Remove Broken Light Bulbs Without Getting Cut or Shocked Using a Water Bottle





Introduction: Remove Broken Light Bulbs Without Getting Cut or Shocked Using a Water Bottle

I made this instructable for the "SAVE THE BOTTLE" contest. I know there are other ways of getting this piece out but I wanted find a good use for a water bottle. The risk of getting shocked is pretty much non existant with a water bottle when compared to a potato or pliers.

Remove Broken Light Bulbs Without Getting Cut or Shocked With A Water Bottle.

Have you ever tried to remove a light bulb and had it break in your hand. DON'T try to get the metal piece out with your hands or pliers. You could get shocked or cut! Here's an instructable on how to use an ordinary water bottle to extract that piece.

Step 1: Remove Label, Lid and Collar

First, TURN THE LIGHT SWITCH OFF. Now, if it's a lamp with a cord and plug then, UNPLUG THE LIGHT. Then, double check the light switch is off. Then double check that it's unplugged. If you've ever been shocked you'll know why I repeated those steps. LEARN from my mistakes here people! Haha The devise we're making is plastic so you're not likely to be shocked even if the power is on but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Now, take an empty water bottle. The heftier ones are better for this application. Remove the cap, the label and the little ring around the neck that breaks when you take the lid off.

Step 2: Melt the Bottle Neck

Now, heat the threaded part over the stove or a lighter until it gets soft. Then shape it with your hands until it looks like this. DON'T touch the hot plastic too long. Just short spurts like the video. You can dip it in water to cool it down or let it air dry.

Step 3: Remove the Broken Light Bulb


... when you push and twist so you don't get glass on you. If you've ever had glass lodged under your skin or in your eye you'll know why I repeated that four times. Again, learn from my mistakes here.

Congratulations, now you've removed the entire bulb without getting cut or electrocuted.

PS if you put a tiny bit of petroleum jelly on the threads of the new bulb it will be easier to take out when it burns out next time.

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Easy solution, use a big carrot, always works

Yikes. Melting plastics is hazardous--both because of the fumes and the possibility of burning yourself. Making that a key part of this fix is unwise.

So is failing to instruct people to TURN OFF THE POWER to hardwired fixtures. Yes, it's a PITA, but it's the only way you know you're safe. Read HowtoDan's post for why.

Family Handyman recommends against putting petroleum jelly on bulb threads. They recommend Bulb EZ.

The recommendations on goggles is excellent, something people might forget. So are thick gloves and no unprotected skin on the wrists and forearms.

Myself, I'll be trying a sponge rubber, the kind used to remove soot, first, then needle-nose pliers on my exterior floodlight. WITH THE POWER OFF, of course.

Just so you know

When you turn off a light switch. You do not shut off the power to the light. You break the circuit between power and ground (actually neutral but let's keep things simple). The danger is, even if you shut off the light switch, while you are playing with the broken light bulb you might become the ground for the circuit. The power is still going to the light but the circuit is not complete until either the switch is moved or you and your potato become a ground and both get cooked.

Play safe, turn off the breaker at the panel.

Ok before I read this, I got the broken bulb out but couldnt turn the base thread to b get socket out. Used pliers and now base is mangled and broken. How do I now get it out? Im stuck because it wont move and its all chewed up. Help!! Help!!

I've always just turned off the main power at my circuit breaker box
and then used needle nose pliers to loosen and remove the bulb base
although I would assume just turning off the switch would suffice. Isn't
that what a light wall switch does? Turns power to the socket on and

This worked like a charm. I turned off the power in that room via the circuit breakers first just to be safe. The bottle opening was a tad bit too big but I was able to angle it and unscrew it with no problem. Thank you! You probably saved me about $200 in electrician fees!

disconnect the lamp and use gloves, but nice instructable, anyways

Well we just got mine out using eletric proof pliers. Probably saved about an hour not doing this. xD

A pair of pliers as an alternative... o_0

Why not simply turn it off and use pliers? To my knowledge, there's a very simple circuit employed in such things..Plug, resistor, transformer, and an electrolytic cap; no? The only thing that could cause a problem is the cap, but unless you bridge the contacts, I don't see the danger.