How to Remove a Broken Light Bulb Base

We're sure most of you might have come across this little problem before. A light bulb has gone out and in the process of trying to switch out the bulb, the glass breaks. We came across this very issue this weekend when replacing an outdoor flood light. Since it was an outdoor light it was subject to the weather elements and the bulb basically fell away from the base as soon as it was touched—probably part of the reason it was no longer working. So, now how to unscrew the base.

A few different methods exist, but first, a word of safety. Before attempting to remove the base, be sure to shut off the light. If you aren't sure that all the electricity is turned off to the fixture you're working on, shut off the breaker too. Otherwise, you risk sending electric current through your body. Since broken glass is involved, take precaution to protect your eyes and hands by wearing safety glasses and leather or rubber gloves. And depending on your situation, a drop might come in handy.

Now, I'm sure you've heard of using a potato to get the base loose, but I didn't have a potato on hand. Also, another option is using needle nose pliers to get a good grip on the base. This is probably the surefire method. But we came across another option: a plastic water/pop bottle. And the great news is plastic isn't a conductor, so the likelihood of being shocked becomes even less.

All you need to do is remove the lid from the bottle. Next, melt down the threads of the bottle with a lighter or over the stove a little bit.

Then insert the threaded part of the bottle inside the base of the bulb. While applying some pressure, turn the bottle clockwise.

And voila! You've removed that pesky bulb base with out even needing to own needle nose pliers.

We hope you've enjoyed the tip!

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