cleaner . . . cleans, it doesnt lubricate..
Dirt is most of the problem... it works.
WD40 is NOT safe.
True.
I wonder if vasoline is. I know I've used it for running wires through conduit.
Vasoline is an insulator and would create a poor connection. It's also somewhat flamable.

Doug M.
 
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Old 02-21-06, 08:03 AM
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dielectric grease. available at auto parts stores.
 
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Old 02-22-06, 06:46 AM
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I must be missing something here. The discussion has been what lubricant to use and is it safe. Obviously any lubricant that is a conductor is unsafe and should never be used but in my mind any non conducting lubricant could also be problematic by interfering with the normal bulb socket contact. IMO if you are having a problem with bulbs "sticking" in a fixture - fix the fixture. That may be as simple as cleaning the bulb socket.
 
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Old 02-22-06, 08:54 AM
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a lot of times ive seen it be the fault of the bulb, not the fixture. have you tried a different brand of bulb in the fixtures?
 
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Old 03-05-06, 07:50 PM
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I use No-OX grease.. its non conducting, non oxidizing grease we have used for many years hooking batteries together in Central Offices.. I use it on every bulb that I replace in my auto, boat, trailer's, Christmas lights.. it really works good on the Christmas lights because it keeps the bottoms from corroding off after all the weather they have been put through.. nothing like unscrewing a Christmas light and it just seperating on you...
 
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Old 04-26-09, 05:34 AM
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Deoxit DN5

Deoxit DN5 is a high grade electronic cleaner that leaves a very small amount of lubrication on the components. It's what many use to clean components in audio / video production facilities.

Just tried it on a light bulb and the results were excellent. No sticking now. I wiped off the threads with a rag after spraying.

I suspect the radio shack tuner cleaner would work just as well but be sure to wipe the threads of the bulb off with a rag after spraying.
 
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Old 04-26-09, 09:11 AM
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although this thread is 2 or 3 years old, good advice is never out of time.

the cleaner works, for the moment but as a lamp is in the fixture, it will corrode again and be difficult (read; impossible) to remove.

Clean with a contact cleaner etc. and then use either No-Ox, silicone dielectric grease, or some other high temp viscous material. Do not apply very much as most will melt and run down the lamp (if base up). A very thin coating is generally all that is required. This will help prevent a recurrence of the corrosion you just removed.
 
 

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