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  1. #1
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    Beyond my ability to answer how.

    These are photos my niece sent me today. The bulb was in a light lamp in her living room on a table in a corner with no windows near by. The lamp WAS NOT turned on when the bulb exploded out into the shade and the pieces dropped to the table.

    There were no storms in the area and everything was normal weather wise.

    I asked if she had tried plugging in something else to the receptacle to check to see if it still worked and she said the was no problem with the power at the receptacle.

    Any idea how a bulb has holes blown out with no sign of power to it?

    I suggested she show the pictures to someone she knows in the Physics Dept at the University she attends.

    You may see this subject on other sites as it seems to defy reality and I would love to have a real answer.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Wow, that's crazy. Maybe some weird pressure differential and/or manufacturer defect. Is that an LED bulb or conventional?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    It was a standard incandescent bulb.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Temperature change would be my guess.
    Who made that bulb?

  5. #5
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Did she admit to working her operatic skills?

  6. #6
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    I guess the bulbs contain a vacuum, so I'd expect an implosion rather than an explosion. Wow, so strange.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    who holds the bulb on the photo?
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  8. #8
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    The bulb had not been on for 12-14 hours. It is a GE bulb.

    She is holding the bulb. Thumb fetish? Just kidding
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  9. #9
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Quote Originally Posted by chorus View Post
    Did she admit to working her operatic skills?
    No one in this family can sing.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Who you going to call...…… Ghost Busters
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  11. #11
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    I believe that if a bulb has been exposed without use for 12 years
    it is wise to power it up slowly with a variac. Haha

  12. #12

    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Is her house haunted? Any other electrical issues going on in the house? TVs turning on or off on their own? Lights suddenly flickering?
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  13. #13
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Quote Originally Posted by chorus View Post
    I believe that if a bulb has been exposed without use for 12 years
    it is wise to power it up slowly with a variac. Haha
    The bulb had been used 12-14 hours prior.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Is her house haunted? Any other electrical issues going on in the house? TVs turning on or off on their own? Lights suddenly flickering?
    We had that conversation early on. She said she has not seen any other examples that would lead her to think that.
    No other electrical issues in the house. It had new wiring and panel 6 years ago.
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  15. #15

    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    If it doesn’t happen again, it was a fluke. If things like that continue to happen, there is an issue. Hopefully it’s the former.
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  16. #16
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Was there any kind of soda or fizzy beverage near the bulb?
    Possible that a few drops came in contact with the glass while it was hot.

    Just a guess ...



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  17. #17
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Thanks, but for the 3rd time the bulb had not been lit for 12-14 hours previously.

    I'll take any guess though.
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  18. #18

    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    Quote Originally Posted by brad225 View Post
    Thanks, but for the 3rd time the bulb had not been lit for 12-14 hours previously.

    I'll take any guess though.
    It doesn't matter how new or old the bulb was. Light bulbs that have filaments normally die when the filament opens and when that happens they don't normally explode. As I said before, if it never happens again, it was just a fluke. If it continues to happen, call an electrician. If the electrician can't find anything wrong and bulbs continue to explode, call Dead Files.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    I read this Interesting article. And the one that keeps coming up on electrical and electrical supply sites is the first one.


    So what actually causes light bulbs to explode? Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why this frightening phenomenon happens.

    Lack of Insulation at the Base of the Bulb
    Sometimes, light bulb manufacturers don’t use enough insulation in the light bulb base. A lack of insulation at the base of a light bulb will cause the metal base to melt. When the base melts, the gas stored in the bulb can leak out. The leaking gas causes a pressure imbalance which can result in the light bulb exploding.

    Loose Connection in the Socket
    A loose connection between the bulb and the socket can also be a reason for a bulb exploding. A loose connection causes the electricity to jump across the contact rather than flowing through it. This can lead to the fitting becoming overheated, which can cause the bulb to blow or explode. The solution here is simple: tighten light bulbs in their sockets until they are snug.

    Mismatched Bulb Wattage
    You may not know that light fixtures are designed to operate with light bulbs with certain wattage ratings. If a bulb exceeds its fixture’s wattage limit, then the fixture can overheat, putting the bulb at risk of exploding. The recommended light bulb wattage for your light fixture should be printed on the label on the side of the socket. If it’s not there, you may want to contact the manufacturer or just use the lowest possible wattage light bulb in the fixture.

    Oil From Your Hands
    When you touch a bulb with your hands, you probably don’t consider that the oil from your skin could cause a light bulb to explode. Halogen bulbs are particularly sensitive to skin oils. When a halogen bulb is switched on, the oil you leave on the surface heats up and creates a hot spot. As the oil continues to heat up, cracks can start to appear, which can then lead to gas leaking out of the bulb
    Chris

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  20. #20
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    Re: Beyond my ability to answer how.

    The information is interesting and I appreciate all of the suggestions. All of them, including spirits and poltergeists are possible.

    The thing that is most puzzling is the bulb was not on and hadn't been for 12+ hours.

    Oh well, it will never be known what really happened.
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