Attic Light Bulb and power question (please close)

EncEnc A Fool with CompassionPronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
edited August 2017 in Help / Advice Forum
So for various reasons I had to go into my attic this morning and I pulled the metal draw-string to turn on the light. It turned on fine. When I went to turn it off, though, the little metal string wasn't working and after a second tug it came loose!

Which is unfortunate because I didn't want to leave a lightbulb on in my attic.

Short term solution was to remove the bulb from the fixture, but it is still on right now. I'm going to get a handyman out to fix it soonish but how dangerous is leaving the lightbulb socket powered but empty for today? I've been sitting at work thinking about it and am somewhat nervous.

Enc on


  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    The only way this causes an issue is if something conductive happens to fall into and hit the socket just right. The chances of this happening are pretty small, unless you've got, like, squirrels in your attic or something.

    Otherwise, it'll just sit there all day. Watching. Waiting. Biding its time.

    Next thing to look into, when you get home, is if there's a breaker you can pull to turn off power to the attic. Might mess with your attic fan, which will make your house hotter, but is otherwise safer in general and what they'll likely need to do to fix the issue, anyway.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    That's essentially what my handyman told me. I've been told to just use a dead lightbulb for now rather than messing with the breaker for it, which is the current plan.

  • ThroThro [email protected] Registered User regular
    Pretty safe. Even if something did manage to get in there to short it, the breaker should trip. Long term if you want no worries, just turn off the breaker that light is on (assuming it's not sharing a circuit you can't live without).

    I recently took some poorly done ceiling drywall down in my basement, and discovered a similar pull chain socket that was both empty and on. Had been that way for at least 10 years. . .

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    You will have to worry if you have a lightbulb that's higher rated than the socket. Such as, if you have a 100 Watt lightbulb and the fixture is made for no more than 60, it can overheat and cause a fire. Exact numbers aren't perfectly accurate, but you get the idea.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2017
    I'm planning on using a bulb of the same wattage, AND cutting the breaker (if possible)

    Enc on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2017
    A dead, low wattage bulb in the socket and photos sent to the handyman (who suspects its the switch (but my nintendo isn't in my attic, yuk yuk), but will bring a spare fixture since he builds homes and has them on hand). Either way, the dude is a family friend and does us right. Should be repaired by Monday.

    Thanks, all! I appreciate having my nerves calmed about the magic of electricity.

    Enc on
  • downerdowner Registered User regular
    Changing light fixtures is really straightforward, especially a single bulb fixture connected to what I'm assuming is an exposed box in the attic.

    $6.42 at Home Depot.

    Just food for thought. I've replaced all of the light fixtures in my home I purchased last year, and I am by no means an electrician.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    As mentioned previously, family friend has taken care of it. This can be closed.

This discussion has been closed.