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Old 26-10-2018, 02:29 PM   #1
Taxboy
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Loosening a bolt from an outside light

The bulb has gone on one of our outside lights but unfortunately I can't seem to shift one of the bolts to lift the top of the light off. It's circular with a slot head just to make life difficult. I think the lights are made of aluminium - corrosion is white.

Any advice appreciated please. I've tried wd40 and wrapping cloth round the head to try and turn with pliers but no joy. I'm loathe to try heat as the transparent panels are made of plastic

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Old 26-10-2018, 04:03 PM   #2
camerashy
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Garage
Saw this on offer yesterday at a local garden centre about £15 looked pretty handy to have.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EBfhZj...fauxfullscreen
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Old 26-10-2018, 04:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxboy View Post
The bulb has gone on one of our outside lights but unfortunately I can't seem to shift one of the bolts to lift the top of the light off. It's circular with a slot head just to make life difficult. I think the lights are made of aluminium - corrosion is white.

Any advice appreciated please. I've tried wd40 and wrapping cloth round the head to try and turn with pliers but no joy. I'm loathe to try heat as the transparent panels are made of plastic

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Rip it off the wall or whatever it's affixed to, and buy new light with LED bulb.
You'd be surprised what's available now and LED bulbs cost very little to run, especially when compare to traditional bulbs and are far superior than the current energy saving bulbs.
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Old 26-10-2018, 05:02 PM   #4
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Neji-Saurus pliers or grips are good if there is a screw head to get hold of but probably cost more than a new light.
It could be carefully drilled out and will probably become loose enough during the process to be removed and a new screw/bolt with a hex head fitted.
Localised heat is probably the best way, a very small blow torch or a very powerful soldering iron should keep the heat down.
Does the screw have any thread showing on the other side that could be gripped and turned? Once the screw moves easily it can be cut off and unscrewed.
I have never found WD40 to be particularly good as a penetrating oil. Plus Gas or Deblock oil are better in my experience. Make sure they have had plenty of time to soak in but sometimes things are so corroded and expanded nothing can soak through.
All things considered you might well end up going down the Demented route.
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Old 26-10-2018, 06:34 PM   #5
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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Multi-funct.../dp/B002L6HJAA

I like the look of the Neji-Saurus pliers and a youtube video review shows they work very well.

Steel screws into aluminium is always a problem. When you get the screws out or a new light put some anti seize aluminium grease on the screw before inserting.
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Old 26-10-2018, 07:49 PM   #6
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It’s a write off I reckon. Steel bolt into aly results in them chemically corroding together. Chances are that the thread will tear out with the screw if you do manage to get it turning. Had this problem many a time with engine sump plugs. And getting it turning may take ages using something like mole grips gradually working back and forth as you go and will also result in an ugly messed up screw head.
If you had the skills, you could try drilling it out and re tapping the thread but this doesn’t normally work free hand as the aly is softer so the drill will always want to go there.
Is it really worth your time? Buy a replacement light and butcher the existing off the wall, I bet it would prise away easy enough.
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Old 26-10-2018, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demented View Post
Rip it off the wall or whatever it's affixed to, and buy new light with LED bulb.
You'd be surprised what's available now and LED bulbs cost very little to run, especially when compare to traditional bulbs and are far superior than the current energy saving bulbs.
That is plan B but I would have to replace the other light as it's one of a pair on our gate pillars

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Old 27-10-2018, 01:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camerashy View Post
Saw this on offer yesterday at a local garden centre about £15 looked pretty handy to have.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EBfhZj...fauxfullscreen
I have one of those I bought for one specific job and haven't used it since. I very much doubt it get a grip on a small screw as Taxboy describes. I might be proved wrong though.....

Depends how the thing is fixed to the wall and what the wall is made off, it might do damage if simply ripped off. I'd exercise care, but I agree with replacing it with an LED job.
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Old 27-10-2018, 12:03 PM   #9
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Whether you replace the whole fitting or not, LED bulbs are the way to go. We have external lights that are fitted with LED globe bulbs (cool white as opposed to warm) all driven by an IR sensor, the entire area around the house is well lit at night when walking in from the car.
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Old 27-10-2018, 01:12 PM   #10
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You could try a ratchet driver to give you a little more leverage?


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