Author Topic: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?  (Read 2036 times)

RetiredAt63

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How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« on: May 28, 2016, 05:25:22 AM »
I am replacing all the floods in my basement pot lights with LEDs.  One bulb is in so tight that I can't get it out.  I even lifted up the drop ceiling tile and held onto the top of the pot light while I tried to twist the bulb out. No luck.

Is there any sort of light socket lubricant that I could spray?  There is almost no room between the pot and the edge of the bulb.  Or am I stuck, and have to just very carefully break the bulb into a container and get the base out with pliers?  If yes, how do I break a bulb relatively safely?  I was thinking of holding a waste basket close to the light and hitting the bulb lightly with a hammer (not sure where on the bulb I should aim), hoping the glass would fall into the waste basket.  I would be on a ladder, so my face is not below the light, and I would wear rubber gloves and safety glasses.

« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 10:44:52 AM by RetiredAt63 »

lizzzi

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot lilght?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2016, 05:32:12 AM »
Are you holding onto the bulb with something that gives you a really good grip, like a big, thick rubber band? I have an old rubber tourniquet (used when blood is drawn) that is a godsend when trying to loosen things like that.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot lilght?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2016, 05:43:10 AM »
Interesting - I have those rubber mat things used to hold a jar lid, I will try that.  There isn't much space between the edge of the bulb and the pot, but probably enough.  The difficulty in getting a good grip is part of the problem, but it really is in tight.

Are you holding onto the bulb with something that gives you a really good grip, like a big, thick rubber band? I have an old rubber tourniquet (used when blood is drawn) that is a godsend when trying to loosen things like that.

BlueMR2

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2016, 10:52:48 AM »
Wear eye and hand protection too.  I had one stuck badly that ended breaking while I was trying to remove it.  Luckily no glass ended up doing bodily damage to me.

Well Respected Man

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2016, 11:13:35 AM »
Shouldn't need to be said, but turn off the power at the circuit breaker before going in with the pliers or breaking the bulb.

bobechs

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2016, 12:12:42 PM »
Step 1: Wear a glove, and twist -counterclockwise please- until the glass (likely) breaks.

Step 2: Stick a potato firmly into the jagged remains of the bulb & base and turn the bulb out of the socket.

Step 3: Cook the potato and feed it to someone you don't like.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2016, 03:45:44 PM »
 Yes, I was thinking that - and figure it is safer to break a bulb on purpose than accidentally.   "I would be on a ladder, so my face is not below the light, and I would wear rubber gloves and safety glasses."
Wear eye and hand protection too.  I had one stuck badly that ended breaking while I was trying to remove it.  Luckily no glass ended up doing bodily damage to me.

Good point.
Shouldn't need to be said, but turn off the power at the circuit breaker before going in with the pliers or breaking the bulb.

lthenderson

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2016, 08:18:23 PM »
I have successfully removed a few stuck incandescent lightbulbs by leaving the bulb on for awhile and letting it get hot. Then wearing a pair of rubberized gloves to protect your hands from getting burnt and yet still have a grip, turn off the light and quickly remove it. The other thing I would try is gently wiggling it side to side before trying to turn it out to break it loose.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2016, 08:50:41 PM »
Step 1: Wear a glove, and twist -counterclockwise please- until the glass (likely) breaks.

Step 2: Stick a potato firmly into the jagged remains of the bulb & base and turn the bulb out of the socket.

Step 3: Cook the potato and feed it to someone you don't like.

Same.    You can also use a cut 1/2 tennis ball on nailed to a stick to get regular shaped bulbs out of high ceiling fixtures.
I have also done the "wait for the bulb to cool, shut breaker, and pick out bits with pliers" ..  Usually works with only minimal damage that does not prevent the next bulb from going in.

frugalnacho

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2016, 12:24:23 PM »
Step 1: Wear a glove, and twist -counterclockwise please- until the glass (likely) breaks.

Step 2: Stick a potato firmly into the jagged remains of the bulb & base and turn the bulb out of the socket.

bobechs guide to making curly fries.

Emg03063

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2016, 12:06:22 AM »
Before I broke the bulb on purpose, I would try epoxying a handle to it (small piece of scrap wood or whatever) to see if it gave me enough grip to unscrew without breaking.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 05:01:43 AM by Emg03063 »

Choices

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Re: How to get stuck bulb out of a pot light?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2016, 09:33:54 AM »
Good suggestions above for the rubber band and trying it at different temperatures. As a hail-mary, have you tried spraying compressed air into the base to see if you can knock anything loose and unstick it?