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Bulbs too tight

Discussion in 'Electric Signs & Channel Letters' started by rydods, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. rydods

    rydods Member

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Florence, Wi
    Hi Everyone,

    I came across a lighted sign today that for some reason had bulbs that were impossible to remove from the sockets without breaking the plastic on the ends and pins. The bulbs are T12 HO F96 and they run horizontal. I tried prying them with a screw driver to push back on the spring socket and still couldn't do it. Getting them out and breaking them in the process is fine but how do I get them back in without breaking them? Anyone ever run into this? Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Are the springs not giving ??
    Can you twist them ever so slightly ??
    Possibly you can push the tombstone back a little to make some extra room.

    Does it look as though heat might've gotten a little high in there and things have snugged up too much ??

    It's probably that the box was cut wrong [just so ever slightly] when building and they had a little play when it was new and now that it's getting older, things are just getting tighter. Sounds like a lota things these days........
     
  3. Drip Dry

    Drip Dry Very Active Member

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    Maybe with a block of wood and a hammer, you can pound the bracket in (wider) that holds the sockets. The idea is to give it more wiggle room
     
  4. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    I've ran into the same problem. A small bottle jack and a piece of lumber cut to length makes for a nice spreader. It will allow you to get the lamps replaced without having to jar the sign by beating on it (no offense jtrube).
     
  5. Drip Dry

    Drip Dry Very Active Member

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    Aug 11, 2004
    Long island NY
    Sometimes they deserve a beating... but I like your idea better
     
  6. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Yep, I've run into them too, and if all the components are good it's usually a fabrication error. Depending on how it was built you can sometimes fiddle with the raceway to get it to sit a bit lower...or whack it with a mallet. The bottle jack idea is nice.
     
  7. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    dont forget on a wobbly fabricated sign, the component got a little sideways diring install., Ive had some nug ones I always put some body weight into lifting the stationary socket end
     
  8. FS-Keith

    FS-Keith Active Member

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    ahh yes this brings back some memories. I wonder how they got them in there the first time. Anyways Before I go and start beating in the raceways I try swaping out the springside sockets with stationary. This can give you just the clearence you need while still keeping good tension on the lamp
     
  9. rydods

    rydods Member

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Florence, Wi
    A lot of great advise everyone! Thanks a ton! I'll give these a try. I bought a very small pry bar and plan to pry the bulb out while pushing in on the stationary socket and hope this gives me some wiggle room if not...I'll pull out the mallet. :/ Thanks again!
     
  10. Sign Depot

    Sign Depot Member

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    Nov 16, 2009
    Mattawan, Michigan
    Depending on the type of raceway the sign has sometimes you can remove the screws that hold the socket raceway in and it will let the raceway flex enough to get the lamps in.
     
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