Sneaking downstairs for a midnight snack might prove fruitless if your refrigerator light is out, and you're not sure whether you grabbed last night's leftovers or a carton of Chinese food that should have been thrown away two weeks ago. If your refrigerator light keeps burning out, or worse, blowing up, you may have a problem with the wattage of the bulb or with the light socket itself.
Using a bulb with the incorrect wattage for your refrigerator model may overload the electrical socket, causing the light bulb to explode. Check your owner's manual to see the exact wattage bulb your refrigerator needs. Older refrigerator models may also have a design flaw that causes the socket to keep providing power to the bulb, even after you shut the refrigerator door. This may cause the bulb to overheat and explode, since it's on all the time.
If your refrigerator's light bulb keeps exploding, an electrical short may be present in the socket. This causes excessive electricity to flow into the light bulb, causing it to blow up. If your refrigerator light continues to explode after replacing the bulb, consider calling in an appliance repair specialist. Replacing a faulty socket requires specialized knowledge, and trying to replace it yourself may result in voiding the manufacturer's warranty. Manufacturers who know about defects in specific models may provide consumers with customized repair kits to fix the problem.
Depending on the model and manufacturer of your refrigerator, you may need to remove screws from your fridge's light cover to access the electrical socket. While replacing the light bulb, you'll need to unplug your refrigerator to prevent receiving an electrical shock from the socket. Always consult your owner's manual before replacing a bulb, and follow the manufacturer's instructions precisely. Don't forget to plug your fridge back in after replacing the light bulb, or you may wake up to a fridge full of spoiled food.
If your refrigerator light blows up, make sure you remove all shards of glass from the inside of the appliance. Try using a handheld vacuum or a vacuum with a flexible hose attachment so you can remove the tiniest pieces of glass. Use gloves when handling broken glass to prevent getting cut on glass fragments. If any open containers of food were in your fridge when the light bulb blew, you should throw the edible contents away.
Lolo Parker is a freelance writer specializing in pet care, beauty products, accounting, telecommunications, religion and gardening. Parker holds a Bachelor of Metaphysical Science from the University of Metaphysical Sciences and is pursuing her master's degree in the same field at U.M.S.