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How An Electrician Removes A Broken Bulb From A Light Socket

by Feride Halma

Most light bulbs screw in and screw out for easy replacing. However, you may encounter that one light bulb that for whatever reason breaks off inside the socket at the base of the bulb. What do you do now? The bulb itself is essentially gone, but now you have the base of the bulb stuck in the electrical socket. Here is what an electrician might advise you to do about this particular problem. 

1. Find the Fuse Switch That Controls the Electricity in That Room and Flip It Off

When you do not want to be electrocuted, you cut the power. If the switches in the electrical box in your home are not labeled, you may need some help figuring out which switch controls the room in which you are trying to remove the remnants of this bulb. Flip the switch to the "off" position and leave it that way until you complete the next steps. 

2. Don Protective Gear

Despite the fact that you just cut the power to the room where you are going to try to remove parts of a light bulb from a bulb socket, you still need to remember that any outlet or socket is still a "live" outlet or socket. It still contains some electrical current that can hurt you if you are not careful. Don rubber gloves or electrician's work gloves and rubber boots (or stand on a rubber mat underneath the light). Doing so will prevent any remaining current from zapping your fingers and hands and/or traveling through your body to the floor or ground as you work. If there are bits of glass remaining from the broken bulb, it is all the more important that you don protective gear. 

3. Remove Any Shards of Glass Remaining

Gently break away any remaining shards of glass from the broken bulb. These are jagged and can cut you. It helps to get the glass bits out of the way before you continue.

4. Insert a Covered Forefinger into the Light Bulb's Base, and Using Your Thumb on the Outside, Twist Out

This may take a minute or two to loosen the base of the broken bulb from the light socket. Once it is loosened enough, and enough of the base is out of the socket, you should be able to remove your protective glove and carefully twist the bulb base the rest of the way out of the socket. Throw it all in the trash and flip the fuse switch back on to insert a new light bulb.

If you still have trouble removing the bulb or don't have the necessary safety equipment, contact an electrician for help.