You're all missing the point that the switch was ON when he replaced the bulb, neither the original, nor the new bulb worked, but when touching the bulb, it glowed slightly...the power was already there, but the connection was/is lousy...my opinion is that there's a bad connection, either a rusted socket, or corrosion on the contacts...this is an outside lamp where humidity and maybe rain will affect it.
Important note - I'm not a pro
Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013
The fixture is 8 years old and a porch lamp, outside. Brass finish and has seen some serious wear.
To answer the questions:
We don't know how he touched the bulb, was the glass damp, dirty, etc, --> I touched the bulb at the top while on a ladder. The glass on the bulb was brand new, clean and dry.
are you SURE it is incandescent and NOT a Compact Flourescent bulb? --> Yes, absolutely incandescent, not CFL.
what is the wattage of this bulb? --> 100 Watt
Light switch was ON while changing. (Opps)
I think jadnashua nailed it on the head given the environment the fixture sits in. I'd guess nearly 10-15 feet proximity to a tall sprinkler... we don't get a ton of rain here in Southern California. Sounds like a shot socket. I'm ready to replace the darn thing, especially since there are ones that aren't terribly expensive and look nice.
Thank you so much for all of the GREAT responses. I've learned a ton from this post.
If he had enough current running through his body to light a filiment, he'd know it.
I say it's just a dirty connection at the base of the outlet. Use a small piece of wood to scrape it clean, with the switch off. Blow any residual dust out of it.
Check the old bulb. If it is good it is most likely a loose connection.
If it is bad then it is most likely a loose connection, or the new one is bad or the wrong type.
A Compact Flourescent bulb may light to the touch of the glass but not a incandescant, unless applying pressure makes a better connection.
Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.
quote; Current does not leak to earth so this is not it
Maybe it doesn't "leak" but if you are between the "current source" and the earth, it WILL go through you.
Licensed residential and commercial plumber