Introducing “Talk Back Tuesday”

Today we are introducing a new weekly feature Talk Back Tuesday where we respond to reader and customer inquiries. We are working to make this n interactive site, so you can pose a question relating to electricity, energy or Cleveland Public Power and we will offer our response.

A few weeks ago while working the Cleveland Public Power booth at the City of Cleveland’s 2nd District Police Safety Fair a gentleman stopped by and posed the following “If I have a light bulb in the socket and it has burned out, but I have not removed it – is it still pulling power?”

My initial response was less than confident, but I had an “aha” moment. What better way to begin communicating with our readers and customers than by answering their concerns on a regular basis!

So here we are today with our first Talk Back Tuesday!

My response to the gentleman at the Safety Fair was, “no once it has burned out you are

CPP Electrician Barry Sharp replaces light bulb during makeover. (City of Cleveland Photo Bureau)

not still drawing power.” To verify my information I spoke

with CPP electricians Dale Martin

and Barry Sharp.

Dale and Barry confirmed my assessment, but with a caveat. With an incandescent light bulb the drawing of power ends when the bulb has burned out.  An incandescent bulb contains a filament which transports the current through the bulb to produce light. The filament is what burns out, and in turn breaks the current for the light.

Compact Fluorescent light bulbs are similar to the incandescent bulbs when it comes to burning out, and the inability to continue to draw power from the socket.

However with fluorescent tube lighting, something not commonly found in homes, the burned out bulb is not drawing power, but the ballast is continuing to find a source for energy.

I hope that clears up any questions with leaving a light bulb in the socket. If you have a question that you would like featured in Talk Back Tuesday, send an email to and we will review, and hopefully feature it in an upcoming segment!

CPP Electrician Dale Martin installs an outdoor bulb. (City of Cleveland Photo Bureau)


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