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Electrical Wire and Cable

How To Extract a Broken Light Bulb From a Socket

How to Fix a Broken Light Bulb Problem: When replacing a light bulb it was twisting in the light socket then when I turned the light back on the bulb popped and flashed then the power went out.

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A Damaged Light Bulb Can Cause An Electrical Short Circuit
Electrical Question: When replacing a light bulb it was twisting in the light socket then when I turned the light back on the bulb popped and flashed then the power went out.

This electrical repair question came from: Barry, a Homeowner from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical repair question Barry.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

5 Responses to “How To Extract a Broken Light Bulb From a Socket”
  1. Mo Starks says:

    Please help – A bulb broke when trying to replace it and the metal socket is stuck in socket holder – thanks in advance.


  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Mo –
    Turn OFF the light switch or circuit.
    Remove the glass from the broken bulb.
    Take a small flat blade screw driver and gently pry between the socket and the broken bulb base pushing it in towards the center area.
    Do this all the way around the socket being careful not to damage the socket, bending only on the old bulb base.
    Lift out the old bulb or use pliers to gently unscrew the old bulb.
    Be Careful – Dave

  3. Greg says:

    I had the same problem as the original fellow, but when I finally got the old bulb piece out and put the new one in, the lights didn’t turn back on. Oddly enough the breaker didn’t trip when it originally shorted, but all the other lights on the circuit went out and are still out. Flipping the breaker off and on does no good. Is it a faulty circuit breaker or light socket that is the problem, and how do I diagnose the problem? Thanks in advance!

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Greg,
    If it was a bad light socket it would not keep the other lights from working. A voltage test should be made to see if there is power to the light circuit, and if not it could be a bad circuit breaker but this would be rare. There is a possibility that the circuit breaker really is tripped OFF but appears that it is in the ON position, or that you have not found the right circuit breaker. If the circuit will not reset then the wiring to the socket may be damaged or shorted out if the socket was turning while the bulb was being extracted. In this case the wiring to the socket will need to be repaired before the circuit breaker can be reset.

  5. Greg says:

    I was able to track the problem back to the light switch. The dimmer had blown!
    Thanks for your help. 😉