Broken lightbulb in socket; potato won't help

I have a similar problem that I hope someone can help me with.

I have a light fixture with a glass shade that is attached to the fixture with set screws, near where the bulb screws into the fixture. The opening in the shade where it attaches to the fixture is too small to fit over the bulb, so the only way to remove the shade is to first remove the bulb. The bulb is burned out, but when I try to remove it, it is stuck tight enough in the socket that the whole socket turns with it, eventually coming loose from the fixture. I can’t hold the socket to keep it from turning, because the shade is in the way.

I have thought about breaking the bulb, and then removing the shade, but I’m hoping there is some better way.

On another topic, while typing this, it happened twice that everything I had typed just disappeared from the screen. I must have accidentally hit some key that made that happen, but I have no idea what key would do that. Any ideas?

Okay, I’ll buy the possibility that one may not be able to determine when the switch is off. but this "miswired " thing gets me. If history tell you that you’re able to turn the light on and off, how can you still have a live contact in the socket that will not turn on a functioning light bulb? Keep in mind that we are not playing with wires here, just a “functioning” light bulb socket.

To light a light bulb, you need a circuit that that follows a complete path from the voltage souce (the “hot” side), through the bulb, and back to some lower voltage point (the “neutral” side). Opening a switch anywhere in this circuit will turn the bulb off; it doesn’t matter if the switch is closer than the bulb to the source, or the other way around. Light switches are supposed to be wired so that the switch is closer to the voltage source than the bulb; when the switch is open, the bulb is connected only to the neutral side, and it’s safe to work on.

However, a light switch can easily be wired so that the switch is closer to the lower voltage return than the bulb is; in this case, when the switch is open, the bulb is connected to the hot side. Because the switch is open, no current flows, and the bulb does not light. However, the bulb is at 120V potential, and if you touch the contact in the socket while simultaneously touching ground, current is apt to flow through you.

Thanx. Now I get it !

not to be a smart a**, but what if you stood on a thick piece of styrofoam and stuck your finger in a light socket? would a chair work?

Theory say that if you are insulated from ground there is no circuit for electrocution.
Syrofoam, DRY wooden chair, dry rubber boots or overshoes, H.D. fubber gloves, etc.

BUT if you stick a finger of one hand in the socket and contact the hot wire and touch the outside of the socker with the other you are a likely candidate for an early demise.

Otherwise if one finger contacts both the hot center of the socket and the shell you are guaranteed an unpleaseant shock and possible burn if the socke is hot.


This is extraordinarily good advice. I came mighty close to dying because some schmuck miswired my hall chandelier which happens

a) To be hanging over the staircase.
b) Has bulbs that are barely reachable if you stretch over from the top step.

Although the power is off, the light is apparently switched through the neutral, so when I tried to replace a bulb, I got a substantial shock and ended up involuntarily flinging the light globe down the staircase and nearly following it myself (fortunately I got flung backwards instead of forwards).

I wasn’t???!!!

If not drunk, how do YOU play with the electrical in your house?

1st of all there is an insulated tool made for extracting broken light bulbs. Now that you know that, the way i do it is to use the new bulb. With just a little pressure in as -U- turn the bulb and out comes the old bulb base.

I’ve always used a bunched up washcloth to circumvent both issues of glass and electricity. Scrunch it up, press and twist. It will catch on something and spin it right out.

The washcloth, of course, would be dry, right out of the closet.