A broken light bulb is one of the most common electrical faults you encounter on a daily basis. If you're not careful, you could end up with a cut, electric shock or electrocution.
When an incandescent bulb burns out and/or ages, it can be fragile and break easily. If you know how to remove a damaged bulb the right way, you can avoid the danger.
If the bulb is connected to a lamp, simply unplug it and you will be shocked that no current will flow through it. However, if the lamp is hardwired, turn off the power by turning off the circuit breaker that serves the room.
Use the non-contact voltage detector on the base to see if an electric field is present. If there is, the detector will flash and sound an alarm.
Handling a broken bulb with your bare hands may cut or damage the socket. The procedure for removing a damaged bulb will vary depending on the tools you use.
Use pliers: A pair of sharp-nosed pliers is usually effective, but it's best to leave the bulb largely intact. Grasp the glass base or metal edge of the filament and gently rotate counterclockwise. If the bulb does not move, bend the metal of the base inward in a different position. Repeat until it begins to move or the base comes apart.
Using raw potatoes: Remove all glass fragments with pliers. Then cut the potato in half, the short way, and dry it with a paper towel. Snap it onto the socket and rotate it counterclockwise. The potato should stick to the base of the bulb, and when you unscrew it, the force of the movement should loosen it from the socket.
Broken bulb extractors: Bulb extractors cost only a few dollars at home improvement and online stores. Extractors are usually designed to remove standard and smaller sized incandescent bulbs. To remove the bulb, insert the rubber tip into the base and turn counterclockwise.
If these methods don't work, there are other strategies. You can use a fast-curing epoxy; after disconnecting the power and cleaning any remaining glass, insert a piece of epoxy putty into the bulb base. Next, press a flathead screwdriver into the epoxy and remove it.
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