can't get bulbs out


Old 02-05-09, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: coastal south carolina
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can't get bulbs out

I've got a ceiling fixture with (2) candelabra-type 40w bulbs that are burned out. These bulbs are the ones with the small base, decorative type. Anyway, I cannot get the bulbs out. When I try to remove them, the entire socket that they screw into twists. I've wriggled them, tried to alternately loosen/tighten them, etc. Obviously, I don't want them to break off in my hand, so I stop (thus far) before breaking them off in my hand. A contributing problem is that there is a decorative brass shield that loosely covers the socket and that piece will not allow me to get a good look at the socket and threads at the bulb base. The shield is about 1 1/2" long and completely covers the socket, rendering it invisible and difficult to get to. Hence, if I spray a lubricant, I'll be "doing it blind", simply aiming it up into the loose brass shield.

as always, any help is appreciated. I'll check back in in a few hours.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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You may be SOL as far as any easy remedy. It sounds like the rivets that hold the shell in the socket have torn loose and you may be twisting the wires to the socket. I suspect that you will have to take the lamp down in order to work on it and that will include breaking the bulbs and sockets even worse than it is now. Then you would have to find new sockets and rewire the fixture.

A specialty lamp shop could do the work after you removed the fixture but unless you are really in love with it a new fixture is probably less expensive.
Old 02-05-09, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
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See if the brass sleeve is also screwed on above the socket. Sometimes you can tighten it and it will tighten the base along with it.

If that doesn't work ... Shut off the power. Wear protective eyewear and break the glass. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to chip away and remove all glass, including the stem. Then use the pliers to bend the metal lamp-base edges toward the center. Half-twists while the pliers have a hold will help to draw the metal away from the socket. Eventually there will be enough space to get a second pair of needle-nose to hold the socket while you unscrew the base.

If this works (as it has for me on several ocassions), tighten the socket and the brass sleeve before you put in a new lamp, and don't overtighten the lamp.

If it doesn't work, you'll probably have to remove the entire fixture to perform surgery.
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