How to Extract a Broken Blub

12:40 PM

No potatoes were harmed in the creation of this blog post!
In some ways this is the easiest blog post I've ever made.  Extracting a broken bulb seems like it would be easy.  Well - sometimes it's not!

First let me tell you my sad broken bulb tale.

In part of our house we have beautiful high ceilings and recessed lights.  This is (apparently) a very stylish look.  I like it a lot!  The only problem is that if you happen to break a bulb off inside a fixture - well that's NOT so stylish!

Recessed lights with high ceilings

About 2 years ago one of the bulbs broke off inside a recessed lighting fixture.  Try as I might, no potato could remove the broken bulb.  So I ignored the problem and hoped that it would go away.

Then last year, a second bulb broke off inside a fixture.  Now the room just looked shabby and nothing I tried helped!

Potato DIDN'T for me!

The potato method did not work for me.  The ceiling was too high for me to reach and the potato broke off bits of the remaining bulb.

Pliers too dangerous
I was advised to not use pliers as I might damage the light fixture.

I've had a light bulb installer pole (not its real name) for as long as I've had a house.  These poles are amazing and handy for putting in bulbs.  I had NO IDEA that they could also be used for removing broken bulbs!

The light bulb changing kit (its actual name) comes with these funny 2 pieces that I had (until yesterday) ignored.  The 2 yellow and black pieces are actually a broken bulb extractor set!  WHO KNEW!?

Broken Bulb Extractor! - WORKED!
The piece on the left attaches to the extender pole.  The piece on the right fits over the piece on the left.

Floor Covering!

Eye Covering

Put a towel on the floor and wear safety goggles.  There may well be falling bits of glass and metal.  Turn off the power to the room in question using the breaker box.

Now firmly press the rubber tip piece into the broken fixture and twist.

That's IT!  Out comes the broken bulb!

One of the problems I had was that I didn't know what to google when I was trying to fix this problem.  Every one kept showing me that stupid potato and it never worked.

If you have a stuck bulb and my trick didn't work for you, Google : Broken Bulb Extractor

There are tons of cheap little devices that might be able to help!

Be safe, have fun and good luck with your broken bulbs!

For more Home Repair Tips click HERE!

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  1. Clearing the broken bulb is a dangerous job, I don’t think I will do it myself.